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Academic Research Grants

The Stellar Development Foundation is soliciting proposals for scientific, technological, economic, and legal research advancing the foundation’s goals of financial inclusion, fast and inexpensive cross-border payments, efficient decentralized markets, and other beneficial applications of blockchain technology.


Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Privacy-preserving technology, including improvements to both efficiency and regulatory compliance of private payments
  • Formal verification, including verification of smart contracts and distributed systems
  • Byzantine fault tolerant, Sybil-resistant, open peer-to-peer networks
  • Research related to the Federated Byzantine Agreement model
  • Market mechanisms for decentralized finance
  • Scalability solutions for order-books and smart-contracts, including deterministic parallel transaction execution
  • Legal theories and implications surrounding usage of distributed ledgers or decentralized exchanges for physical property and securities
  • Incentive design for improving financial responsibility, civic engagement, or other behaviors promoting financial security and democracy
  • Empirical studies of the Stellar network
  • Governance of distributed systems
  • Smart contracts languages

Applying for a grant

We review grant proposals quarterly. The submission deadlines are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. There is a limit of maximum 2 submissions per calendar year.

Proposals should be no longer than 5 pages in at least 11-point type, and should use the following outline:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • One paragraph biography of principal investigator, highlighting relevant research results
  • Statement that the PI is authorized by their institution to submit research proposals and to lead research (i.e. they have PI status)
  • Technical proposal body
  • Budget not to exceed USD $150,000 (but note that awards average roughly USD $75,000)
  • When known, please name the student or post-doc interested in participating in the research
  • Statement of intent not to patent the results, including a brief description of the principal investigator’s track record in patenting or not patenting research
  • Bibliography

Awards will be provided as unrestricted gifts intended for an individual with PI status at an academic institution. The funds are intended to support the cost of one graduate student or one post-doc for 12 months, plus reasonable expenses such as conference travel.

You can submit a proposal here. If you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected]