Internship program

ML4Q Undergraduate Research Internship Program

The new ML4Q Undergraduate Research Internship Program aims to raise the interest of talented students in the quantum technologies research. It gives an opportunity of hands-on experience in scientific work and an overview of the research performed in the cluster. The internees will work in one of the ML4Q groups under the direct supervision of a postdoc or senior PhD student and the hosting professor. At the same time they are encouraged to take part in seminars and events at host institute as well as other cluster sites. The ML4Q Research School provides financial support and assistance in administrative issues. Interested students can apply once a year and join the research group of their choice for a 12-week internship during the summer. Below you can find more information about the program, application procedure, and projects we offer. The call for applications is open ! If you have any further questions  or something is unclear, do not hesitate to contact the ML4Q Research School Coordinator.


Program overview

In this section you can find more detailed information about the program and support we offer.

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The  call for application for summer 2021 is open till December 4th, 2020!

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Internship projects

In summer 2021 we are offering six projects related to ML4Q research.

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General overview and useful information


When: 8-12 weeks between May and September – exact dates will be arranged directly between the internee and the hosting PI. For projects in experimental groups, internships shorter than 10 weeks are not advisable.

Who can apply: Excellent international and German BSc students who have completed at least 4 semesters of physics or related studies.

How to apply: Interested students can apply to the ML4Q Research School during the call of application (Nov 2 – Dec 4, 2020 for internships in 2021). The decision on admission will be made not later than mid-January. Detailed information can be found in Application process section.

Support: Accepted students will be offered travel costs reimbursement up to 700 EUR and internship allowance of around 700 EUR per month (mostly in form of a work contract as student assistant). The ML4Q Research School will provide assistance in administrative issues.

Additional useful information


Students from non-German universities will have to enroll as guest students at RWTH Aachen or University of Cologne (depending on the host). This will require submission of additional documents and payment of the semester fee (which allows guest students to use public transport for free and use university facilities such as canteens and sport centers). We will provide detailed information to the accepted students.

If requested we will assist you in arranging accommodation, e.g. in students’ dormitories (if possible). However, students will be responsible for paying their rent. The costs of accommodation vary from city to city, but usually students spend between 150 and 400 EUR on rent per month.

Please note that you have to make sure you have a health insurance valid in Germany. It is also advisable to have also an accident and personal liability insurance.

Application process


Excellent BSc students are encouraged to apply to our new ML4Q Undergraduate Research Internship Program. The call for applications for Internship 2021 is open now. Application deadline is on December 4, 2020.




  • At least 4 completed semesters of physics or other relevant program
  • Enrollment at the home university during the internship
  • Completed course in quantum mechanics (additional courses relevant for individual projects are listed in the project descriptions)
  • Excellent academic record reflected in overall GPA
  • Proficiency in English corresponding to an IELTS score of at least 6,5 or equivalent (please not you do not need the IELTS certificate to apply)
  • Research experience is a plus.

How to apply


To apply please upload here the following documents combined in a single PDF file:

  • Application form covering following information:
      • Personal information
      • Education: university, field of study, GPA
      • Preference for project to join (you can choose 2)
      • Motivation letter of max. 1 page (2500 characters)
      • Desired internship period
      • Name and the contact details of 1 academic referee
      • Information whether you require assistance in searching for accommodation.
  • CV
  • Transcript of records

Please make sure that your single PDF file is named in the follwoing way: yourname_ml4q_internship.pdf (e.g. smith_ml4q_internship.pdf). If you have any questions, please conact the Research School coordinator.

As soon as we receive your application and proof that it fulfils the requirements mentioned above, we will ask the referee you indicated in your application to provide the letter of reference. Thus, please make sure that your referee is aware of your application.
The applications will be evaluated by the Research School coordinator and the professors offering the project. The evaluation results will be announced to the applicants latest by mid-January.

Internship projects 2021


For internships in summer 2021 we offer the following projects.
Please click on the project title for detailed information.
Topological-insulator devices
Host: Prof. Yoichi Ando, University of Cologne

Topological insulators distinguish themselves from ordinary materials in its quantum-mechanical electronic states that are topologically nontrivial. Owing to the topological nature of their electronic states, topological insulators are proposed to be an ideal platform to realize various novel functionalities that are exploited in device forms. In this project, the intern student will participate in either the materials preparation, device fabrication, device measurement, or a combination of them, depending on the skill and the interest of the student.

Project-specific requirements:
Completed course on electromagnetism and at least one practical course in experimental physics.

Superconducting qubits
Host: Prof. Yoichi Ando, University of Cologne

In this project, the intern student will participate in our experiments on qubits, in which superconducting qubits are fabricated and tested for their performance, in order to eventually realize “topological qubits” based on Majorana fermions. This is done by employing state-of-the art materials, nano-device fabrications, microwave instrumentations, ultra-low-temperature operations, and coding of suitable qubit control software. Our ultimate goal is to achieve the braiding operations of Majorana fermions in a topological qubit to elucidate their non-Abelian statistics.

Project-specific requirements:
Completed course on electromagnetism and at least one practical course in experimental physics;
Experience in coding, especially with Python, would be preferable.

Majorana qubits
Host: Prof. Reinhold Egger, University of Düsseldorf

We develop and study theoretical proposals for topological quantum information processing based on Majorana qubits, from the operation of single qubits to fault-tolerant error-correcting codes.

Project-specific requirements:
Completed classes in statistical Physics and Condensed matter theory;
Interest and ability in Theoretical Physics.

Compute your own Majorana toy model (technically: Fermionic Gaussian States)
Host: Prof. Matteo Rizzi, University of Cologne, Research Centre Jülich)

Learn how to master the (exponentially) large configurational space of identical fermionic particles in an exact (linear) way. Apply the technique to paradigmatic models for the creation and manipulation of Majorana fermions.

Project-specific requirements:
Completed classes on Statistical Mechanics;
Strong interest and curiosity about theoretical physics, with a good dose of will to learn things hands-on.

Qu.-Info inspired numerics for interacting many-body systems (technically Tensor Network Ansatz)
Host: Prof. Matteo Rizzi, University of Cologne, Research Centre Jülich)

Learn the basics of quantum entanglement and how insights about it have helped to design powerful numerical methods. Program your own simple instance and (re-) produce interesting research results. Focus will be on fermionic topological systems.

Project-specific requirements:
Completed classes on Statistical Mechanics;
Completed course on Computer Physics, or at least an abstract idea how an algorithm works in general (i.e., translate solution of a problem into a sequence of concatenated small tasks, etc.);
Strong interest and curiosity about theoretical physics, with a good dose of will to learn things hands-on.

Magnetotransport measurements on topological insulator nanostructures
Host: Prof. Thomas Schäpers,  Research Centre Jülich)

The candidate will conduct transport measurements on topological insulator nanostructures, such as ring structures or T-junctions. The purpose of the studies is to gain information on electron interference effects and steering effects of carriers under variation of an in-plane magnetic field. The measurements will be performed at the magnet lab at Peter Grünberg Institute 9 using various cryostats.

Project-specific requirements:
Completed classes on Solid state physics and condensed matter physics;
Some experience in Python would be preferable.