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 the 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. Call for applications for summer 2022 is closed now – application deadline was on November 15th!  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 applications for summer 2022 is closed now.

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Internship projects

Here you can find the projects offered for internships in summer 2022.

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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 by the time of internship. Please note that enrollement at home university  during the intnernship is one of the requirements.

How to apply: Interested students can apply to the ML4Q Research School during the call of application (October 1st – November 15th 2021 for internships in 2022). The decision on admission will be made by mid of 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). Applicants from the academic institutions in the United States (US) can also apply for supplemental funding provided through our partnership with the Global Quantum Leap program, supported by the US National Science Foundation. This funding will cover lodging expenses for up to the full duration of the internship (more information can be found in the Application process section).
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 cantines 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 ML4Q Undergraduate Research Internship Program. The call for applications for Internship 2022 is cl now! Application deadline was on November 15th, 2021



  • 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 note you do not need the IELTS certificate to apply)
  • Research experience is a plus.

Internship projects 2022


Transport in topological edge states

Host: Prof. Erwann Bocquillon, University of Cologne/Laboratoire de Physique de l’ENS

The quantum anomalous Hall insulator is a two-dimensional topological phase of matter in which transport only occurs via a chiral edge state propagating around an insulating bulk. Owing to its topological nature, this edge state could become a platform to realize Majorana quasiparticles and observe their peculiar anionic properties.
In this project, you will participate in our experiments aiming at elucidating the transport properties of this phase, in either the device fabrication, the preparation of the experimental setup, the device measurement, depending on the timing of the internship and your interest.

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.

Waveguide-QED with Rydberg superatoms

Host: Prof. Sebastian Hofferberth, University of Bonn

Learn how atomic ensembles can be used to engineer interaction between individual photons. Cooling and trapping of neutral atoms, few-photon optics and atomic physics are combined in this experiment to create new quantum states of light for applications in quantum communication and metrology.

Project-specific requirements:

Completed classes on optics and quantum mechanics.
Strong motivation for hands-on experimental work in an optics lab.
Experience with / vacuum experiments is appreciated, but can be compensated by motivation.

Topological Quantum Error Correction

Host: Prof. Markus Müller, RWTH Aachen/Research Centre Jülich

Topological quantum error correcting codes such as the surface code or color codes provide one of the most promising routes towards realising robust and fault-tolerant quantum computers, currently pursued by academic research groups but also leading tech companies. In this theory internship project, you will first familiarise yourself with the basics of quantum error correction, and then implement, and analytically and numerically benchmark the performance of a topological quantum error correcting code and decoder that is suitable for a realistic experimental implementation of logical qubits.

Project-specific requirements:

Completed course in quantum mechanics and solid understanding of quantum mechanics.
Ideally completed course on quantum computing / quantum information / quantum algorithms.
Some knowledge in numerical programming (e.g. in python, matlab, C++).

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.

Implementing an overparameterized basis and optimizing pulses to control Quantum Systems

Host:,  Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch, University of Saarland /Research Centre Jülich

Learn the basics of Quantum Control and familiarize with existing code. Apply numerical methods to create an overparameterized basis of simple control shapes and then use L1 regularization to end up with simple controls without running into local minima.

Project-specific requirements:
Some experience in Python would be highly desirable.

Propagation methods for capturing the dynamics of controlled quantum systems

Host:,  Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch, University of Saarland /Research Centre Jülich

Get acquainted with different simulation methods  and familiarize with existing code. Code a propagation method and benchmark it. Check for efficiency and scalability.

Project-specific requirements:

Completed classes on Quantum Mechanics
Some experience in Python would be highly desirable.