Internship program

ML4Q Undergraduate Research Internship Program

The  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 2023 is closed now!  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 2023 is closed now.

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Internship projects

Here you can find the projects offered for internships in summer 2023.

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General overview and useful information


When: 10 -12 weeks between May and September – exact dates will be arranged directly between the internee and the hosting PI.

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. Studens in their first year of Master programme are also eligible to apply.

How to apply: Interested students can apply to the ML4Q Research School during the call of application (the call for summer 2023 is already closed). 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 934 EUR per month. 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 th University of Cologne. 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 300 and 600 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 2023 is closed now! Application for summer 2024 will reopen in Fall 2023.



  • At least 4 completed semesters of physics or other relevant program
  • 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.

How to apply


The application is open now. To apply for the program please fill in the online form below. In addition to providing the information requested in the form, you will have to upload the following documents combmind into a SINGLE PDF file:

  • Your CV,
  • Motivation letter of max. 1 page (2500 characters)
  • Transcript of Records
  • Letter of Reference from an academic referee (e.g. professor you took courses with, your programm coordinator…). If you prefer, your referee can also send the recommendation letter dierctly to us. In this case, please provide the name of your referee in the correspondig field in the application form. Please ask your refere to inculde your name and the name of the programme in the email subject.

Please make sure that your single PDF file does not exceed 5MB and 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.

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 by mid-January in the latest.

Internship projects 2023


Computational materials science for quantum information: influence of defects

Host: Philipp Rüßmann (Stefan Blügel Group) Forscgungszentrum Jülich

Defects and imperfections are ubiquitous and their influence on material properties cannot be understated. At the FZ Jülich we are developing the density functional theory code JuKKR ( which is capable of simulating material properties based on quantum mechanical calculations on large supercomputers.
In this project you will study the effect of defects embedded in superconducting heterostructures which may be used as a platforms for tomorrows topological quantum computing hardware. You will be performing simulations in order to help understanding the material challenges on the way towards topologically protected quantum computers.

Project-specific requirements:
Because you will use the JuKKR code through it’s AiiDA high-throughput python interface ( prior knowledge of python (i.e. how to write and run scripts) is necessary. Interest in computational physics and in performing small coding tasks is expected. Basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and superconductivity are desirable but not necessary.

Investigating electronic transport in topologically protected edge states

Host: Daniel Rosenbach (Erwann Bocquillon Group), University of Cologne

Within the group of Prof. Erwann Bocquillon we are investigating electronic transport properties within one dimensional, quantum anomalous Hall edge channels. Devices are based on thin film technology and electrically characterized at temperatures of only a few mK. Based on your interest, background and motivation we can discuss how you can contribute to our efforts. Projects might cover the creation of nano- or microscale devices inside the cleanroom, engineering and testing of setups for the electrical characterization of devices or the implementation of measurement and analysis routines using python.

Project-specific requirements:

Completed course on quantum mechanics and on electromagnetism.
At least one practical course in experimental physics.
Experience in numerical programming, especially with Python, would be preferable.

Lie algebra approaches to quantum dynamics

Host:,  David Edward Bruschi , Forschungszentrum Jülich

Capturing the dynamics of quantum systems is key to understanding physical processes and phenomena. Quantum dynamics are defined abstractly via the celebrated Schrödinger equation provided in the theory of quantum mechanics. However, obtaining explicit expressions once a Hamiltonian that governs the evolution and an initial state of the system are given is usually an extremely hard task. Among the tools available to tackle this problem one finds Lie theory of groups and algebras, which has been recently employed with some success.
In this project we explore the formal aspects of Lie algebraic approaches to time evolution, focusing on mathematical methods and analytical tools. The goal is to investigate the scope of validity of these approaches, with particular attention to finding explicit solutions and expressions for the dynamics. The starting point is the collection of results obtained to date by the project supervisor. While it might be difficult to obtain concrete closed formulas, pushing the boundaries of our understanding in this area providing no-go theorems, or partial and approximate solutions can still be seen as a successful endeavour.

Project-specific requirements:
strong mathematical physics background – and an aptitude for analytical work

One-dimensional magnetism and the Bethe Ansatz

Host: Francesco Buccheri (Reinhold Egger Group), HHU Düsseldorf

The Heisenberg chain is a model of magnetic interaction between spins in one dimension. Introduced in 1928 [1], it is still nowadays a widely used tool in the study of phase transition and quantum dynamics, as it is implicitly diagonalizable by means of the Bethe Ansatz technique. Introduced by Hans Bethe 1931 [2] and brought into a new form in 1979 [3,4], this elegant method will be the object of the project. The student will learn the basics of quantum magnetism and apply the Bethe Ansatz technique to the Heisenberg XXX spin chain, computing analytically the ground state and the elementary excitations. (S)he will then numerically diagonalize an extension of this Hamiltonian, in which an on-site local disorder is added, and observe the statistics of the eigenvalues.

[1] Heisenberg W., Zur Theorie des Ferromagnetismus, Z. Phys. 49 (1928), 619–636.
[2]  Bethe H., Zur Theorie der Metalle. I. Eigenwerte und Eigenfunktionen der linearen Atomkette, Z. Phys. 71 (1931), 205.
[3] Kulish P.P., Sklyanin E.K., Quantum inverse scattering method and the Heisenberg ferromagnet, Phys. Lett. A 70 (1979), 461.
[4] Takhtajan L.A., Faddeev L.D., The quantum method of the inverse problem and the Heisenberg XYZ model, Russ. Math. Surveys 34 (1979), 11.

Edge states in topological chains

Host: Francesco Buccheri (Reinhold Egger Group), HHU Düsseldorf

The Su–Schrieffer–Heeger [1], the Rice-Mele [2] and the Kitaev [3] Hamiltonians model the dynamics of diatomic polymers and one-dimensional superconductors. They are examples of one-dimensional topological Hamiltonians, and share the presence of states localized at the edges. The student will learn the basics of topology in one dimension and compute simple observables related to the edge modes.

[1] Su W. P., Schrieffer J. R., Heeger A. J., Solitons in Polyacetylene, Phys. Rev. Lett. 42, 1698 (1979).
[2] Rice M. J. and Mele E. J., Elementary Excitations of a Linearly Conjugated Diatomic Polymer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 49, 1455 (1982).
[3] A Yu Kitaev, Unpaired Majorana fermions in quantum wires, Physics-Uspekhi 10S, 131 (2001)

Tomography of noise channel of quantum processors

Host: Maxime Debertolis (David Luitz Group), Bonn University

While ideal quantum processors undergo perfect unitary dynamics, governed by the applied gate sequence of quantum algorithms, present day hardware is better described as an open quantum system. In this project, we propose to develop a many-body tomography of the noise channel of a quantum processor and carry out experiments on IBM quantum processors. The goal is to model the quantum channel as accurately as possible. We will also try to model the channel of the measurements in the processor and explore the possibility of an inversion of the map, which can be used in error mitigation, extending the work in Ref. to general jump operators [1,2].

[1] Probabilistic error cancellation with sparse Pauli-Lindblad models on noisy quantum processors; Ewout van den Berg, Zlatko K. Minev, Abhinav Kandala, Kristan Temme; arXiv:2201.09866
[2] Lindblad Tomography of a Superconducting Quantum Processor; Gabriel O. Samach et al.;arXiv:2105.02338

Project-specific requirements:
Good knowledge of python, in particular numpy. Experience in exact diagonalization techniques for quantum many-body systems would be definitely helpful.

Topological Quantum Error Correction

Host: Markus Müller, RWTH Aachen/Forschungszentrum 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 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++).

Quantum Neural Networks and Machine Learning

Host: Markus Müller, RWTH Aachen/Forschungszentrum Jülich

Quantum neural networks have been proposed as a computational paradigm to combine benefits such as massive parallel information processing in neural networks with advantages like the computational speedup promised by quantum computers. In this theory internship, you will first familiarise yourself with the basics of quantum neural neural networks and machine learning. You will then implement a quantum neural network based on a quantum Hopfield, multi-layer or quantum cellular automaton network architecture, and investigate and benchmark its performance for applications such as information storage and retrieval, or for quantum error correction.

Project-specific requirements:

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

Experimental Quantum Optics

Host: Julian Schmitt, Bonn University

We offer research internships in experimental quantum optics to explore novel topological quantum states using Bose-Einstein condensates of photons, which can be realized in microscopic optical cavities. Topological states present an important resource for quantum technology, both for communication or computation. During your internship in our lab you will not only learn basic quantum optics methods, but will also be part of on active and exciting research field.

Spin Qubits in Graphene Quantum Dots

Host: Christoph Stampfer, RWTH Aachen

The scope of this project is to assess the potential of bilayer graphene quantum dots as hosts for valley and spin qubits. The devices are based on our state-of-the-art fabrication technology allowing the realization of well-controlled quantum dots. In recent experiments, we studied spin relaxation times [1]. This project aims at time-resolved charge detection in bilayer graphene quantum dots. Using a capacitively coupled quantum dot as a detector, individual charge and spin states in quantum dots will be detected with high sensitivity. You will gain expertise in high-frequency quantum transport experiments and in the physics of 2D materials.

[1] Banszerus, Hecker et al., Nature Communications 13, 3637 (2022).

Project-specific requirements:

This project requires a background in the field of solid state physics or 2D materials. First experience in quantum transport measurements or programming (python) is beneficial but not required.