The Boot Camp

Quantum Ideas Factory will provide a transformational learning experience at the interface between rigorous academic research and free interdisciplinary exploration. 24 students and young researchers will be part of a creative innovation environment, which will help them to develop practical skills and visionary mindset in the key areas of quantum technologies. During a three-day tenure in Heidelberg, participants will work in small groups in order to transform raw research ideas into well-rounded project proposals addressing globally relevant questions from quantum science. They will develop solutions to individual, non-incremental research challenges that each will be provided by our academic partners and team members themselves. By thinking across interdisciplinary areas they will devise new research strategies and transformative applications in order to harness the full innovative potential of the emerging fields of design and experimental studies of quantum materials, quantum many-body physics, and photonic quantum interfaces. The boot camp will culminate with team presentations of their results to a distinguished panel of experts.

What it is about

The goal of Quantum Ideas Factory is to inspire young scientists and students to think beyond the boundaries of their fields and address globally relevant challenges in quantum science. Quantum Ideas Factory will guide you through the cross-synthesis of interdisciplinary science concepts into new solutions with practical relevance. It will enable you to harness the full potential of the emerging quantum technologies.

Action learning

Quantum Ideas Factory builds on the established format of a science hackathon. You will be a part of a diverse four member team consisting of three master students or doctoral candidates that will be lead by an experienced young scientist. The main task of each team will be to create an actionable project proposal for a globally relevant and current quantum science problem. World-class experts and mentors will guide your progress.

Why should you attend

You will have the opportunity to spend three amazing days in Heidelberg with likely-minded and highly-motivated individuals from all over the world. Lectures from world-leading inventors will expose you to the cutting-edge research in academic quantum science and its applications. Through intensive work sessions and action learning you will master the critical steps for the creation and execution of a successful research project.


Course of action

  • Monday, September 11
    9.30 Welcome and incentive talks
    11.30 Introducing challenges
    12.45 Lunch
    13.45 Start exploring
  • Tuesday, September 12
    9.30 Mentors and experts
    12.30 Lunch
    13.30 Continue exploring
    18.30 BBQ dinner


Master students, doctoral candidates, young researchers and postdocs with solid science background and an innovation mindset are welcome to apply! Although the focus of the boot camp is designed for quantum science and interdisciplinary border areas, we encourage applicants with any natural sciences background to apply.

Candidates will be selected based upon their CV and a motivation letter presenting their reason for applying. If you would like to lead a team, you can apply for the role of a team leader. For the team leader positions previous track record in leadership or experience in the completion of science projects, e.g. PhD degree, will be beneficial.

Please choose a research challenge that you would like to work out during the Quantum Ideas Factory from the ones offered below. Alternatively, if you have your own idea, we encourage you to briefly describe it and submit with your application. The description should outline your idea, its potential future impact, and possible implementation.

In order to apply, you could use the application form and your CV into a single pdf file and submit it below until August 10, 2017.

The application is closed now and the results have been announced by email to the applicants.

Independent from the participation in Quantum Ideas Factory, interested master students are encouraged to consider applying for a doctoral position within the newly established programme on “Basic Building Blocks for Quantum Enabled Technologies“ at the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics.

Image by Rane.abhijeet (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Our research challenges

The goal of the Quantum Ideas Factory is to develop new, non-incremental pathways towards solving challenging real-world science problems. Therefore we have gathered several interdisciplinary research ideas that address pressing issues across various areas of fundamental quantum science and its applications. You can explore them in detail below. We encourage you to choose and apply for the topic that interests you the most!

In the spirit of free thinking across boundaries, we will be happy to accept applications from participants, who might not have any previous knowledge or experience in the particular research topic they are applying for. In this case, however, we expect these individuals to acquire knowledge about the basic physics involved in their research challenge already in advance. (See the hyperlinks at the end of each individual challenge.)


Quantum Ideas Factory will cover your accommodation in Heidelberg and participation costs, however we expect you to come up with your own travel expenses. We can provide several travel scholarships for few participants upon request. The final amount and the recipients will be determined after the application deadline. If you wish to receive a travel scholarship please indicate it in your application.


The Quantum Ideas Factory will take place in:

Physics Institute
Im Neuenheimmer Feld 226
69120 Heidelberg

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