top of page

Collaborative Fellowship

Come with your challenge, we have the tools and people to make it happen together.


QNS’s Collaborative Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for highly qualified researchers in quantum coherent nanoscience. Fellows can apply their creativity to develop ideas that can be realized using QNS’s world class microscopic and spectroscopic instrumentation. 



Fellows will be paired with a member of QNS’s senior scientific staff in order to combine ideas with know-how and technical expertise. If appropriate, theory analysis and modeling can become part of the collaboration as well. Proposed projects must aim to result in tangible outcomes such as a co-authored, peer reviewed publication.


Researchers such as DJ Choi, Sander Otte, and Ruslan Temirov with their teams have successfully collaborated with QNS in the past. Their work demonstrates the fruitful partnerships with QNS that spurred the creation of this fellowship in order to support collaborative researcher projects with scientists outside of our existing network.

Case Study: Understanding Complex In-Gap Structures in Low Energy Gap s-Wave Superconductors

Deung-Jang (DJ) Choi of the Materials Physics Center (CFM-CSIC/UPV) and DIPC, had an innovative concept that required a milli-Kelvin ESR-enabled STM, that she didn't have in Spain. To conduct the experiment, Dr. Choi and her student traveled to Seoul and worked closely with QNS senior scientific staff and students, who had the appropriate instrumentation and know-how.

Objective: The collaboration aimed to investigate the in-gap structures in s-wave superconductors with low energy gaps, focusing on milli-Kelvin temperatures. The goal was to gain insights into superconductivity and its potential applications.

Collaboration and Preparation: QNS provided a collaborative environment with advanced equipment and skilled personnel. Tailoring the equipment to suit specific research needs was time-consuming but enriching for the researchers and crucial for achieving unique results.

Results and Publication: The research has led to a publication and is part of a larger, ambitious project, highlighting its significance in the field of superconductivity.

Read publication here:


Case Study: Enhancing the lifetime of atomic spin chains through Hamiltonian Engineering

Robbie Elbertse, a PhD student under Sander Otte at Delft University of Technology, had found through simulations a peculiar finding that could only be tested in high magnetic fields in-plane. As one of the only low-temperature STMs with such fields, Sander and Robbie reached out to QNS to suggest a collaboration. Within half a year Robbie was on the plane to Seoul where he would work on the newly-built Eve system to confirm the finding: increase in spin lifetime by up to three orders of magnitude.

Objective: After deposition of Fe on home-grown Cu2N/Cu(100), chains are atomically assembled, which exhibit bistable spin states. The goal of the research is to show that the lifetime of these bistable bits can be increased through application of a large transverse magnetic field.

Collaboration and Preparation: During the first part of Robbie's stay, he was actively involved in another project on the Eve system, which allowed him to get accustomed to the machine and gave time to set up the necessary preparation. Once the project was in full swing, the QNS scientific and engineering staff helped the project on a daily basis, making sure the system was always operational and providing experimental manpower. Upon analysis of the acquired data after Robbie's return, it was decided to give the project one more run, in which he worked together online in close collaboration with QNS to acquire the missing data.

Results and Publication: The research has been submitted for publication in Nature Physics.


  1. Research Proposal Submission:
    Interested researchers are invited to submit their research proposals, which will only be reviewed by our external committee, comprised of retired experts in scanning probe microscopy. See proposal review process here.
    No one other than this committee will see proposals. Only winning proposals will be shared with QNS.

  2. Collaborative Research Fellowship:
    Selected fellows will collaborate with our knowledgeable staff scientists and/or principal investigators (PIs) to set up and conduct their proposed experiments.
    All publications must acknowledge the support of the QNS Collaborative Fellowship. Co-authorship by QNS members must reflect their contribution to the research.

  3. Team Participation:
    Fellows are encouraged to bring a team, typically consisting of a researcher (Fellow) and a student participant (Fellowship participant). Long-term research stays are supported, with the Fellow staying for 1-3 months and the participating student having the opportunity to stay for up six months. Included in the fellowship award is housing in Seoul for the fellow and team. QNS provides helpful support and information about visiting and residing in Korea for all of our guests. Fellows will provide their own transportation to Seoul.
    QNS will help with visas, although immigration decisions are outside of our control.

Confidential Review

To safeguard both the applicant's ideas and the creative integrity of QNS's Collaborative Fellowship, we have implemented a thorough proposal review process. Here's how it works:

  1. Proposal Submission:
    Submit your proposal via this website.
    •  Proposals should include clearly outlined research objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes. Additionally, proposals should cite the relevant literature and clearly define what is the new idea of the project and why the project should be realized at QNS.  A template for your research plan will be provided. Rest assured that your proposal will be handled with utmost confidentiality.

  2. External Committee Review:
    To ensure an unbiased evaluation, all proposals are carefully reviewed by our external committee, consisting of renowned experts who have retired from active science. This committee brings a wealth of experience and expertise in scanning probe microscopy.
    •  Young Kuk – Daegu-Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), President, ROK
    •  Hans-Joachim Freund – Fritz-Haber-Institute (FHI) of the Max-Planck-Society, Berlin, Germany
    •  Don Eigler - IBM Almaden, USA
    •  Wolf-Dieter Schneider – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland (Proposal Committee Chair)

  3. Confidentiality and Protection:
    QNS will only have access to the winning proposal after a fellowship has been awarded by the external committee. Non-awarded proposals will be permanently deleted. This process ensures that your ideas are treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality.

  4. Collaborative Research:
    As a fellow, you and your team will have the opportunity to collaborate with QNS’s expert senior scientists to set up and conduct your proposed experiments. We are committed to fostering a collaborative environment that marries your creative input with our know how and instrumentation.



To ensure a smooth application process, please take note of the following deadlines:

  1. Opening Proposal Submission: October 1, 2023
    Subscribe to the QNS newsletter to receive a reminder when the submission window opens:

  2. Proposals Deadline: January 1, 2024
    Make sure to submit your proposal before this date to be considered for the upcoming review cycle.

  3. Notification of Award: Spring 2024
    The winning fellow will be notified in Spring.

  4. First Fellow Starts: As early as Summer 2024
    The first fellow and team will have the opportunity to commence their research at QNS as early as Summer 2024 as agreed on by the Fellow and QNS. 
    Research stay to be concluded by Summer 2025 at the latest. This marks the beginning of an exciting journey of collaboration and discovery.

Ongoing Opportunities

Stay updated with our website and communication channels for specific dates and deadlines associated with new fellowship selections.

Please note that these deadlines are subject to change. Stay tuned for any updates or announcements related to the application process.

bottom of page