Open Quantum Initiative (OQI) Undergraduate Fellowship

Program Description 

Through this fellowship, students will expand their understanding of Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE), connect with leaders in academia and industry, and increase their awareness of quantum career opportunities. And with the support of CQE’s member and partner institutions this fellowship helps to establish diversity, equity, and inclusion as priorities central to the development of the quantum ecosystem.

Students participating in this program will spend the summer (June 10, 2022 —August 19, 2022) working in person with research groups on challenging, meaningful QISE projects. Research experiences may occur across the CQE community including: University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Northwestern University, and Ohio State University. The summer experience will be aimed at developing students' "research literacy" skills and their exposure to the wide diversity of physics subfields (including experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches) in:

  • Quantum Optics/Information Science
  • Quantum Computing
  • Quantum Communication
  • Quantum Sensing

The Fellowship follows a cohort model where students have numerous opportunities to interact with the other members of the cohort during the summer research period and throughout the following academic year. Students will participate in a 10-week residential research experiences program in QISE. During the program, participants will complete a research project within a quantum information science and engineering group, as well as meet regularly with their graduate student or postdoc mentor to ensure their research is on track. Participants will present their work during a program culmination attended by the CQE community.

During the academic year following their summer research experiences, 2022 OQI Fellowship students will have the opportunity to meet virtually each month to continue expanding their understanding of quantum science and career opportunities in the field, grow their professional networks with leaders in academia and industry, engage in soft skills training, and continue personal mentorship. The OQI will also aim to provide future research experiences in subsequent summers, as well as provide opportunities to mentor newly accepted 2023 OQI Fellowship students.

Funding for the Summer 2022 Open Quantum Initiative is provided by: University of Chicago, Q-NEXT at Argonne National Laboratory, the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center at the University of Illinois Urbrana-Champaign, HQAN at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and The Ohio State University.


The Open Quantum Initiative (OQI) is a group of researchers, educators, and leaders among the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) that champions the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in quantum science.

The Open Quantum Initiative (OQI), in partnership with the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) and CQE member and partner institutions (University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University, and The Ohio State University) invites students to apply for the 2022 Open Quantum Initiative (OQI) Undergraduate Fellowship.

Throughout the summer program, awardees will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Working directly with faculty and senior researchers on challenging and relevant research projects
  • Professional development activities aimed at developing skills in research ethics, science communication, Resume/CV workshops, and professional networking
  • Social activities with other awardees and field trips
  • Virtual cohort meet-ups during the 2022/23 academic year for students to engage in workshops for networking with industry partners; content presentations with subject matter experts, and soft skills training (resume writing, communications, job application tips); and application fee waivers for select events
  • Ongoing mentorship with summer advisors and peers throughout the academic year
  • Stipend of $6,000, on-campus housing, travel to/from the program (up to $1000)

To receive full consideration for the program, apply online by February 11, 2022. Awardees will be notified of acceptance to the program by mid- April, 2022. Due to the overwhelming number of applications received, the decision process is taking longer than expected. If you any questions, please email

A completed application consists of the following:

  • a completed online application, which requires 2 letters of reference
  • a 300-500-word "statement of interest" describing your personal goals and how you believe this fellowship experience could help you achieve those goals
  • an official or unofficial transcript uploaded to the application
  • Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited Educational Institution located in the United States; recently graduated seniors are not eligible for the program.
  • Students must have completed their freshman year by June 2022 with at least 4 undergraduate college courses of some combination of physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, and/or computer science. Interested community college students who have completed one year of studies are highly encouraged to apply to our program.
  • Students must be majoring or intending to major in physics, chemistry, mathematics, electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, quantum science, philosophy, or a QISE related major.
  • As this program is intended to be multi-year, preference will be given to applicants who are rising sophomores or rising juniors, however students of any undergraduate year are encouraged to apply.

Applications for the 2022 program are now closed. 


Be sure to have all required materials available to upload before applying, including a statement of interest, and a copy of your transcript. It is suggested that you prepare your answers in a program like Word and cut and paste your final submissions so that you do not lose your work.

Offers will be made on a rolling basis after the application deadline until all positions are filled. Awardees will be notified by e-mail of their acceptance into the program and will be given a specific time window to accept or decline the offer.


Download a printable OQI Fellowship informational flyer