Core Project Call – involving the Austrian quantum community

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Second Core Project Call

closed on February 18, 2024 23:59
No submissions possible at this time.

Quantum Science Austria (quant) is a Cluster of Excellence (COE) funded by the FWF and the six partner institutions. It has a framework research program defined in the proposal, which is to be implemented through a number of COE-internal programs. The main implementation components are the collaborative, inter-institutional Core Research Projects. Core Research Projects are collaborative projects that work towards a set of innovative objectives that are in accordance with the research questions of one or more of the three COE Research Areas. Characteristic of Core Research Projects is that they need synergies and essential input from more than one group to be accomplished.

Core Research Projects can run for an initial 2.5 years. In competition with new proposals they may apply for an extension of another 2.5 years to fill the first 5-year funding period of the COE in the respective call. One important criterium for an extension will be evidence of collaborative research. An application can request PhD and/or postdoc positions either for the entire 2.5 years or less, as is justified for the proposed research, see section 4.

Quantum researchers (PIs) with a permanent or tenure-track position at one of the six partner institutions are eligible to apply. Two PIs at two different participating institutions form the minimal consortium; one PI must be declared as the Lead PI and will be the main contact for management and reporting purposes. While there is no maximum number of PIs, we recommend that PIs keep the projects to a manageable size. One person can only be Lead PI of one Core Project and receive funding in at most two other Core Projects. Given the limited funding, PIs are encouraged to only submit their most ambitious proposals. Note that for non-permanent quantum researchers, a dedicated call for Discovery Projects is foreseen.

The PhD and postdoc positions will be funded at FWF or KV salary levels (whichever applies), PhD positions are for 30 h/week. Both types of positions include funds for consumables and travel, currently planned at € 8 500 per position and year, to be spent on any legitimate expense of the project. Note that purchases of major equipment are not foreseen from FWF funds.

The COE funding agreement stipulates that 60 % of the total funds are provided by the FWF and 40% are to come from the institutions. It is thus necessary that proposers verify the compatibility of their requested resources with the respective site leaders (BoD members, see table below). Where appropriate, proposals may identify specific institutional contributions.

We expect to be able to fund from FWF and institutional contributions up to 45 PhD student and 15 postdoc positions in total throughout the first five-year funding period of the COE.

Board of Directors:


Gregor Weihs


Johannes Fink


Armando Rastelli


Markus Aspelmeyer


Francesca Ferlaino


Jörg Schmiedmayer

Use the supplied template (keeping 11 pt font size, 15 pt line spacing, and 2 cm margins) to describe

1 Formal information (max. 1 page)

  • Lead PI and other PIs
  • Resource request per institution (number of positions and duration only) and short justification
  • Approval of compatibility with institutional contributions by respective site leaders

2 Scientific aspects (max. 2 pages)

  • a. Scientific innovation and importance
  • b. Collaboration and synergies
  • c. Alignment with COE research program
  • d. Approach, methods, work plan, risks
  • Evaluation by the BoD as set out in the COE proposal. 1
  • End of February 2024: decision on approval and the level of funding
  • Projects can start immediately
  • Applications are evaluated according to the following criteria: scientific quality, scientific innovation and potential for breakthrough results, as well as the quality of collaboration and synergies. Collaboration is highly encouraged

1 The proposals will be evaluated by at least three members of the BoD who do not have a conflict of interest. Proposals that are outside the scope of the research program as described above will not be considered. The remaining, eligible proposals will be ranked by scientific quality, their level of scientific innovation and potential for breakthrough results, as well as the quality of collaboration and expected level of synergy. If there are too many conflicts of interest to arrive at a ranking, the BoD may invite external experts to review and rank the proposals and to arrive at funding decision. In either case the BoD approves the funding of the top-ranked proposals subject to the available budget.

Results from the second Core Projects Call 2024

The following Core Projects were selected to be funded:
  • Ion-assisted non-Gaussian quantum states of levitated nanoparticles
    Lead PI: Carlos Gonzalez-Ballestero
    Other PIs: Andreas Deutschmann-Olek, Nikolai Kiesel, Markus Aspelmeyer, Tracy Northup, Oril Romero-Isart
    Involved Institutions: TUW, UNIVIE, UIBK
  • Ion-trap technologies for mesoscopic quantum states
    Lead PI: Markus Arndt
    Other PIs: Roland Wester, Tracy Northup
    Involved Institutions: UNIVIE, UIBK
  • Quantum measurement without a collapse
    Lead PI: Iva Brezinova
    Other PIs: Marcus Huber, Hanns-Christoph Nägerl
    Involved Institutions: TUW, UIBK
  • Controlled hybrid gravitational and electromagnetic interactions near the quantum regime
    Lead PI: Onur Hosten
    Other PIs: Peter Asenbaum, Markus Aspelmeyer, Carlos Gonzalez-Ballestero, Oriol Romero-Isart
    Involved Institutions: ISTA, UNIVIE, TUW, UIBK, ÖAW
  • Rigorous estimates for quantum many-body systems
    Lead PI: Norbert Schuch
    Other PIs: Muguel Navascues, Richard Küng
    Involved Institutions: UNIVIE, ÖAW, JKU
  • Dynamics and thermodynamics of long-range interacting quantum systems
    Lead PI: Thomas Pohl
    Other PIs: Tim Langen, Francesca Ferlaino, Emil Kirilov
    Involved Institutions: ÖAW, TUW, UIBK

Results from the first Core Projects Call 2023

The following Core Projects were selected by the Board of Directors to be funded:
  • Collective nonlinear dynamics in dipole-coupled nanophotonic quantum dot arrays
    Lead PI: Armando Rastelli
    PIs:Heelmut Ritsch; Gregor Weihs
    Involved Institutions: JKU, UIBK
  • Quantum-computer-enhanced imaging
    Lead PI: Thomas Juffmann
    PIs: Iva Brezinova; Philipp Haslinger, Philipp Schindler, Richard Küng
    Involved Institutions: UNIVIE, TUW, UIBK, JKU
  • Entaglement in fermionic quantum matter
    Lead PI: Silke Paschen
    PIs: Julian Leonard; Hannes Pichler, Norbert Schuch, Peter Zoller
    Involved Institutions: TUW, UIBK, UNIVIE, ÖAW
  • Quantum Simulators for Quantum Field Theories
    Lead PI: Hanns-Christoph Nägerl
    PIs: Jörg Schmiedmayer
    Involved Institutions: UIBK, TUW
  • Optimal quantum sensors & quantum sensing networks
    Lead PI: Benjamin Lanyon
    PIs: Caslav Brukner, Wolfgang Dür; Thomas Monz, Philipp Walther, Peter Zoller
    Involved Institutions: UIBK, UNIVIE
  • Programmable quantum simulators with long-range interactions
    Lead PI: Julian Leonard
    PIs: Francesca Ferlaino, Andreas Nunnenkamp, Thomas Pohl
    Involved Institutions: TUW. ÖAW, UNIVIE
  • A Hybrid Polar Molecule - Superconducting Circuit Platform
    Lead PI: Jörg Schmiedmayer
    PIs: Johannes Fink
    Involved Institutions: TUW, ISTA
  • Local operations on quantum fields
    Lead PI: Miguel Navascues
    PIs: Markus P. Müller, Borivoje Dakic, Caslav Brukner
    Involved Institutions: ÖAW, UNIVIE
  • Variational approach to quantum dynamics and entangled state preparation
    Lead PI: Maksym Serbyn
    PIs: Hannes Pichler, Norbert Schuch
    Involved Institutions: ISTA, UIBK, UNIVIE
  • Exploiting collective effects in circuit QED for bio inspired light harvesting, photon transfer and nonclassical light sources
    Lead PI: Gerhard Kirchmair
    PIs: Johannes Fink, Helmut Ritsch
    Involved Institutions: UIBK, ISTA
  • Quantum Optics with Coherent Quantum Feedback in the Many-Body Regime
    Lead PI: Hannes Pichler
    PIs: Peter Zoller, Armando Rastelli, Gregor Weihs, Gerhard Kirchmair
    Involved Institutions: UIBK, JKU
  • Controlling the quantum world - control engineering meets quantum science
    Lead PI: Andreas Deutschmann-Olek
    PIs: Markus Aspelmeyer, Jörg Schmiedmayer, Gregor Weihs, Nikolai Kiesel, Andreas Kugi