IonQ Research Credits Program: Call for Proposals

IonQ, with the help of our cloud partners, is offering teams and individuals from qualified research institutions free credits for time on our quantum computers. Quantum computing has the potential to be one of the most impactful technologies of the 21st century, and IonQ is dedicated to democratizing access to this world-changing technology.

Researchers and teachers across the globe are already hard at work accelerating the state of the art in quantum information science and training the next generation of quantum computing experts. To support this mission, we’re excited to offer up to $10,000 in credits per accepted proposal.

Eligibility and Selection Process

The program is open to any verifiable graduate student or faculty member from an accredited academic institution in the countries that IonQ or its cloud partners serves. Please see the list of countries here.

A team at IonQ will review applications, evaluating proposals on the following criteria:

  • Does the work clearly have research goals which can be advanced by the use of quantum computing, quantum information science, or an adjacent field?
  • OR, does the work have clear pedagogical goals related to the teaching of quantum computing, quantum information science, or an adjacent subject?
  • Is the work feasible?
  • Is there a clear, articulated need for quantum compute time?

All applications with merit will be considered. We are especially interested in proposals that are concerned with quantum error correction, novel algorithms and applications research, and the teaching of quantum computing and related concepts to groups that may not otherwise encounter it in their studies.

Submissions that are accepted will be provided credits through direct access on the IonQ Quantum Cloud or one of our partner cloud providers.

Application Guidelines and Important Dates

Proposals should be submitted using this form. They must include the following:

  • Applicant Information: Please provide adequate information for us to confirm that you are eligible for the program. Joint applications are both possible and encouraged.
  • Project Goals: Please describe the research or pedagogical objectives of your project and its broader context, including specific aims, prior art, hypothesis, and rationale.
  • Project Approach: Briefly describe the expected methodology. How will this work be carried out? How will quantum compute resources be used?
  • Project Timeline: When do you expect to do this project? How long will it take? What are the key milestones and their dates?
  • Specific Resource Requirements: Please use the calculator on the application form to make a best-guess estimate as to the specific amount of resources you will need.

Proposals may be submitted at any time, with review and allocation occurring in periodic cohorts. Applications are now open for the last cohort of 2023. The application window will close on December 31st, 2023. Applications considered for this cohort will be notified of a decision by mid-January 2024.

The application form can be found at this link.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for credits through the program?

The program is open to any verifiable graduate student or faculty member from an accredited academic institution, including PhD students, masters students, postdocs, professors, and similar, from any of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, and The United States.

Verification may take the form of a faculty directory listing on your home institution’s website, a letter from a department official or PI who has a faculty directory listing, or anything else that can be used to independently verify your role and institution.

Can undergraduate students apply for credits?

Not directly. Faculty may apply for and disburse credits for undergraduates’ use in teaching or independent study.

Undergraduates interested in the program are encouraged to find a faculty sponsor to oversee their research and jointly submit an application.

How much in credits am I eligible for?

Each application may be for up to $10,000 in credits. Please only request the credit amount you actually need — we would rather sponsor multiple well-scoped projects from the same researcher than one overly-broad one.

Are joint applications accepted?

Yes, but please note that $10,000 maximum credit amount is per application, not per individual. Please list collaborators, their role and institution in the form item called “collaborators.”

For joint applications, do we each need to fill out an application?

No; only the primary point of contact (the person who will manage the application process and the administration of the credits) needs to apply.

Are joint applications accepted if one of my collaborators is not eligible?

Yes, as long as the main applicant is eligible and based in a country that IonQ or one of our cloud partners serves.

Can multiple individuals from the same institution apply?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of awards that can be granted to the same institution.

Can I submit multiple applications?

Yes. Each application will be evaluated on its own merit. Please do not submit duplicate applications or re-apply with previously rejected proposals unless there have been substantive changes in the proposal.

Can I submit an application if I have funding or credits from other sources?


Can I submit an application if I have previously been awarded academic credits through the program?


Do I have to have a IonQ Cloud or partner account to apply?

No. We will work with approved applicants to set up the appropriate accounts if they do not already have them, but please indicate on the application form if you do have such an account.

What types of applications will be funded?

As broad categories,

  • Proof(s) of concept
  • Algorithms and applications research
  • Evaluation or comparison between hardware platforms
  • Workshops, training, or teaching
  • Developing or maintaining open source software

But please note that this is not an exhaustive list. We are happy to see unorthodox approaches or applications, such as games, art, or other things not enumerated here.

How do I estimate what my credit needs will be?

The resource estimation calculator can help you accomplish this.

Is there a deadline to apply?

No, but grants occur in periodic cohorts. Applications submitted now will be considered for the last cohort of 2023. The application window for this cohort will close on December 31st, 2023., and applications considered for this cohort will be notified of a decision by mid-January 2024.

Where do I apply?

The application form can be found here.

Is there any documentation or training available for using IonQ hardware directly or through cloud partners?

Yes! The IonQ Docs and Guides section should help.

If my application is funded, when will my credits expire?

You will have 60 days to redeem the coupon provided to you, and then 12 months overall to use the credits.

Are there restrictions on what I can use the credits for?

Credits obtained through this program may only be redeemed for quantum compute time on IonQ hardware. They also must be used for the project stated in your application.

How should I disclose that I received and used credits through this program?

You should acknowledge the connection between your project and IonQ via a research credit with a statement like the following: “This material is supported via compute credits from IonQ,” or if credits are disbursed through one of our cloud partners, “This material is supported via compute credits from IonQ and [PARTNER].”

What agreements and terms of service am I subject to if I use credits through this program?

You will be subject to the Research Credits Program terms and conditions and access agreement.

Please see the terms and conditions here.

Please see the terms of the Access Agreement here.

If you access the compute credits via one of our cloud partners, you will additionally be subject to their terms and conditions.

What are the tax and/or legal implications of these free compute credits?

We advise applicants to consult a tax and/or legal professional on any implications of receiving these free credits from IonQ and/or its cloud partners.

Who should I contact if I have questions not in this FAQ?

Please send an email to [email protected]