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Call for Applications for PFN Summer Internship 2019 in Tokyo


The application for PFN Summer Internship 2019 was closed.
Thank you for many applications.

Preferred Networks (PFN) is looking for enthusiastic interns who can work with us in our Tokyo office this summer. Students who applied for previous internships are also eligible to re-apply (except those who previously interned with PFN). We welcome students who want to develop new technologies, software, and services across a wide range of computer science areas including machine learning with us.


Important notice:

Note: This program is only for students who already have visa eligibility to work in Japan as an intern this summer. We are not accepting applications from students who need support for obtaining the designated activity visa to work as an intern because the due date for processing such applications has already passed.



Characteristics of PFN Internship

  • Over the two-month period, PFN researchers and engineers will be assigned to work with you as a mentor. You will have opportunities to discuss, study, and develop in your theme with specialists in various fields including deep learning, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics, bio-healthcare, reinforcement learning, and distributed processing.
  • After the internship, you can make your research result public by writing a paper or making it OSS, to the extent to which is possible.  



  • Start date: Early August, depends on your schedule
  • End date: Sept. 20 (Fri), 2019
    • You can choose to continue to work in the week of Sept. 24-27 under the same terms and conditions.
      • This year’s internship will end on Sept. 20 in principle in consideration of the fact that many schools start their fall semester in late September.
      • If your school is not the case stated above and you need more time to finalize your research or want to spend more time with our staff, you can extend your internship until Sept. 27 under the same terms and conditions.
      • We understand you may have to be absent for e.g. lab activities, attending academic conferences, returning home for family commitments. We are flexible about your need to take day-off due to these reasons.

Theme List

  • For 2019 Domestic Internship at PFN, we prepared the themes listed further below.
  • During the selection process or after completion, you will discuss with our members to finalize your theme. You must at least choose your 1st and 2nd preferences in the application form. If you have more than two areas of interest, select a 3rd preference, which is optional.



  1. Theoretical research of ML/DL
  2. Computer vision for 3D scene
    • Neural networks for 3D tasks (differentiable renderer, 3D reconstruction using neural network)
    • Development of SLAM and 3D reconstruction
    • Visual-SLAM
  3. Computer vision on time-series dataset
    • Video analytics (sports, etc…)
  4. Computer vision for other general topics
    • Object detection
    • Segmentation
    • Image classification
    • Few-shot learning
    • Image generation
  5. Application of deep learning to Anime / Supportive software for creators
  6. Reinforcement learning
  7. Research and development on applications of machine learning algorithms such as mathematical optimization, simulation, and time-series prediction
  8. Bio-healthcare
  9. Chemoinformatics / Materials Informatics
  10. Dialog, semantic parsing, symbol grounding, reasoning, or translation
  11. Speech and signal processing
  12. Interface and interaction
    • VR or AR
    • Human Computer Interaction / Human Machine Interaction, Human Robot Interaction
  13. Robotics – DL/DRL for robotics
  14. Robotics – Research and development of robot simulation
  15. Robotics – Planning of mobile robots
  16. Development of Chainer or libraries on Chainer
    • Development of Chainer
    • Development of CuPy
    • Development of area-specific libraries based on Chainer (such as ChainerCV, ChainerRL, ChainerChemistry and ChainerUI)
  17. Research and development on performance optimization of machine learning, etc.
    • Optimization of NN models for inference
    • Development of compiler techniques for deep learning
    • Development of application software for our in-house developed accelerators
    • Development of processor, low-power computer architecture and VLSI technology for deep learning
  18. Research and development of infrastructure for machine learning
    • HPC and distributed data management for distributed deep learning / deep learning
    • Development of experiment management systems, cluster management, experimental environment optimization for machine learning
    • Research and development of Edge Heavy Computing/In-Network Computing
    • Development of Optuna
  19. Research and development of pipeline automation tools for machine learning
    • Topics related to automation of machine learning pipeline, including hyper parameter optimization, architecture search, and feature engineering
  20. Front-end development
    • 【Renewal on April 5th】Development of information visualization tool, annotation tool / front-end for machine learning
    • Development of information visualization tool / front-end for machine learning
  21. Product Design
    • Concept design, sketch and user interaction for robot products
    • Development of 3D-CAD models and hardware prototypes
  22. Others
    • Free topic. We also welcome self motivated applicants who can take the lead of their own research project.



Internship Location

PFN Tokyo Office

Otemachi Bldg., 1-6-1, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100-0004



Key Qualifications

  • PFN is seeking highly motivated and skillful individuals who can develop applications, tools, etc. independently.
  • If you have knowledge or development experience in the themes that are stated in【Theme List】section, we’ll take them into consideration, but it’s not required. The minimum requirements are:
    • Currently enrolled in high school, technical college, university, or graduate school. Negotiable for those attending other higher education institutions
    • Fluent in Japanese or English
    • Strong communication skills
    • Prior experience in programming (any language)
    • Can work from our Tokyo office on weekdays
      (we’re not accepting remote working for the internship program currently)
  • Do not hesitate to apply even if you don’t have prior experience in full-scale development.



Important Notes before You Apply

  • We are not accepting applications from students who need support for obtaining the designated activity visa to work as an intern. Call for such applications for this year has already been closed.
  • Non-Japanese students who are studying at Japanese universities with student visa must make sure to get 【Permission for Other Activity / 資格外活動許可】before the start date of your PFN internship program
  • You need to let us know in advance if any administrative work is required to receive academic credit from your school. Please note that depending on the complexity of the work, PFN may not be able to accommodate your request.



How to Apply

  • Click this application form to apply. To access the application form, you will need to log in with a Google account.  We use your personal information filled in the application form for selection of summer interns.
  • About the submission of your portfolio
    • Summarize your skills and qualifications freely in an A4 paper to pitch yourself.
    • Highlight and showcase some of your best work such as software you have developed, published papers, awards or prizes you have received, programming contests you have participated in, your blog, your sites, Twitter account, and other social media sites.
    • Please upload it using the “Portfolio to pitch yourself” field in the application form.
  • Deadline:April 18th (Thu) 12:00 PM JST (No late submission allowed)
  • For inquiries:email to intern2019-admin@preferred.jp



Selection Process

  • First screening
    • After we close the application on April 18, we will send the coding tests to all applicants (in principle) on April 19.
      【Updated on Mar 29】For those who choose 21. Product Design, we will send you the guideline of a task instead of coding test.
    • The deadline for completing these tests is May 7 (subject to change).
  • Interview
    • The interview will take place within 3 weeks from May 27.
    • For students living in distant areas, PFN will arrange an online (video) interview via Wepow.
  • Offer
    • The letter of acceptance is planned to be delivered on June 25 or later



Basic Employment Conditions And Benefits

  • Salaries:
    • 2,500 yen an hour for technical college, university, graduate school students
    • 2,000 yen an hour for high school students
  • Work hours:8 hours in principle. 5 days a week excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.  
  • Commuting fee support:PFN will pay for your daily commute to and from the office in an approved route.
  • Travel cost:For students traveling a long distance by plane or Shinkansen to participate in the internship, PFN will support the cost for one round trip to relocate between the Tokyo area and the place where you’re currently living.
  • Accommodation support:For students coming from distant areas, PFN will provide an accommodation allowance of 5,000 yen per day for the entire period of your internship including holidays.
    • You need to arrange a place to stay by yourself. Reasonable weekly rental apartments are available near PFN office ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 yen a month.
    • Please note that the accommodation allowance is taxable.


Contact us here.