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Call for Applications for PFN Summer Internship 2020


Important Notice

2020/04/24 Update: We have closed the call for applications for PFN Summer Domestic Internship 2020. Thank you for many applications.

2020/04/23 Update: Due to COVID-19, we’ve decided to hold this year’s domestic summer internship program remotely. After reviewing the feasibility of each theme, we concluded that it would be difficult to hold “19. Development of Modules for Human Pose Estimation” remotely and cancelled it.

This program is only for students who already have visa eligibility to work in Japan as an intern this summer. Applications for 2020 global internships (those who need visa support to work in Japan) are being accepted separately till March 30, 2020. For details, please visit https://www.preferred.jp/en/news/internship2020global/ (Closed).

Note that depending on the situation of the COVID-19 infection in Japan in the future, we may take measures such as canceling the program or changing the schedule and contents of the program.


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.


Characteristics and Duration of PFN Internship

Theme List

Key Qualifications

Important Notes before You Apply

How to Apply

Selection Process

Basic Employment Conditions and Benefits

Characteristics and Duration of PFN Internship

  • Over the 1.5 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 internship theme with specialists in various fields including deep learning, computer vision, robotics, bio-healthcare, reinforcement learning, and distributed processing.
  • We encourage the results of the internship to be published as OSS, papers, and PFN Research & Development blogs if there are no confidentiality or rights issues.  
  • Start date:Tuesday, August 11th, 2020  (Negotiable)
  • End date: Friday, September 18th, 2020
    • You can choose to continue to work in the week of September 23rd – 30th under the same terms and conditions.
      • This year’s internship will end on September 18th in principle in consideration of the fact that many schools start their fall semester in late September. 
      • If the above case does not pertain to you and you need more time to finalize your research or want to spend more time with our staff, you can extend your internship until September 30th under the same terms and conditions. 
      • We understand you may have to be absent for (e.g.) lab activities, attending academic conferences, and returning home for family commitments. We are flexible about your need to take days off due to these reasons.

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Theme List

  • For the 2020 Domestic Internship at PFN, we have prepared the themes listed further below for both engineering interns and research interns:
    • Engineering intern: who emphasizes development that does not necessarily aim for research presentation (re-implementation of dissertation, development of OSS, etc.)
    • Research intern: who aims to conduct research more autonomously and publish the results as a paper
  • During the selection process or after completion, you will discuss with our members to finalize your theme. You can choose up to 2 themes in the application form. 
  • Any intellectual properties achieved through your internship activities shall belong to PFN.  Therefore, upon determination of intern theme, please ensure not to bring your own research theme at the research lab at your university or other organization you belong to.

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[+] 1. Research and Development on Data Science / Machine Learning Application

[+] 2. Development of a Framework or Libraries for Executing Deep Learning Models on Actual Products

[+] 3. Development and Application of Differentiable Graphics and Rendering

[+] 4. Research and Development on Image Recognition

[+] 5. Development of Object Recognition System Using 3D Data

[+] 6. High-Performance Data Communication Network for Parallel and Distributed Deep Learning

[+] 7. Development of Compiler Backend for MN-Core

[+] 8. Development of System Software for MN-Core

[+] 9. Development of a Library for Multiple-types of Biological Data Analysis

[+] 10. Application Research or Development of Machine Learning or Molecular Simulation in Drug Discovery

[+] 11. Deep Learning-based Atomic simulation and Its Application to Material Development

[+] 12. Application of deep learning techniques to animation

[+] 13. Development of Simulator Developing Technologies and Simulator-related Technologies for Industrial Process

[+] 14. Application of Reinforcement Learning to Robotics

[+] 15.Computer Vision for Autonomous Driving

[+] 16. Development of Optuna

[+] 17. Development of Distributed Reinforcement Learning Technology

[+] 18. Development of Related Localization Technology

[+] [Cancelled] 19. Development of Modules for Human Pose Estimation

Due to COVID-19, we’ve decided to hold this event remotely. After reviewing, we concluded that it would be difficult to hold this theme remotely and decided to cancel it. We will contact those who already applied for this theme over email individually.

[+] 20. Quantitative Finance Using Machine Learning


[+] 21. Machine Learning-based Physical Simulation

[+] 22. Research on the Current Medical Image Problems Such As Practical Use of Few Samples and/or Evaluation of the Difference between Facilities / Machines

[+] 23. Machine Learning Research: Deep Learning towards Society

[+] 24. Quantitative Finance Using Machine Learning

[+] 25. Next-generation Architectures for Highly Efficient Learning and Inference

[+] 26. Machine Learning and EDA

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Key Qualifications

  • PFN is seeking highly motivated and skilled individuals who can develop applications, tools, etc., independently. 
  • Knowledge and development experience based on the themes listed in [Theme List] will be considered in the selection process. Please check each theme for details. The common 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
    • Can work from our Tokyo office on weekdays
      (we are 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.

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Important Notes before You Apply

  • Non-Japanese students who are studying at Japanese universities with a 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.

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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 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:Friday, April 24th, 12:00 PM JST (No late submission allowed)
  • For inquiries:intern2020-admin@preferred.jp
    • An online Q&A session will be set separately soon. Please follow our Twitter account (@PreferredNet) to check the details!

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Selection Process

First screening

  • After we close the application on April 24th, we will send the coding tests to all applicants in principle on the same day after 18:00.
  • The deadline for submitting coding tests is May 8th, 12:00 PM JST.
  • The result of the first screening will be sent after May 22nd.


  • One interview, in principle.  Additional interviews may also be required depending on the situation.
  • Interview will be held in the PFN Tokyo Office. Remote interview via Zoom is also available for candidates in distant areas.
    ※Some or all interviews may be conducted online due to the COVID-19.
  • The interview will take place within 4 weeks from May 25th. 


  • The notification of the overall interview result will be given on June 29th or later.

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Basic Employment Conditions And Benefits

  • Location
    • PFN Tokyo Office
    • Otemachi Bldg., 1-6-1, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100-0004
  • 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 the PFN office ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 yen a month. 
    • Please note that the accommodation allowance is taxable.

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