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Call for Applications for PFN Summer Internship 2022


Preferred Networks (PFN) is looking for highly motivated interns to work with us this summer. We welcome applications from students who are interested in working together to create new technologies, software, and services, not only in machine learning, but also in a wide range of other areas of computer science.


PFN Internship Overview

  • Over the 1.5 month period, PFN researchers and engineers will be assigned to work with you as your mentors. You’ll have opportunities to discuss your internship themes and engage in research and development with the mentors specialized in various fields including deep learning, computer vision, robotics, life sciences, UI, and distributed processing.
  • We encourage the results of the internship to be published in the forms of OSS, papers, and PFN Research & Development blogs if there are no confidentiality or rights issues.  
  • PFN also values ​​the diversity of its members and the working environment. We are looking forward to receiving applications from women, internationals and students from all kinds of backgrounds. All applicants will be selected fairly based on their skills.
  • Start date: Wednesday, August 3, 2022
  • End date: Friday, September 16, 2022
    • Start and end dates are negotiable according to class schedules and other circumstances of the participants.
    • This year’s internship will end on September 16 since many schools start their fall semester in late September. 
    • If the schedule does not pertain to you and you need more time to finalize your research or need to spend more time with us, you can extend your internship until September 30 under the same terms and conditions. 
    • During your internship, we understand you may have to be absent for lab activities, academic conferences, and returning home for family commitments, etc. We are flexible about your need to take days off due to these reasons.

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Mentoring & Events in the office:

Last year, our internship was held fully remotely in response to the COVID-19 situation but this year we plan to provide some mentoring and events onsite at the PFN office with certain infection prevention measures. Although subject to change depending on the infection situation, we plan to have the interns come to the office about 2 or 3 days per week for in-person collaborations and presentations in addition to online mentoring. This is to make sure the interns can deepen their knowledge of our company through ample opportunities for communication, and make the internship fruitful.

Messages from our employees and the past interns:

Casey Chu Intern in 2019, OpenAI

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do research while experiencing living abroad in Japan. During the work day, I was able to explore the world of deep learning; during nights and weekends, I explored the action-packed streets of Tokyo. With my mentors Minami-san and Fukumizu-sensei, we were able to publish an ICLR 2020 conference paper [1] and workshop paper [2]. My experience at PFN helped me get to my current researcher position at OpenAI and is one of the most valuable experiences of my life.

[1] https://openreview.net/forum?id=HJeOekHKwr
[2] https://openreview.net/forum?id=M390_F-0o

Momoko Hattori Intern in 2019, The University of Tokyo

I am a graduate student studying programming language and program verification. I used to think that PFN internship was only for students with machine learning specialization and not for me, until a blog article by an ex-PFN intern, who happens to be an ex-member of my research group, encouraged me to apply. Luckily, I was assigned a research project that matches my interest, and I had lots of fun working on it. It helped me to familiarize myself with the interdisciplinary field of machine learning and programming language as well.

Shugo Miyamoto Intern in 2020, The University of Tokyo

In 2020, PFN started recruiting internships in many new themes, including ones that I am interested in, so I have decided to apply for it. People working at PFN have knowledge and technology at a very high level, so I believe during the internship you would be able to deepen technical discussion while you get supported by mentors in unfamiliar fields. You will have to work on some assignments if you apply for the internship, but don’t worry; I felt that the assignments are neither too difficult nor too large, so let’s challenge!

Ayaka Kume Intern in 2015, PFN Employee from 2016

I worked on some robot related projects when I joined the company, but after taking maternity and childcare leave, I changed fields to visual inspection and anomaly detection in manufacturing. I am still learning a lot of new things during work every day. During my internship period, I also learned a lot from the comments and feedback people provided on my work. Moreover, I was able to learn new and interesting ideas from the work of employees and other interns, which became my main reason to join the company. I think PFN is a good environment for people who want to learn various things and apply them in the real world. Please consider applying for our internship.

Yusuke Niitani Intern in 2016, PFN Employee from 2018

During my internship, I worked on image recognition. Although I had some experience applying image recognition to the robotics field before the internship, I had not had a chance to work with experts of images recognition. The internship at PFN was a great opportunity to broaden my interest and helped me decide my career direction.

Minjun Li Intern in 2019, PFN Employee from 2020

It was a fantastic experience interning at PFN. I was interned at the Creative Team. Specifically, my internship was focused on making an easy-to-use tool for interactive anime face editing. The abundant amount of computing resources in PFN made it possible for me to have countless trials and errors. The everyday lunch conversations with my colleagues definitely helped me to discover new thoughts or sometimes crazy ideas. Presenting our demo in front of all the employees was one of the coolest things I have ever done. Our anime face editing tool eventually became a feature of the Crypko service. This internship also largely motivated me to join PFN, and continue working in the Creative Team to make creation more accessible for everyone.

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PFN Internship Online Information Session

The PFN Internship online information session will be held in Japanese. For details please check the Japanese page.

Theme List

  • For the 2022 Domestic Internship at PFN, we have prepared two types of programs; research internship that aims to publish research papers, and project internship in which interns take part in ongoing projects at PFN. The themes for each program are listed below.
  • During or after the selection process, you will make discussions with PFN members to finalize your theme. You can choose up to 2 themes in the application form. 
  • Any intellectual property achieved through your internship activities shall belong to PFN. Therefore, when determining your internship theme, please ensure that you do not select the research theme you have worked on in your university research lab or other organization you belong to.

[Expand all] [Collapse all]

Project Internships

[+] Computational Infrastructure

[+] System Development

[+] Optimization

[+] Computer Vision

[+] Engineering Applications

[+] Drug Discovery・Materials Informatics

[+] Retail

[+] Autonomous Driving

[+] Education

[+] Entertainment

Research Internships

[+] Machine Learning in General

[+] Computer Vision

[+] Engineering Applications

[+] HCI

[+] Communication

[+] Drug Discovery・Materials Informatics

[+] Entertainment

[+] Finance

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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 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
    • Must be able to come to our Tokyo office and work online on weekdays during the internship period (lodging assistance will be provided for those living far away).
    • Must have legal qualifications that allow internship / part-time job activities in Japan during the internship period (e.g. Japanese nationality, permanent residency, student visa.)
  • Please do not hesitate to apply even if you don’t have prior experience in full-scale development. Re-entry for those who applied in the past is also possible (except for those who have already participated in past internship programs).

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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. 
    • * You need to log in with your Google account to access the application form.
    • * Personal information entered in the application form will be used for the purpose of intern selection.

[Application deadline]

  • April 26, 2022, 23:59 PM (Japan time, No application accepted after the deadline)

[Note on Application]

  • Resume and file format are PDF only. Please submit using the application form.
  • Everyone is requested to use the e-mail address used during the application process as the selection ID, so please do not use anything other than the e-mail address you registered with during the selection period.

[Notes on resume]

  • Be as specific as possible in your resume so that we have all the information we need to be able to evaluate your abilities and experience.
  • We will use the email address you used when you applied as your selection ID, so please make sure to use the same email when you submit your assignment or contact us for any reasons. 
  •  The evaluators will read your resume and use it to determine whether it matches the theme you are applying for. Please be specific about your abilities and experiences related to the theme.
  • Please describe your award history and research experience as comprehensively as possible. Even if you find your prior work unremarkable, it may be valuable for the evaluator. 

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Selection Process

Assignment selection (coding test & thematic assignment) → Online interview → Final result announcement

  • Sunday 23:45 PM, May 8th, 2022:  Deadline for submission of assignments
  • Monday, May 23rd, 2022: Announcement of the results of the assignment selection and guidance for the online interview
  • Friday, July 1st, 2022: Final result announcement

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Salary and Benefits


  • 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.  


  • Earphone allowance: 3,000 JPY
  • 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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Contact us here.