QSCOUT Call For Proposals 2022

The official call for proposals is now closed.

However, you may submit a one-page whitepaper for review at any time, at which point you may be encouraged to write a full proposal, either off-cycle or at the next call.

Whitepapers should be a document or pdf that includes:

  • Title
  • Authors and research institution(s)
  • A brief description of intended research
  • A brief description of the capabilities you require of QSCOUT to carry out this research

Email text with a link to a paper does not count as a whitepaper

Email whitepapers to qscout@sandia.gov

The Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed (QSCOUT) is a 5 year DOE program to build a quantum testbed based on trapped ions that is available to the research community. As an open platform, it will not only provide full specifications and control for the realization of all gate-level quantum and classical processes, it will also enable researchers to investigate, alter, and optimize the pulse level gate implementations of the testbed and evaluate more advanced gate implementations of quantum operations.

QSCOUT will be made operational in stages, with each stage adding more ion qubits, greater classical control, and improved fidelities. We are excited to collaborate with the broad quantum computing community.

Who can be a QSCOUT User – Individuals and teams from industry, academia, and government institutions from around the world are invited to submit proposals to use the QSCOUT testbed. As a DOE funded testbed, QSCOUT provides access to its staff and quantum computing resources at no fee to approved users for non-proprietary quantum information processing research.

What will be available – The QSCOUT testbed is based on hyperfine clock-state qubits stored in trapped ytterbium-171 ions. A quantum register is realized by a chain of ions trapped in a microfabricated surface ion trap. Single and two-qubit gates are realized using individually addressing Raman beams.


  • Yet unspecified number of qubits (between 5 and 20)
  • Single qubit gates, both individual and parallel addressing possible (expected 10 μs, 99.5% fidelity)
  • Sequential two-qubit Mølmer-Sørensen gates (expected 200 μs, 99% fidelity)
  • Two-qubit gates can be between any pair of ions (fully connected)
  • Beginning of circuit: all ions prepared in the |0〉 state of the z-basis
  • End of circuit: all ions measured in the z-basis
  • There are no mid-circuit measurements available for this iteration

More details:

Scientific expertise at Sandia – Use of the QSCOUT system will be in collaboration with Sandia Scientists who will help users implement their quantum computation, advise on the optimization of quantum programs for the QSCOUT system, and collaborate with users to understand the performance of the testbed system.

How to apply – Access to QSCOUT is obtained by submitting a QSCOUT collaboration proposal. These proposals are a concise statement of research that you desire to perform in collaboration with Sandia scientists using the QSCOUT platform.  Potential users are encouraged to contact qscout@sandia.gov at any time during the proposal process to discuss requirements, collaborative efforts, and capabilities of the testbed system.

Proposal contents – Proposals must use the provided template and contain:

  • A cover page stating title of proposal as well as name, affiliation, and contact information of the proposer
  • A description of the proposed work containing (maximum 3 pages, letter sized, 11pt font, 1” margins on all sides):
    • A statement of the scientific question being addressed in this collaboration proposal.
    • A brief description of the state of research in this area and how the proposed work is advancing the field.
    • Required capabilities and a reason why the QSCOUT testbed is the best system to conduct the proposed research.
    • A statement of the expected impact of the proposed work.
    • Figures supporting the description of proposed work.
  • References (maximum 1 page)

A template for proposals is available in MS Word and Latex

Proposal selection – Proposals will be internally screened for feasibility to realize the proposed work on the testbed system and prioritized by a review panel based upon scientific merit and suitability of the proposed research for QSCOUT. The review panel will consist of scientists external to the QSCOUT project. Collaborative proposals with QSCOUT scientists are encouraged. Approved proposals will receive up to 80 hours of execution time on the testbed. An executed user agreement between Sandia National Laboratories and the user institution(s) must be in place prior to starting the approved project.  Sample user agreement templates are available for Private Companies, Universities, and National Labs.  Please make sure your institution is able to sign them as is, as modifications are not allowed.  The project results should be published in peer-reviewed technical publications acknowledging use of the QSCOUT testbed. Joint publications with Sandia scientists are encouraged. Proposers not selected for access will be given brief feedback. Users will have a period of exclusive access to their data, after which all QSCOUT user data will be publicly available.

User proposal submissions – Please send your proposal for user access in Portable Document Format (pdf) to qscout@sandia.gov by the submission deadline, September 5, 2022 at 11 pm MDT (UTC-6). For questions please email qscout@sandia.gov.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA-0003525.