Skip to main content

Research for Intelligence & Security Challenges

Summer Internship for Hard Security Problems 

June 1 – August 6, 2021

The Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland, College Park, is seeking outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the virtual Research for Intelligence & Security Challenges (RISC) Initiative internship program, building off the success of the 2020 AI Research for IC Challenges (AIRICC) program.  This exciting 10-week paid program will pair students with mentors from the UMD campus and the Department of Defense (DOD) and Intelligence Community (IC) community and offer the potential opportunity to be considered for future employment with the US government, to include possible sponsorship for a security clearance.

Students will be introduced to career opportunities with the DoD and IC as well as develop their technical capabilities through hands-on real-world problems.  Project topics will be posed by government operators and supported with realistic data sets and other materials. Over the 10-week period, students will participate in lectures and regular team development meetings in a shared virtual work environment. The summer program will conclude with a demonstration event and workshop, with a panel of visiting experts from DOD/IC to discuss the results.


We seek outstanding graduate and senior undergraduate students with expertise in the disciplines listed below. Students must be U.S. citizens and be available full-time for the duration of the program. Candidates do not need to be University of Maryland students, though UMD students are of course encourages to apply. Selection criteria emphasize technical strengths in relevant fields, experience working both independently and in teams, and demonstrated interest in contributing to national security.

While specific topics are in development, the missions supported are likely to include geospatial analysis, human geography, disinformation, insider risk, and critical technology protection. The RISC Initiative is particularly seeking interns with expertise in one or more of the following disciplines:

  1. Computer Science, Information Science & Engineering: AI/ML algorithmic development, HCI, data science, data and knowledge engineering, software engineering, systems engineering, media analysis and forensics, information systems design, GIS;
  2. Mathematics and Statistics: Data analytics, quantitative modeling, experimental design, graph analytics, data visualization;
  3. Social & Behavioral Sciences: anthropology, human geography (e.g., pattern of life and mobility modeling), cognitive/neuroscience & psychology, criminal justice, teamwork, and group dynamics, communications, disinformation, and misinformation;
  4. Library Science: Data curation, tagging, metadata, repositories, social media analytics;
  5. Additional topics may include: Measurement and evaluation of learning outcomes, environmental modeling and remote sensing, human factors, regulatory public policy.



Interns will be paid a weekly stipend of up to $1,000, commensurate with education and experience. Given the virtual platform, housing accommodations, transportation, and food allowances are not provided.


To apply:

Please assemble a package including

  1. Your resume,
  2. A copy of your transcripts,
  3. One recommendation letter from a professor or former supervisor
    (send directly to with “Recommendation letter for [name]” as the subject line), and
  4. A letter of interest describing your disciplinary focus (referencing the topic areas above), experiences that have prepared you for success in an internship focused on intelligence and security challenges, and anything else in your background that that could be helpful for the selection committee to know.

Submit your package (and send any questions) to

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 26, 2021.

Notifications to accepted students will be sent out by Friday, April 9, 2021.


Download PDF announcement