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The 2022 summer session of the RISC Internship has ended -- learn more here.


Research for Intelligence & Security Challenges

Summer Internship for Hard Security Problems 

May 31 – August 5, 2022

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 2021 RISC Initiative 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 conduct research and 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.

The program is structured to facilitate interactions within teams, between teams, and with government sponsor representatives. Interns attend weekly seminars and regular team development meetings in a shared virtual work environment. Those living in the area have opportunities for occasional on-site work at UMD ARLIS.

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We seek outstanding graduate and senior undergraduate students with expertise in the disciplines listed below. Candidates do not need to be students at the University of Maryland, but should not have graduated before Fall 2021. Candidates must also be U.S. citizens, and must be available full-time for the duration of the program.

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, supply chain management, 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. Languages and Linguistics: languages of interest to global security including but not limited to Mandarin, Russian, Farsi, Korean, and Arabic;
  5. Library Science: Data curation, tagging, metadata, repositories, social media analytics;
  6. Additional topics may include Measurement and evaluation of learning outcomes, environmental modeling and remote sensing, human factors, and regulatory public policy.


Selection criteria emphasize demonstrated strengths in relevant fields, experience working both independently and in teams, and demonstrated interest in contributing to national security.



Interns will be paid a weekly stipend between $900 and $1,200, commensurate with education and experience. Given the virtual platform, housing accommodations, transportation, and food allowances are not provided. However, for those local to the DC area, part-time physical campus workspace can be provided.


To apply:

Please assemble a package (PDF format preferred) including

  1. 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;
    • Experience with machine learning, programming, and/or statistics (not required for all roles); and
    • Anything else in your background that could be helpful for the selection committee to know.
  2. Your resume,
  3. A copy of your transcripts**, and
  4. One recommendation letter from a professor or former supervisor.
    (send directly to with “Recommendation letter for [name]” as the subject line).


How to submit:

  • (Preferred) Online submission at this link.
  • (Alternate) Submit your package (#1-3) to with "RISC 2022 Application for [name]" as the subject line.


Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 11 18, 2022. (extended by one week!)
Notifications to accepted students will be sent out by Friday, March 25, 2022.

**: graduate students should submit undergraduate transcripts, particularly if in their first year of study