For Immediate Release
June 1, 2020
A unique program hosted by the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), a program office within the U.S. Department of Defense, is providing summer fellowships for college students to work on national security challenges. The NSIN X-Force program, originally established in 2019, has seen substantial growth in the past 12 months.
Now in its second year, X-Force offers fellowships for undergraduate and graduate technologists and entrepreneurs to work on national security problems in collaboration with the U. S. military. As the program officially kicks off on June 1, it boasts more than double the number of accepted participants over last year.
“The X-Force program is unique because it provides opportunities for college students to work directly on challenges with select DoD customers and their contributions will be distinctive and valuable,” said Morgan Plummer, NSIN Managing Director. “We significantly increased our application pool this year with more than 750 students vying for a finite number of positions. In 2020, our X-Force fellows come from 40 universities offering a wide-range of skills from mobile and web app development to data analysis and visualization, and from hardware prototyping to social media strategy to technology scouting.”
With 116 undergraduate and graduate student participants this summer, NSIN’s X-Force program addresses real-world military problems that require the technical and entrepreneurial skills the program fellows possess. As a result of the nationwide COVID19 response, the program will be conducted exclusively virtually, including three phases:
- identification of projects and matching students with DoD customers;
- completion of all project work and communication activities during the internship that runs from June 1 through August 14; and,
- program conclusion and administrative actions
“The experiences for our X-Force program participants is tremendous,” Plummer said. “The marked increase in the number of interested and accepted, participating students, and an undeniable plus in this program is that we continue to get customers who are highly engaged. As a result, X-Force is extremely beneficial for everyone involved.”
Fellowships will include exceptional virtual learning and participation events:
- Kick-off that will focus on key information for success in the program, expectations, and an overview of what each student and customer can expect;
- Speaker Series events for students each Friday featuring active duty military members speaking on specific topics of interest to students;
- Demo Days events designed to allow students to showcase their work to all participating teams, as well as gain access to lesson learned and best practices;
- Closing Event for students and customers where successes, lessons learned, and key contributors and performers are recognized; and
- Follow on Actions, in which students receive information on additional opportunities and regular updates on the status of their projects.
Participating customers come from various branches of the U.S. military and its administrative units.
The NSIN mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” NSIN is headquartered in Arlington, VA, and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs, and embedded university partnerships, NSIN builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming that solves real-world, DoD problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.