The X-Force program is an opportunity for technologists and entrepreneurs to serve their country by collaborating with the United States military on real-world problem solving.

NISN currently offers two versions of the X-Force program:

  1. X-Force Fellowship: a full-time, in-person, paid summer fellowship program
  2. X-Force Remote: a part-time, remote, volunteer opportunity.


The X-Force program is currently conducting our pilot cohort from June through August 2019. Right now, forty students from ten universities are working with fifteen military problem sponsors across five states to develop prototype capabilities that address real-world problem topics. These students possess a diverse set of skills ranging from mobile and web app development, data analysis and visualization, hardware prototyping, social media strategy, and technology scouting.

Our participants come from the Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, the University of Virginia, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of North Georgia, Florida Polytechnic University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Colorado Boulder, California State University, and the University of California San Diego.

Participants interested in future X-Force opportunities can register interest here:

Register Interest Here


The X-Force program addresses real-world military problems that require technical and entrepreneurial expertise. During the fellowship, military sponsors must supply an Action Officer to engage with their fellows on a weekly basis and are expected to provide fellows regular on-base access to facilities and personnel where appropriate and relevant.

By the end of the fellowship, sponsors will receive a demonstration of the capability developed by their fellows and are expected to continue development and iteration afterwards.

Current X-Force military sponsors include:

  • 4th Fighter Wing
  • 20th Fighter Wing
  • 461st Air Control Wing
  • 66th Air Operations Squadron
  • Air Force Technical Applications Center
  • US Army Special Operations Command
  • 4th Psychological Operations Group
  • 3/75th Ranger Regiment
  • North Carolina National Guard
  • 2nd Marine Corps Logistics Group
  • US Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Information
  • Commander Naval Air Forces

Interested military hosts should email

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

Undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates are eligible to apply for the X-Force Fellowship while participation in the X-Force Remote program is unrestricted by age or experience. Top applicants must have demonstrated technical or entrepreneurial experience or expertise. Evidence of past self-directed work is preferred. Participants must be U.S. citizens.

What will participants be doing?

X-Force participants will engage with Department of Defense (DoD) partners for three to six months of applied problem solving. Participants will work on problems sponsored by their DoD hosts potentially including:

  1. Technical (e.g. software development, data analytics, mechanical design/prototyping)
  2. Strategy (e.g. communications and social media strategy)
  3. Research (e.g. emerging technology scouting) projects.

Participants will be expected to deliver a prototype capability to their military sponsors by the end of the program.

Where will the program take place?

X-Force Fellows will be located near their military problem sponsors within commuting distance for weekly in-person engagement with their sponsors (e.g. a Fellow may be based in Research Triangle Park if collaborating with a sponsor on Fort Bragg).

X-Force Remote participants will work remotely and collaborate with their team and military sponsor over Skype, phone, email, and Slack.

When will the program take place?

The X-Force Fellowship is a summer program from June 1st through August 31st, with specific start and end dates set by the participants and military sponsors. Fellows are expected to work 40 hours per week.

X-Force Remote will run from June 10th through August 31st and expected to dedicate 5-10 hours per week on their project. Future cohorts will begin as early as September 1st.

Is this program paid?

X-Force Fellows will be paid a stipend of around $2,500 per month and have a small budget for travel, materials, and other expenses related to the delivery of a product to their sponsor.

X-Force Remote volunteers are unpaid.

Important Dates

01 JUN, 2019: X-Force pilot begins

31 AUG, 2019: X-Force pilot ends


  • Department of Defense

Questions about X-Force?

Please direct any questions to