Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Paid Summer Internships with the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security at UMD




MAY 30 – AUGUST 4, 2023

The Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland, College Park, is now accepting applications for the 2022 Research for Intelligence & Security Challenges (RISC) Initiative internship program. 

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 Research for Intelligence & Security Challenges (RISC) Initiative internship program. This exciting 10-week paid program pairs students with faculty mentors from INSURE consortium member institutions and the Department of Defense (DOD) and Intelligence Community (IC) and offers the opportunity to be sponsored for a security clearance and to be considered for future employment with the U.S. government.

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 (though select projects may require on-site work). Interns then participate in final week briefings and activities in person (with travel support).


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 2022. All U.S. citizens enrolled in an accredited university program -- particularly rising juniors and seniors and early graduate students -- are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Internships are a 40-hour-a-week commitment and second employment and summer courses are strongly discouraged. Candidates should engage the program office to discuss further.

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, software engineering, systems engineering, media analysis and forensics, information systems design, geographic information systems, AI Assurance, Human Systems Integration; 
  2. Mathematics and Statistics: Data analytics, quantitative modeling, experimental design, graph analytics; 
  3. Social & Behavioral Sciences: cognitive/neuroscience & psychology, sociology, criminal justice, teamwork and group dynamics, communications, disinformation and misinformation, social network analysis, anthropology, human geography (e.g., pattern of life/mobility modeling), political science, international relations
  4. Languages and Linguistics: languages of interest to global security including but not limited to Mandarin, Russian, Farsi, Korean, and Arabic; computational linguistics and natural language processing; natural language understanding; 
  5. Data Science: Data and knowledge engineering, data curation, tagging, metadata, repositories, data visualization, library sciences; 
  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 on an hourly basis equivalent to between $900 and $1,200 over the ten weeks, 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.


You will need:

  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 résumé,
  3. 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).

Want to learn more? We will host a series of RISC information sessions for interested students, including hearing from past RISCers. The first session will be held virtually on November 16th from 4:00-5:00 PM EST; additional details will be posted on the RISC 2023 page.