The X-Force Fellowship is a summer internship program that provides undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates a chance to serve their country by solving real-world national security problems in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Fellowship is a full-time (40 hours per week), paid opportunity. Depending on COVID-19 and Department of Defense guidance, the 2023 fellowship may be in-person or virtual. Fellows will be notified if the fellowship will be completed in-person or virtually in early March 2023.

Applications for the Summer 2023 cohort open October 27, 2022, and will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on February 10, 2023.


The X-Force Fellowship program is open to U.S. citizens at the undergraduate and graduate level. Fellows 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. Fellows get the opportunity to work on a mission-focused real-world project, participate in a professional development opportunity, work directly with military and national security leaders, and gain perspective as to how their skills and experience can have an outsized impact on national security.

Fellows are matched with a problem and military sponsor based on skill set, educational background, and interview feedback. Each problem will have a team of at least 3 fellows with complementary skill sets to ensure the creation of innovative and effective solutions.

Applications for the Summer 2023 NSIN X-Force Fellowship are open until 11:59 p.m. ET on February 10, 2023.

Learn More

NSIN is hosting two web-based Ask Me Anything sessions about the upcoming 2023 NSIN X-Force program.

Register for your preferred Ask Me Anything Session by clicking on the respective ZoomGov registration link below. Registration is required to attend.


Applications for the 2023 X-Force Fellowship are closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

Undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates are eligible to apply for the X-Force Fellowship. Top applicants must have demonstrated technical or entrepreneurial experience or expertise. Evidence of past self-directed work is strongly preferred.

Participants must be U.S. citizens.

Who is an ideal candidate for X-Force?

The X-Force program diversifies the national security innovation base by creating a new model of national security service. Minimal experience working with the military is not only acceptable but also preferred! Those applicants with prior military or government work experience will be evaluated and accepted by exception.

Successful applicants should anticipate an expectation of proficiency in both technical and entrepreneurial skills. Strong candidates will have a robust technical skillset, solid project-based work, an entrepreneurial mindset or experience, and demonstrated leadership ability.

What will participants be doing?

X-Force participants will engage with Department of Defense (DoD) partners for 10-weeks 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?

While the hope is to operate the 2023 fellowship in person, final determination will take into account COVID-19 considerations and the health and safety of our fellows. A final decision on an in-person vs virtual internship will be made before students are notified of selection in March. If the fellowship proceeds in person, fellows will be located near their military problem sponsors, within commuting distance for in-person engagements.

Should the fellowship be completed virtually, as with the prior cohorts, fellows will work remotely and collaborate with their team and military sponsor.

When will the program take place?

X-Force runs from June 5 - Aug. 11, 2023.

Is this program paid?

All X-Force Fellows will be paid for the duration of the 10-week internship. Additionally, certain projects may be provided a small budget for materials and other expenses related to the delivery of a solution to the project’s sponsor.

Who owns the intellectual property?

All intellectual property developed during the X-Force program belongs to the program participants. However, students are required to turn over a copy of their product to their DoD sponsors at the close of the fellowship, with the understanding that the government retains government purpose rights to findings and solutions.

Important Dates

OCT. 27, 2022: X-Force Fellowship Application opens for fellows.

NOV. 04, 2022: X-Force Fellowship submission period opens for DoD problem sponsors.

FEB. 10, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.: X-Force Application closes for fellows.

FEB. 10, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.: Submission period for DoD problem sponsors ends.

MAR. 01, 2023: Notification of Fellow Acceptances (Ongoing through March 24, 2023)

JUN. 05, 2023: X-Force 2022 Cohort Kickoff

AUG. 11, 2023: X-Force 2022 Cohort Ends/Last Day

Questions about X-Force?

Please direct any questions to

Department of Defense Hosts

The NSIN X-Force program addresses national security problems that require technical and entrepreneurial expertise. If your component seeks X-Force summer talent, please visit the X-Force Information for DoD Mission Partners page to learn more about the program and to submit a national security problem.

The problem submission period for DoD hosts is open until 11:59 p.m. ET on February 10, 2023.