NSF News

Under new partnership, NSF and the Army offer unique research internship opportunity

The U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) have initiated a joint research training opportunity through the NSF INTERN program. Two DEVCOM organizations are participating: the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC). 

The NSF INTERN program (formally known as Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students) provides graduate students with six-month experiential learning opportunities through research internships where they acquire core professional competencies and skills.  

"We are excited to partner with the U.S. Army DEVCOM to introduce a new research training opportunity for graduate students in science and engineering, aimed at equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive professionally," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "By offering real-world research experiences, we are shaping the next generation of STEM leaders and preparing students from diverse backgrounds, including veterans and persons with disabilities, for successful careers in STEM. This initiative underscores NSF's commitment to maintaining U.S. leadership in STEM and fostering a diverse, skilled workforce for the future."  

The NSF-DEVCOM INTERN opportunity will support research experiences at DEVCOM that align with ARL and GVSC research competencies. These include biotechnology, energy and fuels, extreme materials, propulsion and robotics, among others. The opportunity will fund approximately 10 internships in Fiscal Year 2024, providing up to $55,000 per student for a six-month period. 

"There is a need to pair innovation and ingenuity together for research success. We need applicants who are scientific/technical leaders such that they are sought out as advisors and consultants on significant scientific and technological problems," said Joseph Alexander, deputy director of ARL. "Thus, the focus of this effort is to advance innovative basic research in areas of strategic importance to the Army by bringing competitively selected research teams into existing Army Futures Command Collaborative Research Alliances, Collaborative Technology Alliances and research centers." 

Early this month, NSF and DEVCOM signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that enables additional cooperation where mutually beneficial opportunities emerge for advancing science and engineering research and education. This activity is the first collaboration under this MOA on scientific and engineering workforce development to spur U.S. discovery and innovation.