The 2023 NSIN X-Force Fellowship is a summer fellowship 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. military.

The 2023 NSIN X-Force Fellowship launched last week as 245 undergraduate and graduate students from 90 universities prepared to spend their summer embedded with operational military commands, using their technical and entrepreneurial skills to develop and deliver rapid, early-stage prototypes that will help solve government project-sponsor challenges.

As the Department of Defense (DoD) is innovating new ways to compete with private industry to attract top talent into its workforce, the X-Force Fellowship offers students an opportunity to work with the military and experience jobs in the defense innovation sector before they graduate. By building relationships between students and service members over the summer, the DoD receives ideas and solutions created in the fellowship from the nation’s greatest asset – highly talented undergraduate and graduate students – all while building relationships with them and cultivating their interest in defense.

During the fellowship, X-Force Fellows will support more than 65 Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps partners with 110 national-security projects. Each week, students meet with their military partners to identify pain points and to better understand how they can create feasible solutions for the DoD. Students will also attend a weekly speaker series where they will learn leadership from DoD senior staff members.

“This year marks our largest X-Force Fellows program to date,” said Cheryl Ingstad, NSIN Managing Director. “The rapid growth of this initiative shows the value it brings to the national security community. These brilliant students will get to work first-hand with military leaders to solve unique challenges, explore new ways of thinking, and further develop our nation’s ability to defend itself from adversaries. I am incredibly excited to see what they will accomplish, not only this summer but throughout the rest of their careers.”

At the end of the program, fellows deliver and demonstrate their solutions to DoD partners and receive guidance for further development and iteration.

“The X-Force Fellows program helps bring talented minds into the Department of Defense,” said Yunheng (Daniel) Zhu, the X-Force program manager. “We hope that every student understands the importance of their work and this further encourages them to pursue a career protecting our nation.”

At its core, the X-Force program matches highly talented undergraduate and graduate students with operational military commands to deliver rapid, early stage prototypes that help solve project sponsor problems

About National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)

NSIN is a government program office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD(R&E)) that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate three portfolios of programs and services: National Service, Collaboration, and Acceleration. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.

For more information about X-Force or to connect with a fellow, contact