Homeland Security Professional Opportunities for student Workforce to Experience Research (HS-POWER)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Reference Code
Application Deadline
3/2/2020 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone
  • Are you a student looking for a professional opportunity to enhance your research interests and career goals in homeland security related areas?
  • Do you want to learn from top scientists and subject matter experts in homeland security related areas?
  • Do you want to network with your peers and members of the academic and scientific communities in business, industry, and government research facilities conducting research in DHS relevant areas?

If you answered “Yes”, to the above questions, the HS-POWER program is for you!

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate Office of University Programs sponsors the Professional Opportunities for student Workforce to Experience Research (HS-POWER) Program for undergraduate and graduate students. HS-POWER is open to students majoring in a broad spectrum of homeland security related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines as well as DHS mission-relevant research areas.

As a participant in the HS-POWER Program, you will participate in quality research experiences at federal research facilities and other HS-STEM focused entities nationwide. This experience will provide you a competitive edge as you apply your education, talent and skills in a variety of settings within the DHS enterprise.  You will also be able to establish connections with DHS professionals that promote long-term relationships between yourself, researchers, DHS personnel and research facilities.


  • Stipend: Undergraduate students receive of $600 per week and graduate students will receive $700 per week.
  • Travel: Travel reimbursement for inbound and outbound expenses up to $1,000 for participants who live more than fifty miles, one-way, from the assigned hosting site.
  • Housing Allowance: A housing allowance of $200/week is provided to participants who live more than fifty miles, one-way, from their assigned hosting facility and are paying for housing while on site.

Appointment Details

  • Appointments will be for 10 consecutive weeks during the months of June-September. Factors such as class schedules, housing availability and facility schedules may be taken into consideration when determining appointment start and end dates.
  • Interns will be assigned to research projects and/or other technical activities under the guidance of a mentor.
  • An appointment involves a full-time commitment at the host facility with the HS-POWER participant in residence at the specified location.
  • HS-POWER participants are required to have health insurance coverage during the appointment period and to provide proof of this coverage prior to the start of the appointment.

Review and Selection Process

Completed applications will undergo an eligibility and compliance check by ORISE. DHS-approved hosting facilities will review applications based on educational background, experience, interests, skills, career goals, and fit for projects. Hosting facilities will submit their recommended candidates to DHS. Final selection for HS-POWER will be made by a federal official from DHS. DHS will notify ORISE of final selections and ORISE will notify selected candidates and hosting facilities.

Nature of Appointment

Participants will not enter into an employee relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DHS, or hosting laboratory.  Instead, participants will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

For more information, contact us at dhsed@orau.org

A complete application consists of:

  • A completed Zintellect Profile
  • A completed Application The application includes questions specific to the program addressing each of the following topics:
    • Personal Narrative: Describe your personal motivation for applying as well as your specific interest in the program.
    • Career Goals: Describe your career goals and the ways that participation in the program may assist you in accomplishing your goals-include any relevant experience. What do you hope to learn over the course of the appointment that may help you meet your career goals? How does your future career interest align with DHS’s mission to safeguard the American people?
    • Research Interests and Relevance to DHS Research Areas: Describe how your personal research interests and completed coursework align with DHS research areas. Describe your current research interests, including one or more research questions or problems you would like to pursue. In your essay, attribute words and ideas other than your own to their proper source.
  • Transcripts/Academic Records - Unofficial transcripts or copies of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institutional systems may be submitted. Transcripts/Academic records must include name of the academic institution, name of the student, completed/in progress coursework and grades through Fall 2019. Transcripts must show the equivalent of at least one year of full-time postsecondary school attendance. Copies of official transcripts will be required if an appointment is offered to verify enrollment during the 2020 spring term.
  • Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two relevant letters of recommendation. These letters should address your academic record and potential for success in an appointment as indicated by academic accomplishments, as well as communication and teamwork skills. Recommendations must be submitted via Zintellect by Monday, March 2, 2020, 9:00 A.M. Eastern Time Zone.

All documents must be submitted via Zintellect. All application components must be received in the system in order to be considered.


In order to be considered, applicants must meet each of the following criteria:

  • Be a United States (U.S.) citizen as of the application deadline. Evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted to ORISE at the time appointment is accepted.
  • Be at least 18 years of age by May 1, 2020.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale as of Fall 2019.
  • Be majoring in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field with interest in homeland security research as described in the DHS Research Areas.
  • Be interested in pursuing long-term career goals aligned with the DHS mission and objectives.
  • Have the ability to obtain and maintain the required security clearance to access hosting facility.
  • Meet one of the following conditions:
    • Full-time enrollment as a sophomore or junior undergraduate student at a U.S. accredited 2-year or 4-year college or university during the 2019-2020 academic year.
    • Full-time enrollment as a senior undergraduate student at a U.S. accredited 4-year college or university during the 2019-2020 academic year and plans to be enrolled as a graduate student at a U.S. accredited college or university for Fall 2020.
    • Full-time enrollment as a graduate student at a U.S. accredited college or university during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Additional Information

  • For students enrolled at a 2-year institution during the 2019-2020 academic year: Internship assignment is contingent on the student providing proof of application to a 4-year institution at the time appointment is accepted.
  • For undergraduate seniors graduating in spring or summer 2020: Internship assignment is contingent on the student providing proof of application to an accredited graduate institution at the time appointment is accepted.
  • Graduate students with an expected graduation date prior to the summer term are not eligible to participate.
  • Students must demonstrate interest in research and development of innovative, next-generation homeland security solutions with potential for broad impact that align with the DHS mission to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.
  • Ideal candidates will have a demonstrated history of work, undergraduate research experience, or service learning/volunteer roles.

Important Information

Preference will be given to applicants who are:

  • Veterans and Disabled Veterans
  • Underrepresented minorities in STEM
  • Women
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Persons possessing a suitability or security clearance within the last five years
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Currently pursuing an Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree.
  • Overall GPA: 3.00
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students or Undergraduate Students.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Business (5 )
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (6 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (16 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (10 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (6 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (28 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years old by 5/1/2020
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).

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