2015 Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy

The Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy is a 10 week summer research and homeland security imbedded experience institute that offers two program options to academically inclined university scholars nationwide with an expressed interest in homeland security related careers in both the private and public sectors. This Academy is an annual summer internship program which was founded in the summer of 2010. Our Academy provides the opportunity for undergraduate and master’s level graduate students to work closely with UTEP professors engaged in new or ongoing research within the domains border security and immigration, or work under the mentorship of a homeland security/law enforcement practitioners or corporate professionals involved in international trade, security and commerce, and critical infrastructure protection in an imbedded internship opportunity developed between the NBCSI and our local supportive homeland security stakeholders.Application packages from students throughout the United States are solicited, and student-scholars are identified through a competitive selection process for both program options.

This program offers mentorship through either an assigned faculty mentor or actual homeland security or law enforcement practitioner for those scholars interested in homeland security related careers. It helps nurture their interest and prepares the future practitioners and operators who may one day serve the different DHS components. The program helps Academy student participants discover career possibilities in homeland security, as well as pathways to those careers, and provides them an ‘insiders’ perspective to better understand the different missions and operational structures of DHS agencies engaged in border security and immigration issues. This also creates an opportunity for homeland security stakeholders to evaluate scholars in an actual work setting, help highlight career opportunities, and actively recruit Academy student participants.

The fact sheet for the 2015 Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy is available here:

Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy Fact Sheet

Now Accepting Application Packages for the 2015 Program



Internship Option #1: Assigned research project within the domains of border security and immigration.

The National Center for Border Security and Immigration is now accepting undergraduate applications for the 2015 Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy. For this program option academic achievers may apply to work with professors on research which correlates with their discipline and is focused on border security, immigration and other homeland security related research areas of need at UTEP. Scholars selected for this program will also experience one of the most dynamic border regions, network with other students from UTEP and universities from across the nation, and visit homeland security agencies and learn from experts in the field. Scholars are expected to apply a maximum of thirty-two hours per week on their assigned research and up to eight hours per week for the scheduled field engagements with the local homeland security stakeholders. All candidates must be an undergraduate student actively enrolled in a university degree program and must have earned by the program start date a minimum of sixty college credits. Only students with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.3 should apply. On the final day of the program scholars are expected to develop a research poster and present their research findings in a formal NCBSI sponsored symposium scheduled for the final day of the program.

Students chosen for the program will be awarded a $4,000 stipend and receive paid on-campus housing, a meal stipend, and travel reimbursement if students selected for the program do not live within a commuting distance of 100 miles. The 2015 HS Summer Scholars Academy begins on June 1st and concludes on August 7th. Student scholars selected from outside universities must designate Monday June 1st as their travel day and check into the on campus housing provided. On June 2nd an Academy Orientation will be held for all scholars selected for the program with the time and location to be announced after the 2015 candidates have been selected. Application deadline is March 20. Opportunities are limited.

Program Option #2: Imbedded Internship with Homeland Security Relate Agency.

The selection of scholars for this program component will be based on their application package meeting eligibility requirements, the preferred qualifications outlined by the individual agency, and the discipline and area of expertise specified by the participating agency. The application package requirements and the program dates are identical to those outlined for program option one. Select scholars will have the opportunity to work and gain experience in an actual applied environment, learn about the agency and its mission, and take the first steps into transitioning into an actual homeland security-related career. Every scholar selected for a formal internship will be assigned and report to the NCBSI Program Manager. The NCBSI Program Mentor will mentor, follow up, and evaluate the progress of the scholar throughout the internship, and directly interact with the representative designated by the hosting agency.

Scholars selected are expected to dedicate up to thirty-nine hours per week with their host agency and designate one hour weekly to meet with the NCBSI Program Manager. This program option is open to both undergraduate and master’s level graduate candidates. Undergraduate candidates must be actively enrolled in a university degree program and must have earned by the program start date a minimum of sixty college credits. Only undergraduate students with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.3 should apply. Graduate level candidates at the master’s level must be actively enrolled in a university and must have an overall grade point average of 3.0. On the final day of the program scholars are expected to submit a formally written and oral brief which describes the agency in which they completed their internship, their internship experiences, and formal refection on their final day of the program.

Scholar alumni selected for previous program editions are strongly encouraged to apply for this option. Students chosen for the program will be awarded a $4,000 stipend and receive paid on-campus housing, a meal stipend, and travel reimbursement if students selected for the program do not live within a commuting distance of 100 miles. Students selected for this option are strongly encouraged report for the start of their internship with their own personal mode of transportation in order to commute to their internship assignment daily, but it is not mandatory. The 2015 Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy begins on June 1st and concludes on August 7th. Student scholars selected from outside universities must designate Monday June 1st as their travel day and check into the on campus housing provided. On June 2nd an Academy Orientation will be held for all scholars selected for the program with the time and location to be announced after the 2015 candidates have been selected. Application deadline is March 20 unless select agencies have specified otherwise. All selected candidates for this program option will undergo a mandatory background check which will be conducted by the host agency before the program start date. All final offers are dependent upon the results of the criminal background check. Opportunities are limited.


Program Dates
  • March 20, 2015: Application Package Submission Deadline.
  • April 6, 2015: The 2015 selections are announced and notified.
  • June 1, 2015: Designated travel day into El Paso, Texas and check in to assigned on campus housing for out of town scholars.
  • June 2, 2015: Program orientation for all interns. Time and location to be announced.
  • August 6, 2015: Final day of program option two.
  • August 7, 2015: Final day of program option one and NCBSI Research Poster Symposium. Out of town scholars scheduled to return home in the evening.
Application and Program Eligibility Requirements
  • Formal Resume or CV.
  • Completion and submission of the formal application provided. Scholars must select their program option on their applications and prioritize in order of preference their research projects or the agencies they have selected depending upon the program option they have chosen.
  • Submission of official university transcripts. Only undergraduate students with a minimum of sixty college credits and a minimum overall grade point average requirement of 3.3 can apply for program option one and two and must be actively enrolled in a university degree program. Graduate level candidates at the master’s level applying for program option two must be actively enrolled in a university and must have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0.
  • Submission of a formal essay. Candidates selecting program option one must submit a formal essay describing their interest in a homeland security oriented career in either the private or public sector, justification why they should be considered for the research projects they selected, and why they consider themselves a strong candidate for the program. Candidates selecting program option two must submit a formal essay describing their strong interest in a homeland security or law enforcement related career, why the they have selected the agency, and a strong justification supporting why they believe they are a high quality candidate that should be considered by the agency they have selected.
  • Two letters of recommendation from a faculty or staff member from their home institution.
Application Package Submission Instructions

Submission Option 1: Complete application packages can be mailed to:

University of Texas at El Paso
National Center for Border Security and Immigration
Vowell Hall, Room #301
500 W. University Avenue
El Paso, TX 79968
Attention: Victor Talavera


Submission Option 2:
Complete application packages can be scanned and or e-mailed as an attachment to: ncbsi@utep.edu

For questions or concerns regarding the 2015 edition of the Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy please submit these to: ncbsi@utep.edu

The University of Texas at El Paso will be one hundred years old in 2014. Over the past century, each of us—students, staff, and faculty—have brought our dreams to this University and worked together to achieve them. Learn more »