The Cyber Security Institute at ORNL is an annual 10-week research initiative in which talented graduate and undergraduate students in computer science, mathematics, and related fields are invited to tackle real-world problems in cyber security. The Institute includes focused introductions to relevant cyber security topics, helping students get off to a quick start. Students work directly with ORNL's cyber security research scientists on ongoing projects that may include, for example, exploiting software and hardware vulnerabilities, modeling and simulation of cyberspace, algorithm development and testing, and social network analysis.

The breadth and depth of the cyber security problem space contains many complex and rewarding scientific challenges. We invite students who welcome such challenges to apply. The program is interested in helping students learn to contribute to the cyber security research community. Accordingly, each student is expected to produce a publication-quality paper with their mentor and present their findings at the end of the summer.

About ORNL

Oak Ridge National
Laboratory is the US Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory. ORNL has more than 4,600 staff, and annually hosts approximately 3,000 guest researchers for two weeks or longer. One of ORNL’s missions is national security (including cyber security). See the ORNL web pages for more details ORNL and CSIIR).


The Cyber Security Institutes seeks talented and motivated students who are eager to apply their scientific and problem-solving skills to critical problems in cyber security. Students should be prepared to learn new material as provided by mentors. Computer programming skills, oral and written communication skills, and problem solving skills are required. Capability and interest in mathematics, computer networking, cyber security, information visualization, and machine learning will also be useful.

  • Must be a US Citizen and be at least 18 years old
  • Must have completed two years of undergraduate education (graduate students may apply)
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

How to Apply

Applicants do not apply directly the Cyber Security Institute, but rather to one or more of the programs that sponsor students at ORNL. These are RAMS, <a href=”>SULI</a>, and HERE. Students in other programs (e.g., DHS cyber interns) are also eligible. Students must indicate their interest in the Cyber Security Institute by emailing its director, Erik Ferragut. Opportunities are also available in Fall and Spring semesters.

Erik M. Ferragut, Ph.D. (efn (at) ornl (dot) gov)

Applied Research Mathematician and Director, Cyber Security Institute

Oak Ridge National Laboratory