STEP-1: 2-week introductory experience

Join us for a dynamic two week experience in Miami, FL in May! We cover your travel, provide accommodations, and give you a stipend. This program is designed to help you:

  • Become more aware of the many areas of interest within the field: web programming, high performance computing, cybersecurity, networking, real use of AI
  • Determine where your interests are
  • Discover what areas of study you should pursue in the future
  • Experience high levels of direct interaction with diverse groups with diverse skill sets

Apply Here: STEP Application Form

STEP-2: Full-time for the summer

After STEP-1, you’ll be eligible for STEP-2! This is a full-time, paid summer program (in-person + virtual) where you work on projects in web programming, high performance computing, cybersecurity, networking, implementations of AI. We cover travel, accommodations for in-person events, plus take you to a national conference.

Example Projects:

  • Students in cybersecurity will work with CONECT cybersecurity professionals to help protect ACCESS’s CI– a highly complex and heterogeneous environment that is constantly under attack–by managing vulnerabilities, analyzing security log data, and performing security vetting tasks.
  • Students in operations will create and monitor the information sharing platform technology stack, aid the curation of assets for the AI-chatbot, and use APIs to push information to various platforms (e.g., Ask.CI, etc.).
  • Students in data and networking will install and use perfSONAR, learn networking best practices, Linux systems management, testing methodologies, and identification and resolution of networking performance issues.

STEP-3: Part-time during the school year

Looking for a year-round experience? After STEP-1 and STEP-2, you’ll be eligible for STEP-3. You’ll continue working (virtually) with your team on projects on a part-time, paid basis during the academic year. We will also take you to the annual SC conference.

Eligibility Criteria

All students who apply to STEP must be:

  • Students attending US based institutions
  • Enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree or masters/PhD
  • In good academic standing at their college or university
  • Available full-time during the program
  • At least 18 years of age by the start date of the program
  • Some software development experience with Python is desired as well as some UNIX/Linux

Priority is given to populations historically underrepresented in STEM, including women and those from minority serving institutions (MSIs)—such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and schools with low levels of research activity, including community colleges.

Program Requirements

  • STEP participants must live in campus housing — arranged by the STEP coordinator
  • STEP participants must attend weekly seminars and professional development events
  • STEP participants must prepare and submit a written report of the work done
  • STEP participants must give an oral presentation of work performed at the STEP Site
  • STEP participants will work up to 30 hours per week on projects and up to 10 hours per week on professional development, attending program-wide activities and other engagements
  • STEP participants are asked to assist in further recruitments at their respective school

Important Dates

  • Online application: Due March 15, 2023
  • Program dates: STEP-1: May 15 – 27, STEP-2: June 5 – July 28


Offers of acceptance will go out by email on a rolling basis, so apply early. After the acceptance process is complete, the remaining applicants will be notified by email.

Once the program offer is accepted, a STEP participant is obligated to complete the portion of the STEP program they were accepted for and meet the program requirements.

General Information: This is a female-led program that is dedicated to being inclusive! US-based domestic and international students are eligible to apply if they are enrolled at a US-based educational institution.