Student Fellowships

CI Compass Student Fellowship Program (CICF) for Undergraduates

Students participating in CICF learn about real-world cyberinfrastructure challenges, and how to begin solving them for NSF Major Facilities

CI Compass, the NSF Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence, offers a distinctive Student Fellowship Program for undergraduate students pursuing studies in computer science, information science, data science, applied mathematics and statistics, embedded systems, communications, social sciences related to cyberinfrastructure, and other related fields.

Cyberinfrastructure, or CI, encompasses computing systems, data storage systems, advanced instruments, and data repositories, visualization environments, and people all linked together by software and high-performance networks to improve research productivity and enable breakthroughs otherwise not possible.1

“Before the program, I thought that doing research would be too hard, but the people in the program changed my mind about that; anyone can do research as long as they have a great team to help them,” says Nona Nersisyan, 2022 CI Compass Student Fellow.

Summer 22 Day 1 01
CI Compass Fellowship Program facilitator Rajiv Mayani works with Student Fellow Nona Nersisyan at the University of Southern California campus.

The program provides student fellows the opportunity to:

  1. Learn about CI development and Major Facilities (MFs).
  2. Develop CI-related skill sets that are important to the work of MFs.
  3. Engage with CI Compass and MF personnel through a virtual training and research program, and related professional workshops/symposia.

CICF is open to all undergraduate students in the United States.

CICF Spring Program 

During the academic Spring Semester, student fellows participate in a virtual training program with CI Compass. This Spring Program has two components, 1) a technical training program and 2) a research training program.

The technical portion of the Spring Program provides student fellows with experience in technical skills relevant to cyberinfrastructure (i.e., software engineering, cloud computing, data workflows, etc.). Click here for an example syllabus for the Virtual Spring Program.

The research skills program provides student fellows with contextual understanding of the MFs and related cyberinfrastructure through learning about the data lifecycle of specific MFs and engaging with guest speakers from MFs and the greater cyberinfrastructure community. In groups, student fellows research a specific MF to learn about its science mission, cyberinfrastructure, and data lifecycle, then present their research findings at the end of the Spring Program.

“Many of these scientific discoveries would never happen without cyberinfrastructure so, seeing the gleam in the student’s eyes when they see this connection between what they learn with classroom and how it can be applied to something that is impactful, that's very rewarding.” says Ewa Deelman, CI Compass PI. 

Applications for our next cohort of fellows will open in Fall 2023. The application will ask for information about yourself, a cover letter, your resume/CV, and one letter of recommendation. To sign up for updates, fill out your information here.

Apply to become a CI Compass Fellow here: Apply

Summer MF Opportunities 

Student Fellows have the option to apply for summer programs, which provides potential hands-on project-based learning experience at either an MF or a CI Compass institution. During the Spring Program, the CICF team will provide information and guidance on these potential summer opportunities, as well as the opportunity to network and make connections with MF colleagues. While participation in CICF provides student fellows an advantage, summer placement is not guaranteed and requires an additional application process.  

Need more information? 

The CI Compass Fellowship Program is directed by Angela Murillo, Director of CICF and Nicole Virdone, CI Compass Director of Outreach. For more information on the program, please email

 1 Stewart, C.A., Sims, S., Plale, B., Link, M., Hancock, D.Y., and Fox, G.C. (2010). What is Cyberinfrastructure? Proceedings for SIGUCCS’10. Norfolk, Virginia.