The SciAuth student fellows program is currently accepting applications. See below for details.

The SciAuth fellows program pairs students from U.S. higher education institutions with project mentors to collaborate on student-led projects on the topic of authentication and authorization for scientific collaborations using JSON Web Tokens. The program supports 6 student fellows per year (18 total from July 2021 to June 2024), with an emphasis on recruiting participants from under-represented communities.

Each student fellow proposes a research project (either selected from a list of example projects or proposed by the fellow) related to the topic of authentication and authorization for scientific collaborations. See for background on this topic. Each fellow pursues their research project remotely over a 12 week period with a member of the SciAuth team (Basney, Bockelman, or Weitzel) providing guidance (i.e., via weekly Zoom calls) as a project mentor.

Fellows are selected via a competitive application process according to the strength of the proposed project, the academic preparation of the student, and the diversity of the applicants. Fellows will also meet regularly as a group to share their research progress and results. Fellows each receive a $1,000 stipend ($333.33 per month for 3 months) to support their research.

Program requirements:

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled at an accredited U.S. higher education institution. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible.
  • Applicants must reside in the United States during the 12 week project period (schedule to be determined by fellow and mentor).
  • Travel is not required. All fellows program activities are conducted online.

To apply, send an application by email to containing the following:

  • (Required) A short curriculum vitae (CV). Please include current educational status, current residence (U.S. state or territory), and any relevant coursework and/or previous relevant projects and activities.
  • (Required) A short proposal. In the proposal you should briefly describe the project that you would like to pursue, and how that project relates to your academic/professional interests. The proposal should be short, typically no more than 1-2 pages containing the project description and a short timeline with (preferred) start/end dates and monthly deliverables/milestones for the 3 month (12 week) period, including how you plan to share your project results. For example, you may propose one month to study prior work (e.g., learn about existing JSON Web Tokens software), one month to experiment with a new approach (e.g., add a new security feature or evaluate an existing security feature), and one month to document your results (e.g., write a blog post).
  • (Optional) A short diversity statement. If desired, please provide a short paragraph explaining how your participation would broaden participation from underrepresented groups and/or diverse institutions across geographical regions. See Broadening Participation at NSF for guidance on this topic.

If you have any questions about the application process or would like to discuss possible project ideas, please contact us at Asking questions prior to submitting your application is encouraged. If you don’t receive a prompt reply, please contact We’ve also given some answers to frequently asked questions below.

Fellows will be selected on a rolling fashion based on submitted applications. We are currently accepting applications for 2022.

The SciAuth fellows program was inspired by the IRIS-HEP Fellows Program and the Trusted CI Fellows Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are examples of relevant coursework, projects, or activities?

Examples include courses in computer science and/or cybersecurity, contributions to open source software projects, and participation in cybersecurity clubs, teams, and training events. However, these are just examples, not requirements. If you’re interested, send us an email at, and we can discuss.

I don’t know anything about JSON Web Tokens. Should I still apply?

Yes, if you’re interested in cybersecurity, distributed computing, and/or identity management, send us an email at and we can brainstorm about potential projects.