NSF Awards $29m to Cybersecurity Scholarships

The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding universities more than $29m to fund hundreds of new cybersecurity scholarships.

The foundation is making the award to support the urgent need for more cybersecurity professionals in the United States. 

"As cyber-threats continue to evolve in complexity, so must our approaches to cybersecurity education and our workforce," said NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan.

They added: "The cybersecurity talent shortage remains a critical issue in the United States, with businesses and government agencies alike struggling to fill critical cybersecurity positions."

NSF will distribute the money to eight universities over the next five years as part of its CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, which has already funded projects at 82 universities in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Students must agree to work in a government cybersecurity role following graduation to be accepted onto the scholarship program.

Training provided through the scholarships will address topics including autonomous systems and artificial intelligence, next-generation cybersecurity engineering and aviation and aerospace cybersecurity.

"To address the demand for dedicated cybersecurity professionals, particularly in government agencies, the US National Science Foundation is investing in eight new CyberCorps Scholarship for Service grants," said the NSF in a statement released Friday.

"This investment will increase the volume and strength of the nation's cybersecurity workforce by providing full scholarships and stipends to students who agree to work in cybersecurity jobs for federal, state, local or tribal governments after graduation."

The eight universities set to receive NSF funding in 2022 are Oakland University, Fordham University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, State University of New York at Binghamton, Georgia State University, University of Memphis, University of Nevada, Reno and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Every university's scholarship program includes an effort to promote the recruitment and retention of students from historically underrepresented groups in cybersecurity careers, including minorities, women, first-generation students, low-income students, students with disabilities and veterans.

Panchanathan said: "These new CyberCorps Scholarship for Service projects engage diverse student populations and provide innovative and high-quality educational experiences that will ensure our nation is prepared to meet future cyber-threats with a well-trained workforce."

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