Cyberspace has transformed the daily lives of people. Society’s overwhelming reliance on cyberspace, however, has exposed the system’s fragility and vulnerabilities: corporations, agencies, national infrastructure, and individuals continue to suffer cyber-attacks. Achieving a truly secure cyberspace requires addressing both challenging scientific and engineering problems involving many components of a system, and vulnerabilities that stem from human behaviors and choices. Examining the fundamentals of security and privacy as a multidisciplinary subject can lead to fundamentally new ways to design, build, and operate cyber systems, protect existing infrastructure, and motivate individuals to learn about cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Acts for 2018 and 2021, authorizes the National Science Foundation, in coordination with the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Homeland Security, to offer a scholarship program to recruit and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to meet the needs of the cybersecurity mission for federal, state, local, and tribal governments.
The goals of the CyberCorps(R): Scholarship for Service (SFS) program are aligned with the U.S. strategy to develop a superior cybersecurity workforce. These goals are to increase the quantity of new entrants to the government cyber workforce, to increase the national capacity for the education of cybersecurity professionals, to increase national research and development capabilities in critical information infrastructure protection, and to strengthen partnerships between institutions of higher education and relevant employment sectors. The SFS program welcomes proposals to establish or to continue scholarship programs in cybersecurity. All scholarship recipients must work after graduation for a federal, state, local, or tribal Government organization in a position related to cybersecurity for a period equal to the length of the scholarship. A proposing institution must provide clearly documented evidence of a strong existing academic program in cybersecurity. Such evidence can include ABET accreditation in cybersecurity; a designation by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) or in Research (CAE-R); or equivalent evidence documenting a strong program in cybersecurity.
The SFS program also supports efforts leading to an increase in the ability of the United States higher education enterprise to produce cybersecurity professionals. Funding opportunities in this area are provided via the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace - Education Designation (SaTC-EDU) and other programs (see the section “Increasing National Capacity in Cybersecurity Education” for more details.)