With more smart devices being connected to the Internet, the risk and cost of cyber-attacks to national assets and infrastructure continues to increase. There is a great need for universities to train students to become highly qualified cybersecurity professionals and address the shortage of cybersecurity talent, particularly in the government sector. To address this need, the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) project at the University of Central Florida (UCF) will recruit, support, and guide undergraduate and graduate students in three cyber-related disciplines: Computer Science, Information Technology, and Computer Engineering. The project is aligned with the goals of the 2018 US National Cyber Strategy and will help ensure that the US continues to reap the benefits of a secure cyberspace that reflects national principles, protects national security, and promotes national prosperity.

The objectives of the UCF SFS project are to (1) recruit students pursuing cyber degrees at UCF who satisfy the SFS scholarship eligibility requirements; (2) engage SFS students in a rich and broad curriculum in cybersecurity, synergistic co-curricular activities, and cohort-based mentorship; (3) facilitate internship and employment opportunities for the SFS students at government agencies or federally funded research and development centers and engage with SFS stakeholders. The project also aims to broaden participation by recruiting SFS scholars from among the large pool of underrepresented students at UCF. SFS scholars will participate in cutting-edge cybersecurity research and a wide selection of cybersecurity courses and extra-curricular activities offered at UCF. They will be trained to be effective and high-performing members of the cyber workforce in federal, state, or local government agencies. The SFS project at UCF will also partner with existing programs and extra-curricular clubs at UCF in order to promote recruitment, retention, and engagement of the SFS scholars.

This project is supported by the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, which funds proposals establishing or continuing scholarship programs in cybersecurity and aligns with the U.S. National Cyber Strategy to develop a superior cybersecurity workforce. Following graduation, scholarship recipients are required to work in cybersecurity for a federal, state, local, or tribal Government organization for the same duration as their scholarship support.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Graduate Education (DGE)
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Nigamanth Sridhar
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The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees
United States
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