NSF invites cyber scholarship proposals

NSF Scholarship for Service solicitation

The National Science Foundation has invited colleges to develop grant proposals

for a new federal initiative to bring information security professionals

into government.

NSF released its solicitation last week for the Scholarship for Service

(SFS) initiative, one of several security training and education projects

under President Clinton's Federal Cyber Service program. The main thrust

of the SFS initiative is to provide scholarships to students pursuing information

security degrees in return for a period of service in the federal government.

The scholarship track of the initiative will set up funding to provide

$8,000 per year for undergraduate students and $12,000 per year for graduate

students. Universities and colleges can request up to $50,000 per year for

faculty and resources to support the programs the students are in.

The SFS initiative also includes two other tracks: one for faculty-development

seminars to increase expertise in teaching information security and another

for institutions to help other colleges and universities develop information

security programs.

Proposals are due to NSF by Jan. 24, 2001, and the agency expects to

award the grants in June 2001. By the fall of 2001, students should be entering

the programs, and the first students potentially would be taking jobs at

agencies by the summer of 2002.

The SFS initiative received full funding in the recently signed appropriations

bill for the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development.

Other portions of the Federal Cyber Service program, under the leadership

of the Office of Personnel Management, did not receive funding in the VA/HUD

bill for fiscal 2001.

The whole program is part of the president's National Plan for Information

Systems Protection, which is coordinated through the administration's Critical

Infrastructure Assurance Office.

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