The funding will go to nine universities in 2023 to support building the next generation of cyber professionals.
The National Science Foundation added more than $29 million in funding for its CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program in 2023, which could help to address cyber workforce challenges that the government is currently facing.
According to Wednesday’s announcement, the program “supports the development of a robust and resilient cybersecurity workforce and addresses the unique challenges of recruiting and retaining cybersecurity professionals for careers serving in local, state, federal or tribal governments.” The program is managed by NSF in collaboration with the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Homeland Security.
The new funding will go to nine universities: the University of Louisville; Robert Morris University; Sam Houston State University; the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; Marquette University; the University of South Florida; Wichita State University; Bowie State University; and Oregon State University.
These universities add new states—including Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin—as well as some historically black colleges and universities and designated EPSCoR—Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research—jurisdictions to the program.
The new awardees will join 89 other academic institutions in 39 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that are currently part of the program. Since CyberCorps was established in 2000, there have been more than 4200 students that have graduated from the program to become cybersecurity professionals.
The funding will help grow the “size and strength of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce,” which could help with the current cyber workforce shortage the government is experiencing.
“Cybersecurity is one of the most important issues confronting society in the information age,” NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. “As our reliance on the national cyberspace evolves, so does the complexity of the cyber threats we face. It is imperative that we support the development of a strong cybersecurity workforce to ensure we can all benefit from secure and trustworthy cyberspace.”
As noted in the announcement, the CyberCorps program is important for the national cybersecurity workforce strategy.
Recipients will work on “interdisciplinary cybersecurity, ethics and strategy, developing the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow and emerging disciplines like artificial intelligence and next generation wireless.” NSF stated that the awardees’ projects will help build the current and future cybersecurity workforce and landscape.
According to NSF, awardees are chosen from academic institutions across the country “with innovative interdisciplinary programs in cybersecurity education and professional development.” These programs will support the education, recruitment and development of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.