NSF CyberCorps(R) Scholarship for Service (SFS)

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity.

Program Summary 

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, and the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, authorizes the National Science Foundation (NSF), in coordination with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to offer a scholarship program to recruit and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to meet the needs of the cybersecurity mission of federal, state, local, and tribal governments. The goals of the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) program are aligned with the U.S. strategy to develop a superior cybersecurity workforce. The program goals are to: (1) increase the number of qualified and diverse cybersecurity candidates for government cybersecurity positions; (2) improve the national capacity for the education of cybersecurity professionals and research and development workforce; (3) hire, monitor, and retain high-quality CyberCorps® graduates in the cybersecurity mission of the Federal Government; and (4) strengthen partnerships between institutions of higher education and federal, state, local, and tribal governments. While all three agencies work together on all four goals, NSF’s strength is in the first two goals; OPM’s in goal (3); and DHS in goal (4).

The SFS Program welcomes proposals to establish or to continue scholarship programs in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity-related aspects of other fields, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and aerospace are part of the program scope. 

Service Obligation: All scholarship recipients must work after graduation in the cybersecurity mission of a federal, state, local, or tribal government organization, or certain other qualifying entities, for a period equal to at least the length of the scholarship.

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.)


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST June 3, 2024

Sponsor Deadline: 5:00pm MST July 15, 2024

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Description (3 pages maximum): Please include project goals and objectives, results from prior NSF support, intellectual merit and broader impacts.
  • PI Biosketch
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6981/home


As of the submission deadline, PIs, co-PIs, or other senior project personnel must hold primary, full-time, paid appointments in research or teaching positions at US-based campuses of institutions eligible to submit to this solicitation (see above), with exceptions granted for family or medical leave, as determined by the submitting institution.

An individual must not participate as PI, Co-PI, or Senior Personnel on more than one (1) proposal submitted to the same deadline.

A proposing institution must provide clearly documented evidence of a strong existing academic program in cybersecurity. In addition to information provided in the proposal narrative, 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.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Each performing organization is limited to one (1) proposal per annual SFS competition.

Award Information

Typical Award: $2 – $4M 

Number of Awards: 12 – 16

Award Duration: 5 years

The SFS Scholarship award supports up to three years of stipends, tuition, and allowances for students in the general area of cybersecurity. The scholarships provide academic year stipends of $27,000 per year for undergraduate students and $37,000 per year for graduate students. In addition, SFS scholarships cover expenses normally incurred by full-time students in the institution, including tuition and education-related fees (does not include items such as meal plans, housing, or parking); and a professional allowance of $6,000 per academic year for SFS Job Fairs and other travel, conferences, research materials, books and supplies including a one-time purchase of a laptop, professional training and certifications, etc. These shall be included in the budget under Participant Support costs.

Review Criteria

In addition to the standard NSF Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts Criteria, reviewers will be required to carefully consider the extent to which the following aspects are addressed in proposals submitted to the SFS Program:

  • The quality of education and research in cybersecurity at the institution, the extent to which they are integrated, and research opportunities for students.
  • The quality of experiential learning environment to increase students' knowledge, skills, and competencies in cybersecurity.
  • The quality and extent to which students are engaged in extra-curricular activities related to cybersecurity and privacy.
  • The evidence-based broadening participation strategies at the institution and specific plans for recruitment, mentoring, and retention of SFS scholars who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, women, first-generation/low-income students, persons with disabilities, or veterans.