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, 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.)

Deadlines

CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST June 6, 2022

Sponsor Deadline: 5:00pm MST July 15, 2022

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Description (2 pages maximum): Please include project goals and objectives, 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/6748/home

Eligibility

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.

A proposing institution must provide clearly documented evidence of a strong existing program in cybersecurity. Such evidence may include ABET accreditation in cybersecurity; designation by the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C); 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

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 $25,000 per year for undergraduate students and $34,000 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 Fair and other travel, conferences, research materials and supplies, a laptop, books, professional training and certifications, etc. These shall be included in the budget under Participant Support costs.

Review Criteria

In addition to the NSF Merit Review Criteria, proposals submitted to the SFS program will be evaluated with careful attention to the following:

  • A project plan and objective metrics designed to evaluate the success of the proposed project.
  • The quality of education and research in cybersecurity at the institution and the extent to which they are integrated.
  • The quality of applied experiences to increase students’ understanding of cybersecurity.
  • The extent to which cybersecurity faculty members are integrally involved with the scholarship students and working with the students as a cohort.
  • Opportunities for undergraduate research experience.
  • Broadening participation efforts at the institution as well as 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.