The University of Cincinnati (UC) has received a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a scholarship for students majoring in cybersecurity, according to a news release.
UC is one of six universities – Augusta University, Michigan Technological University, Old Dominion University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Rhode Island – to receive the funds to establish a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, the release states.
The investment into these universities by the NSF will be more than $21 million over five years, officials said.
The federally-funded program will provide a full scholarship and living stipend to 25 students for up to three years. As a condition of the scholarship, student recipients must work in cybersecurity jobs in federal, state or municipal governments after graduation, according to the release.
“Every day, we see headlines that underscore the urgency of ensuring an adequately sized and well-trained cybersecurity workforce in the United States, particularly in government agencies,” Kim Barrett, director of NSF’s Division of Graduate Education, said in a statement.
Dubbed the “Bearcat Cyber Scholar Incubator,” the program is being led by a team of faculty from several departments including information technology, criminal justice, computer science and political science, according to the release.
“The goal of the project is to prepare highly skilled cybersecurity scholars for government jobs that address the cybersecurity workforce shortage,” Chengcheng Li, director of the UC Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, said in a statement.
There are a total of 78 universities nationwide that are designated as CyberCorps Scholarship for Service universities, according to the release.
Following a Russian-sponsored cyberattack that went unnoticed for nearly a year, compromising the computer systems of 18,000 customers including government departments and businesses, cybersecurity experts have said the U.S. response to acts of cyberterrorism is lackluster.
However, Barrett hopes the investment in these students will help bolster the nation’s defense against cyberattacks.
“These diverse universities have each proposed innovative approaches to cybersecurity education and professional development that not only will support students selected for scholarships, but also increase the vitality of cybersecurity preparedness for the nation,” she said.