Visible to the public Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition

Visible to the public 


In order to encourage the development of the scientific foundations of cybersecurity, the National Security Agency (NSA) established The Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition. NSA invites nominations of papers published between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013 that show an outstanding contribution to cybersecurity science. A set of Distinguished Experts will review the nominations according to the criteria below. Awardees will be invited to NSA to receive the award and the top awardee will be invited to present the winning paper to an audience of cybersecurity experts.


Papers published in peer-reviewed journals, magazines, or technical conferences are eligible for nomination. The date of the publication must be between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. Nominations should include, in 500 words or less, a nomination statement describing the scientific contribution of the paper and explaining why this paper merits the award. A strong nomination statement is desired and will be used as part of the criteria when evaluating paper submissions. Nominated papers must be available in English and pdf format. Nominations must be submitted via the Nomination Submission PORTAL. The nominator may not be an author or co-author of the nominated paper.


The competition is open to the public and is not limited to U.S. citizens. If a paper includes a reviewer as a co-author it may not be considered for an award.


A set of distinguished experts will review the submitted nominations and provide individual assessments to the NSA Research Directorate. The following individuals have agreed to serve as distinguished experts for the this year's competition:

Dr. Whitfield Diffie, Cybersecurity Advisor
Dr. Dan Geer, In-Q-Tel
Dr. John McLean, Naval Research Laboratory
Prof. Angela Sasse, University College London
Prof. Fred Schneider, Cornell University
Mr. Phil Venables, Goldman Sachs
Prof. David Wagner, University California at Berkeley
Dr. Jeannette Wing, Microsoft Research

The NSA Research Directorate will recommend awardees to the NSA Director of Research, whose decision will be final. Considerations in the evaluation of the nominated paper may include:

  • Scientific merit and significance of the work reported,
  • The degree to which the paper exemplifies how to perform and report scientific research in cybersecurity.

Papers may come from any field of cybersecurity research.

(please refer to the SoS VO discussion forum regarding science)


  • Submission Period Begins: December 15, 2013
  • Submission Period for Entries Ends: March 31, 2014
  • Evaluation Process for Entries Begins: April 1, 2014
  • Evaluation Process for Entries Ends: June 13, 2014
  • Winners Notified: July 1, 2014
  • Winners Announced: August 1, 2014