Visible to the public NSF Cybersecurity Funding Opportunity

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Mario Berges
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Cybersecurity Funding Opportunity

The US National Science Foundation's Federal Cyber Service (SFS) program has expanded funding for cybersecurity-related projects this year from $15M to $45M. We are actively seeking good proposals which address curriculum, faculty development and/or applied research in cybersecurity, information assurance, digital forensics and computer security.

The proposal submission deadline is April 17, 2012. For more information read about the Capacity Building Track at or contact Sue Fitzgerald ( or Guy-Alain Amoussou (

Capacity Building Track: This track is open to all institutions of higher education. The intent is to increase the production of high quality information assurance and cybersecurity professionals by providing support for efforts within the higher education system, as well as outreach to K-12 students with related interests. These efforts may take many forms, but must be designed to address one or more of the following:

- increase national capacity for the high-quality education of information technology professionals in cybersecurity-related disciplines,
- increase the number of IT professionals in cybersecurity-related disciplines,
- increase interest in information assurance and/or cybersecurity careers,
- accelerate the integration of information assurance, computer security, or cybersecurity knowledge in curricula across the STEM disciplines,
- promote the integration of research and education in information assurance, computer security, or cybersecurity,
- strengthen partnerships between institutions of higher education, government, and relevant employment sectors leading to improved educational opportunities in cybersecurity-related studies, or
- increase the diversity of the cybersecurity workforce.

Capacity building projects may vary in size. A typical small scale project will request a total of $200,000 to $300,000 over a two to three year period. Large scale projects may not exceed a total of $900,000 and typically will extend over three to four years.

Projects which address the following topics are of particular interest in this competition:

- development, deployment, and evaluation of information assurance, cybersecurity, and/or digital forensics curriculum guidelines leading to wide adoption nationally,
- integration of information assurance and/or cybersecurity topics into computer science, information technology, engineering and other existing degree programs with plans for pervasive adoption,
- development and extensive adoption of coordinated plans for pathways between two-year, four-year and/or graduate programs or development of accelerated ("fast track") programs which combine the bachelor's and master's degree in information assurance, cybersecurity, or digital forensics,
- development of accelerated information assurance or cybersecurity degree or certificate programs for veterans, career changers, and non-traditional students,
- models for the integration of applied research experiences into information assurance, cybersecurity, or digital forensic degree programs,
- development of faculty expertise in information assurance, cybersecurity, or digital forensics with an emphasis on having a broad impact on faculty who lack training in these arenas,
- evaluation of the effectiveness of cybersecurity competitions, games, and other outreach and retention activities, or
- other innovative and creative projects which lead to an increase in the ability of the United States higher education enterprise to produce information assurance and cybersecurity professionals.

Although projects may vary considerably in the approaches they take, the number of academic institutions involved, the number of faculty and students that participate, and in their stage of development, all promising projects share certain characteristics.

Quality, Relevance, and Impact: Projects should address a recognized need or opportunity, clearly indicate how they will meet this need, and be innovative in their production and use of new materials, processes, and ideas, or in their implementation of tested ones.