A Scholarship For Service through the National Science Foundation
Information assurance (IA) and Critical Infrastructure Protection are US government’s top priorities, as seen in various Presidential Directives (e.g., PDD-63, PPD-21 and HSPD-7) and the Department of Justice’s High Priority Criminal Justice Technology Needs, all of which include calls to develop new tools and applications that improve the capacity to use and process digital evidence. Key to these goals is a need to create a scalable, next generation of cyber-security professionals skilled in the use of these new tools and processes.
The NSF funded Cybercorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) addresses the growing need for a well-trained cyber-security workforce via a unique partnership between Computer Science (CS) and Criminal Justice (CJ). UAB has made a huge commitment to cyber-crime, information assurance, and interdisciplinary education and R&D. The UAB SFS project’s vision is to educate and train an elite, diverse cadre of students, who are ready to address real-world computer security and criminal justice challenges. UAB is strategically positioned to realize this vision, given its strengths: (1) a strong IA curriculum across the CS and CJ fields; (2) an IA joint Center; (3) DHS/NSA CAE-R designation; (4) a close working relationship with and contacts in federal organizations (including formal internship agreements); (5) an IA research funding track record, including support from NSF, DARPA, IARPA, ONR, DHS, NIJ, COPS, BJA, the state of Alabama, and several multinational corporations; and sustained research and support for federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ICE.
The program is integrated with UAB’s already strong and successful Master’s program in Cybersecurity offered jointly by CS and CJ. Students applying to or currently pursuing the MS Cybersecurity the opportunity to apply to the UAB Scholarship for Service program. Each scholarship provides the following benefits:
- Stipends of $34,000 per year.
- Covers expenses normally incurred by full-time students in the institution, including tuition and education-related fees.
- A health insurance reimbursement allowance of up to $3,000 per year.
- A professional development allowance of $4,000 and a book allowance of $2,000 per academic year.
All scholarship recipients are required to complete an internship and work 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 after graduation.