The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $4.8 million grant to Oregon State University (OSU) in early January 2023. The grant will fund a programme to train cybersecurity experts. There is an estimated shortage of 750,000 cybersecurity professionals in the United States, including 7,500 in Oregon.
“The lack of qualified candidates means that government agencies, including American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, and private-sector organisations are at increased risk of cyberattacks. These attacks threaten everything in society, from the power grid to defence systems to people’s personal information,” said project leader Rakesh Bobba.
The scheme includes a selective university scholarship, valid for up to three years. The scholarship provides a living allowance in addition to funding for studies. Students awarded the scholarship must commit to working for the US government for the same number of years as they receive the scholarship.
The programme will also promote the recruitment of people from groups underrepresented in cybersecurity. NSF cites women, low-income students and first-time college students as examples.
The grant is part of NSF’s CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service initiative. Besides training students, the $4.8 million will fund CyberClinic, a new programme in OSU’s College of Engineering. It will provide local companies with support from the university’s cybersecurity students in deploying their cyber defense strategies.