NSF awards Phase 1 of cyberscholarships

NSF awards Phase 1 of cyberscholarships


The National Science Foundation has awarded $14 million worth of cybercorps scholarships in the first round of the federal Scholarship for Service program.

The program will provide up to $25,000 a year for each of 198 students at six universities pursuing degrees in computer security and information assurance. In return, the students must commit themselves to work for the government.

'The expertise lies more outside the government than within.'

'National Security council's Richard Clarke
Richard Clarke, the National Security Council's coordinator for security, infrastructure protection and counterterrorism, announced the awards at a symposium hosted last month in Herndon, Va., by the Global Internet Project.

The cybercorps scholarships are part of the national plan for protecting critical infrastructures. One weakness identified in a study during the Clinton administration was the shortage of trained information security professionals, especially in the government.

Congress approved funding last year for the scholarships as part of NSF's fiscal 2001 budget. Students must work one year for the government for each year of scholarship support they receive.

Industry help is key

The Bush administration is preparing a second version of the national critical infrastructure defense plan, and Clarke said industry help is essential to make it work.

'The expertise lies more outside the government than within,' Clarke said. 'We are increasingly putting functions in the IP cloud, upon which our critical infrastructure and our national security depend.'

Clarke drew applause when he told the audience of network industry professionals that 'this administration will not support regulation to create security on the Internet.'

But he warned that despite the president's intentions, Congress still could legislate Net security and privacy if industry does not demonstrate more willingness to provide them on public networks.

The schools receiving NSF scholarship funds for the coming academic year are:

  • University of Tulsa, $2.8 million

  • Iowa State University, $2.6 million

  • Carnegie Mellon University, $2.5 million

  • Purdue University, $2.4 million

  • Naval Postgraduate School, $2.3 million

  • University of Idaho, $1.4 million.


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