New IA centers to receive grants, scholarships

The Homeland Security Department and National Security Agency jointly unveiled the first group of universities chosen as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research.

The 23 schools the agencies named as flagships of research on responses to disasters threatening the country's information technology infrastructure will hold their initial designations through 2013.

The honor confers opportunities for the universities and their students to receive federal funds for information assurance research.

'Universities designated as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education [CAEs] and Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research [CAE-Rs] are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through both the federal and Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship programs,' according to the departments.

DHS and NSA added that the CAE-R program grew out of the CAE program that already recognizes schools active in information assurance research and teaching. The federal agencies seek to promote better ways to secure the global IT infrastructure against various types of disruptive threats. The program also is expected to help DHS, NSA and other agencies learn about academic advances in informtion assurance technologies.

The new designations bring the total of such research centers nationwide to 23 located in 17 states and the District of Columbia. They are:
  • Auburn University
  • Boston University
  • Dartmouth College
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Indiana University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Mississippi State University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Polytechnic University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • University of California at Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Washington

The centers of excellence program forms part of the administration's National Strategy to Security Cyberspace, which dates to April 2004.

The list of research schools is weighted toward the college-rich eastern region of the county, with 12 of the 23 schools located east of or in the Appalachian Mountains.

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