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NSF Press Release


NSF PR 02-66 - August 7, 2002

Media contact:

 Bill Noxon

 (703) 292-8070

Program contact:

 Norman Fortenberry

 (703) 292-4622

Scholarship for Service Awards Expanded After President Signs Supplemental Budget Bill
NSF grants add to student base, help to expand institutional "capacity building"

President Bush has signed into law the fiscal 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-206) adding $19.3 million to NSF's budget to expand a program designed to help reduce critical shortages of computer security and information assurance professionals in the public and private sectors through education scholarships. NSF had just completed a second round of grants originally budgeted for 2002 worth more than $11.5 million to expand both scholarship and capacity building efforts within the Scholarship for Service (SFS) program when the supplemental appropriations measure was signed into law.

NSF will award new SFS grants within a few months, expected to focus on scholarship activities.

Five institutions did receive four-year NSF awards worth over $10 million from NSF's original 2002 budget to provide undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer security and information assurance. Nine additional two-year awards worth about $1.5 million were made to universities and colleges, and their partners, to build their "capacities" for degree programs and assist them in qualifying as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance. These centers are so defined by the National Security Agency (NSA) under a 1998 presidential directive that established as a national priority the protection of the nation's infrastructure and communications systems. NSA became the lead agency in a multi-faceted government cyber security effort, under which NSF has the responsibility for providing education of information security professionals (commonly referred to as the cyber corps) and establishing education infrastructure and curricula under the SFS program.

"It's time to be as smart about cyber security as we are about cyberspace," said NSF Deputy Director Joseph Bordogna in remarks at the U.S. Air Force Research Lab in Rome, New York July 31. There, he announced a capacity-building award to Utica College, which is heading a collabortion among several local schools. "We need many more of our nation's most promising young minds focused on the growing cyber threats to national security and to bring the same level of innovation to cyber security research and education that has served us so well in advancing information and communications technologies over the past decade."

Under SFS, students receive two-year undergraduate and graduate-level scholarships, and opportunities to serve in a government internship. Following graduation, they complete a specified employment commitment with the federal government before deciding whether to pursue government or private sector careers.

NSF's newest scholarship awards went to Polytechnic University of New York ($2.9 million) Georgia Institute of Technology ($2.5 million), University of North Carolina, Charlotte ($1.66 million), Mississippi State University ($912,000) and Jackson State University ($222,000). More than 100 students in undergraduate and graduate programs are expected to receive degrees through these scholarships.

The institutional capacity building awards for 2002 included Utica College ($199,900) and Polytechnic University ($198,000) of New York, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh ($202,000), University of Albany ($200,000), Clark University in Atlanta ($400,000), the Naval Postgraduate School in California ($184,000), Mississippi State University ($158,900), Jackson State University ($127,500), and the University of Kansas ($41,100).

In May 2001, NSF awarded its first scholarship grants to Carnegie Mellon, Iowa State and Purdue universities, as well as the University of Idaho, University of Tulsa and the Naval Postgraduate School. Subsequent capacity-building awards were issued to the University of Missouri at Rolla, the University of South Carolina at Columbia, Purdue and Iowa State universities, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Towson University (Maryland), Georgia Tech, and Embry Riddle Aerospace University (Florida).

NSF also transferred $430,000 to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as part of a memorandum of understanding under which OPM manages parts of the SFS program. OPM provides internship and full-time employment opportunities to students who train and graduate from the SFS program.

NSF's overall commitment to the SFS program was about $11.2 million per year from 2001 to 2003 until the new law was signed.


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