UofM Receives $3.8M Cybersecurity Education Grant from National Science Foundation 

Feb. 1, 2022 — The University of Memphis Department of Computer Science has received a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to address the growing national demand for cybersecurity professionals. 

The five-year project, titled “CyberCorps Scholarship for Service: Developing the Cybersecurity Workforce in West Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas” will recruit four cohorts of scholars from the Department of Computer Science, Department of Business Information Technology, College of Engineering, Department of Criminal Justice and other UofM units. Priority will be given to underrepresented students such as women, minorities and veterans. The CyberCorps SFS includes: 

  • Up to three years of support for undergraduate and graduate (MS or PHD) education
  • Academic-year stipends of $25,000 per year for undergraduate students and $34,000 per year for graduate students
  • Tuition and education-related fees (excluding items such as meal plans, housing or parking)
  • Professional allowance of $6,000 for the SFS Job Fair and related expenses such as travel and professional certification
  • Participation in virtual and in-person job fairs in Washington, D.C.
  • Post-graduation government service requirement for a period equivalent to the length of the scholarship

Principal investigator Kan Yang is leading the project with fellow professors Dipankar Dasgupta, Myounggyu Won and Amy Cook as co-PIs. 

“The SFS scholarship provides a competitive financial package to our students, however, SFS scholars also have post-graduation government service requirement for a period equivalent to the length of the scholarship,” said Dr. Kan Yang, assistant professor, UofM Department of Computer Science. “If one fails to fulfill this service obligation, students must pay back to the U.S. government as a loan. 

“We will develop extra activities for SFS scholars to enhance their competitive advantages. This project aims to increase students’ awareness of cybersecurity opportunities and career paths in government organizations. Based on this scholarship, we will build a pipeline for our students to join the cybersecurity workforce in the public sector.” 

To address the demand for dedicated cybersecurity professionals, particularly in government agencies, the U.S. National Science Foundation is investing in eight new CyberCorps Scholarship for Service grants. This investment will increase the volume and strength of the nation's cybersecurity workforce by providing full scholarships and stipends to students who agree to work in cybersecurity jobs for federal, state, local or tribal governments after graduation. 

NSF is providing more than $29 million in scholarships over the next five years to eight universities. These new grantees join the current 82 universities that are part of the NSF CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, representing 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

The other seven 2022 awardees include Oakland University, Fordham University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, State University of New York at Binghamton, Georgia State University, University of Nevada, Reno and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  

Details on the scholarship will be announced soon. For any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Kan Yang at kan.yang@memphis.edu.