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CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service

Opportunities in Computer Security and Information Assurance

Do you want to fight cyberCrime and cyberterrorism? Let us pay for your college education. Be a part of an elite program in computer security and information assurance. Join the team at the University of Idaho.

Scholarship Benefits

  • An upper division undergraduate is paid a stipend of $22,500 a year.
  • A graduate student is paid a stipend of $34,500 a year.
  • All tuition and degree related fees are paid.
  • If applicable, out-of-state tuition, graduate fees, and required course fees are paid.
  • Additional support funds are available to help offset student health insurance, professional development and books.
  • Each student is assigned to a faculty led research project investigating issues on cutting edge cyber security and cyber defense.
  • Each student has dedicated collaborative office space.

The University of Idaho has received a CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant which provides support for students to study in the fields of computer science and computer engineering.

The CyberCorps® SFS program supports annual cadres of students. Students are admitted into the program each semester. Each cadre of students has both graduate and upper division undergraduate students. Both graduate and undergraduate students are fully integrated into our research programs.

Research areas include:

  • Computer and network forensics
  • Cyber defense
  • Secure and resilient embedded and industrial control systems
  • Secure systems specification, architecture, design, and implementation
  • Situational awareness and risk-based cybersecurity

The requirements for each student in the program and the eligibility criteria are:

  • Each participant must be a United States Citizen or permanent resident.
  • Each participant must be a full time resident student at the University of Idaho in computer science or computer engineering, within the following graduation requirements:
    • Within 2 years of graduation for a Baccalaureate or Masters degree
    • Within 3 years of graduation with a combined Baccalaureate and Masters degree
  • Each participant must meet selection criteria for federal or state government employment.
  • Final job placement may require security clearances. Scholarship recipients may be required to undergo the background investigation required to obtain such clearances.
  • During the summers between the academic years in the program, each participant will serve in an internship position at a state or federal agency.
  • Upon graduation, each participant must obtain a federal job that uses the skills they have developed in cybersecurity. The work requirement time period matches the scholarship support time period.

Each applicant to the SFS program should provide the following:

Undergraduate Students

  • Letter expressing interest in the SFS program including a statement that indicates an understanding of the nature of the program and the matching of the commitment to a federal and state agency after graduation. This letter can be sent via email.
  • Copies of transcripts of all college work.
  • Statement of purpose and description of goals in computer science and computer engineering with emphasis in cyber security. This letter can be sent via email
  • Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members or employment managers familiar with applicants background.
  • Undergraduate students need official acceptance into the University of Idaho. You can apply here.

Graduate Students

  • Letter expressing interest in the SFS program including a statement that indicates an understanding of the nature of the program and the matching of the commitment to a federal and state agency after graduation. This letter can be sent via email.
  • Copies of transcripts of all College work.
  • Statement of purpose and description of goals in computer science and computer engineering with emphasis in cyber security. This letter can be sent via email.
  • Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members or employment managers familiar with applicants background.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (for CS and CompE majors) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores (for Accounting Majors).
  • Official application and acceptance into the graduate program in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Accounting at the University of Idaho. You can apply here.
  • Graduate applicants should have their GRE scores or GMAT scores sent directly to the UI College of Graduate Studies.

Interested students should apply to:

Scholarship for Service
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Dr. MS 1008
Moscow, ID 83844-1008

Or by email.

Undergraduate Students

  • United States citizen.
  • Advanced sophomore standing with the ability to graduate within two years.
  • Official acceptance into an approved undergraduate UI SFS program (CS, or CompE).
  • A cumulative GPA of not less than 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Evaluation of the statement of purpose and description of goals in chosen major.
  • Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members or employment managers.

Graduate Students

  • United States citizen.
  • Official acceptance into an approved graduate UI SFS program (CS, or CompE).
  • Expected graduation with MS degree within two years.
  • Cumulative GPA of not less than 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Evaluation of the student’s statement of purpose. Candidates for a graduate degree must write a statement of purpose about their goals in the SFS program and graduate school.
  • Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members or employment managers.

In addition, we will consider the following criteria for both undergraduate and graduate candidates:

  • Commitment to participate in summer service and service following degree completion according to the guidelines of the SFS program.
  • Commitment to participate in assessment activities after their scholarship and required government service has ended.
  • Demonstrated leadership, participation in team activities, prior social service, and/or evidence of creative and independent thinking and/or behavior.

University of Idaho faculty who are principle investigators (PI) of the NSF grant will review all applications and interview likely candidates, either in person or by telephone. The selection process will end when the panel selects the students to be admitted on the basis of application data and the interview. During this selection process, the student's interests, goals and requests will be used to match each scholarship student with an appropriate faculty mentor. Each student will be included in a research project during their first year of support. Final approval of accepted applicants must be certified by OPM.

Applicants interested in entering the program can use the following dates as guidelines. Applicants are accepted into the program on a competitive, space-available basis. The SFS panel reviews applications periodically, starting in January. Incomplete applications are not reviewed.

  • Applications for candidates who wish to begin the SFS program in spring semester (January) applications will be accepted until Oct. 1 prior to the fall semester, or until the fellowship positions are filled. For spring 2016 acceptance: Applications will be accepted until Oct. 2016.
  • Applications for candidates who wish to begin the SFS program in fall semester (August): Applications will be accepted until Feb. 1 prior to the fall semester, or until the fellowship positions are filled. For fall semester 2016 acceptance: applications will be accepted until Feb. 2017.
  • Applications requesting a summer semester start will be deferred to fall semester.

Key components of the SFS program, in addition to the normal classroom and laboratory experiences contained in the undergraduate and graduate curricula, are:

  • Faculty with considerable experience in working with undergraduate and graduate students in a teaching and research environment.
  • Integration of students in existing research programs in Information Assurance.
  • An SFS Seminar emphasizing critical thinking, leadership, presentation and publication skills.
  • As a complement to hands-on research, a series of Technical Seminars, that will allow students to interact with experts in the field of information assurance.
  • An ethics component, in the form of an integrated sequence of lectures and discussion sections to be led by senior investigators with considerable expertise in this area.
  • Development of professional skills through lectures, mentoring, a training series and experience.
  • The service aspect, coordinated by OPM, where students will serve in a government agency during the summer between their first and second years in SFS. This service experience will give them an opportunity to solve specific real problems in information assurance.

The University of Idaho has been designated as a National Security Agency Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education and a National Science Foundation CyberCorps school. Research in Information Assurance involves many departments on campus, including Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Research sponsors include: NSA, NSF, NASA, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory, Inc., Army Research Office, DARPA, INL and PNNL. Examples of externally funded Information Assurance research at the UI include:

  • For reliability and distributed computing systems, we perform protocol analysis to identify potential security weaknesses and communications strategies and examine issues in development of dynamically configurable networked systems.
  • For the protection of systems in hostile environments, we model cyber threats and attacks in order to devise appropriate safeguards and countermeasures appropriate to protecting both small and widespread enterprises from large scale attacks as well as develop models for improved reliability.
  • For detection and prevention of information and network intrusion, we have developed methodologies in collaborative intrusion detection and misuse investigation; as part of this effort we develop, document, test and measure engineering practices and software tools and techniques that ensure secure and dependable software systems.

FAQ

No, but you must be accepted at the University of Idaho prior to starting the scholarship program.

Only bachelor’s and master’s programs in computer science or computer engineering are approved in the NSF grant with and emphasis in Information assurance.

Yes, you may apply, but we encourage you to talk to one of our SFS professors — Alves-Foss or Conte de Leon — before applying.

No. The work requirement is a one for one match between the time you are supported and the time you are asked to work. So if you are supported for three semesters, then you would have a work obligation of one and a half years.

Yes, you may apply, but we encourage you to talk to one of our SFS professors, Jim Alves-Foss or Daniel Conte de Leon, before applying.

Read this document from SFS scholars Jeremy Duffy and Tom Taylor.

Location

Center for Secure and Dependable Systems

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1008
Moscow, ID 83844-1008

Phone: 208-885-4114

Fax: 208-885-9052

Email: csds@uidaho.edu