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Cyber Security Grants for Education

Cyber Security Grants for Education

Susan Green | Jan 8, 2019

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing technical professions and U.S. colleges and universities are racing to open new degree programs to prepare young graduates for promising careers in the field. National and regional government are also sponsoring new initiatives to develop a skilled cyber workforce and there are plenty of cyber security grants for education available to higher education institutions to help build the cyber range training facilities that are the backbone of any quality cyber security education program.

There are various avenues that an institution can take with respect to grant funding. In this post we will review the main resources and update the post as needed. The Chief Academic Officer plays a central role in initiating grant applications, prioritizing funding and supporting faculty so as to build viable cybersecurity programs that endure.  In addition to securing grants, institutions need to be strategic about building degree programs that deliver highly valuable training so that it will become a draw for students and employers. In addition, a highly realistic, versatile cyber range, capable of running numerous attach scenarios and simulating various types of networks, will also be able to generate substantial income from selling professional training sessions and programs to the private sector.


FREE WEBINAR: Learn How Miami Dade College Built the Cyber Degree Program of the Future

Cyber Security Grants for Education:
National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants, and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations, and other research organizations throughout the United States. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research. NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. As of publication, the NFS has over 25 cyber security funding sources. Below are a few of the most relevant to get you started.

Cyber Security Grants for Education Application Deadlines

Cyber Security Grants for Education Deadlines

Community College Cyber Pilot (C3P) Program

Deadline: January 31, 2019

To date, the Community College Cyber Pilot (C3P) program has funded projects to implement scholarship programs at nine community colleges. Grants are earmarked to develop “innovative and efficient cybersecurity education system that will produce an unrivaled cybersecurity workforce as well as a cybersecurity-literate citizenry. Community colleges play an important role in these efforts by offering degrees and industry-recognized credentials that prepare students to fill high-demand cybersecurity jobs. In recognition of this role, NSF supports skilled technical workforce programs at community colleges to develop skills necessary for the Nation’s cybersecurity missions.

To advance the mission of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, NSF encourages projects that will generate new knowledge about effective cybersecurity education, re-skilling workers to meet cybersecurity needs, preparing nontraditional students to reenter the educational system, increasing the diversity of the cybersecurity workforce, using applied research experiences to build skills and competencies for real-world scenarios, and building effective collaborations between educational institutions, business, industry, and government. Investigating some of these issues in conjunction with a novel educational program for the scholars may enhance the impact of the pilot projects.


Name Email Telephone
Corby  Hovis (703) 292-4625
Vincent  Huang  (703) 292-7877
Victor  Piotrowski (703) 292-5141


Advanced Technological Education  (ATE)

Deadline:  October 3, 2019

With an emphasis on two-year Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation’s economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions (grades 7-12, IHEs) and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary institution school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways; and other activities. The program invites research proposals that advance the knowledge base related to technician education. It is expected that projects will be faculty driven and that courses and programs credit-bearing, although materials developed may also be used for incumbent worker education.

The ATE program encourages partnerships with other entities that may impact technician education. For example, with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs) as applicable to support technician education programs and the industries they serve; Manufacturing USA Institutes and Investing in Manufacturing Communities of Practice (IMCPs) addressing workforce development issues (also see DCL NSF 16-007); and NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC) awardees.

The ATE program encourages proposals from Minority Serving Institutions and other institutions that support the recruitment, retention, and completion (certificate, degree, program) of students underrepresented in STEM in technician education programs that award associate degrees. NSF is particularly interested in proposals from all types of Minority Serving Institutions (including Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions) where the proportion of underrepresented students interested in advanced technology careers is growing.


Name Email Telephone
Corby  Hovis (703) 292-4625


Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace  (SaTC)

Deadline: Full Proposal Accepted Anytime

The Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) fund states, in today’s increasingly networked, distributed, and asynchronous world, cybersecurity involves hardware, software, networks, data, people, and integration with the physical world. Society’s overwhelming reliance on this complex cyberspace, however, has exposed its fragility and vulnerabilities that defy existing cyber security measures: corporations, agencies, national infrastructure and individuals continue to suffer cyber-attacks. Achieving truly secure cyberspace requires addressing both challenging scientific and engineering problems involving many components of a system, and vulnerabilities that stem from human behaviors and choices. Examining the fundamentals of security and privacy as a multidisciplinary subject can lead to fundamentally new ways to design, build and operate cyber systems, protect existing infrastructure, and motivate and educate individuals about cyber security.

The goals of the SaTC program are aligned with the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan (RDSP) and the National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS) to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. The RDSP identified six areas critical to successful cybersecurity research and development: (1) scientific foundations; (2) risk management; (3) human aspects; (4) transitioning successful research into practice; (5) workforce development; and (6) enhancing the research infrastructure. In alignment with the objectives in both strategic plans, the SaTC program takes an interdisciplinary, comprehensive and holistic approach to cybersecurity research, development, and education, and encourages the transition of promising research ideas into practice.

The SaTC program welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy, and draw on expertise in one or more of these areas: computing, communication and information sciences; engineering; economics; education; mathematics; statistics; and social and behavioral sciences. Proposals that advance the field of cybersecurity and privacy within a single discipline or interdisciplinary efforts that span multiple disciplines are both encouraged.

Proposals must be submitted pursuant to one of the following designations, each of which may have additional restrictions and administrative obligations as specified in this program solicitation.

CORE: This designation is the main focus of the SaTC research program, spanning the interests of NSF’s Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Engineering (ENG), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE).

EDU: The Education (EDU) designation will be used to label proposals focusing entirely on cybersecurity education.

TTP: The Transition to Practice (TTP) designation will be used to label proposals that are focused exclusively on transitioning existing research results to practice.

CORE and TTP proposals may be submitted in one of the following project size classes:

Small projects: up to $500,000 in total budget, with durations of up to three years;

Medium projects: $500,001 to $1,200,000 in total budget, with durations of up to four years;

EDU proposals are limited to $500,000 in total budget, with durations of up to three years.


Name Email Telephone
Nina Amla (703) 292-7991
Dan  Cosley (703) 292-8491
Sol  Greenspan (703) 292-8910
Timothy  Hodges (703) 292-2113
Sara  Kiesler (703) 292-8643
Sandip  Kundu (703)292-8950
Jenshan  Lin (703) 292-7950
Andrew  D. Pollington (703) 292-4878
Victor  Piotrowski (703) 292-5141
Indrajit  Ray (703)-292-8950
Phillip  A. Regalia (703) 292-2981
Kevin  Thompson (703) 292-4220
Susanne  Wetzel (703) 292-4642


Training-based Workforce Development for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure  (CyberTraining)

Deadline: February 6, 2019

The Training-based Workforce Development for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure  (CyberTraining) program seeks to prepare, nurture, and grow the national scientific research workforce for creating, utilizing, and supporting advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) to enable and potentially transform fundamental science and engineering research and contribute to the Nation’s overall economic competitiveness and security. The goals of this solicitation are to (i) ensure broad adoption of CI tools, methods, and resources by the research community in order to catalyze major research advances and to enhance researchers’ abilities to lead the development of new CI; and (ii) integrate core literacy and discipline-appropriate advanced skills in advanced CI as well as computational and data-driven science and engineering into the Nation’s educational curriculum/instructional material fabric spanning undergraduate and graduate courses for advancing fundamental research. Pilot and Implementation projects may target one or both of the solicitation goals, while Large-scale Project Conceptualization projects must address both goals. For the purpose of this solicitation, advanced CI is broadly defined as the set of resources, tools, methods, and services for advanced computation, large-scale data handling and analytics, and networking and security for large-scale systems that collectively enable potentially transformative fundamental research.

This solicitation calls for innovative, scalable training, education, and curriculum/instructional materials—targeting one or both of the solicitation goals—to address the emerging needs and unresolved bottlenecks in scientific and engineering research workforce development, from the postsecondary level to active researchers. The funded activities, spanning targeted, multidisciplinary communities, will lead to transformative changes in the state of research workforce preparedness for advanced CI-enabled research in the short- and long-terms. As part of this investment, this solicitation also seeks to broaden CI access and adoption by (i) increasing or deepening accessibility of methods and resources of advanced CI and of computational and data-driven science and engineering by a wide range of scientific disciplines and institutions with lower levels of CI adoption to date; and (ii) harnessing the capabilities of larger segments of diverse underrepresented groups. Proposals from, and in partnership with, the aforementioned communities are especially encouraged.

There are three project classes as defined below:

Pilot Projects: up to $300,000 total budget with durations up to two years;

Implementation Projects: Small (with total budgets of up to $500,000) or Medium (with total budgets of up to $1,000,000) for durations of up to four years; and

Large-scale Project Conceptualization Projects: up to $500,000 total budgets with durations up to 2 years.

Section II. Program Description provides a more complete description of the project classes. Section V.A. Proposal Preparation Instructions describes the proposal elements required for the various project classes in order to address the suitable set of solicitation-specific review criteria.

The CyberTraining program is led by the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and has participation from several directorates and divisions as described in Section II. Program Description, Programmatic Areas of Interest. Not all directorates/divisions are participating at the same level and some have specific research and education priorities. The appropriate contact for the CyberTraining program in any directorate/division is the Cognizant Program Officer (PO) for the respective directorate/division/office/program listed.

All projects are expected to clearly articulate how they address important community needs and will provide resources that will be widely available to and usable by the research community. Prospective principal investigators (PIs) are strongly encouraged to contact the Cognizant Program Officers in CISE/OAC and in the participating directorate/division relevant to the proposal to ascertain whether the focus and budget of their proposed activities are appropriate for this solicitation. Such consultations should be completed at least one month in advance of the submission deadline. PIs should include the names of the Cognizant Program Officers consulted in a Single Copy Document as described in Section V.A. Proposal Preparation Instructions. The intent of the CyberTraining program is to stimulate co-funding between OAC and one or more “domain” directorates/divisions. (For this purpose, units of CISE other than OAC are considered “domain” divisions.) To ensure relevance to community needs and to facilitate adoption, those proposals of interest to one or more domain divisions must include at least one PI/co-PI with expertise relevant to the targeted research discipline. All proposals shall include at least one PI/co-PI with expertise relevant to OAC.

Prospective PIs contemplating submissions that primarily target communities relevant to directorates/divisions that are not participating in this solicitation are directed to instead explore the education and workforce development programs of the respective directorates/divisions.


Name Email Telephone DIR/DIV
Sushil K. Prasad (703) 292-7991 CISE/OAC
Joanne D. Culbertson (703) 292-4602 ENG/CMMI
Christina Payne (703) 292-2895 ENG/CBET
Sara  Kiesler (703) 292-8643 SBE/SES
Almadena Y. Chtchelkanova (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Chun-Hsi (Vincent) Huang (703) 292-7877 EHR/DGE
Victor  Piotrowski (703) 292-5141 EHR/DGE
Ronald Joslin (703) 292-7030 ENG/CBET
Anthony Kuh (703) 292-2210 ENG/ECCS


Cyber Security Grants for Education:
Private Foundations

Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina Foundation aims to increase the rate of adults with access to post-secondary school education, In their 2017-20 Priorities for Action the foundation outlines three target populations; traditional students, returning adults, and adults with no education beyond high school. The foundation priorities are initiatives that develop competency-based learning and help students gain their first industry credentials that will help them joined the skilled workforce. Building a cyber range can definitely help you reach these goals as in offers hands-on skill training and practice, as opposed to the traditional book and lecture format.

To learn more about cyber security grants for education to support your cyber range, contact Candace Brandt at the Lumina Foundation.

MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is the 12th-largest private foundation in the United States, has an endowment of $7.0 billion, and provides approximately $260 million annually in grants and impact investments.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success
The goal of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success program is to ensure that all students who seek the opportunity are able to complete a high-quality, affordable postsecondary education that leads to a sustaining career. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. The Postsecondary Success program goal is to dramatically increase the number of young people who obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate with labor-market value. Their strategy is to increase low-income students’ college completion rates through innovations that can improve the productivity and performance of U.S. universities and colleges and ensure that all students have access to a high-quality, highly personalized education.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does not usually accept unsolicited requests for funding, so check out their ‘How We Work’ page.

FREE WEBINAR: Learn How Miami Dade College Built the Cyber Degree Program of the Future

Susan Green is Regional Director North East at Cyberbit and is happy to assist colleges and universities seeking to build a cyber range training and simulation facility.