Syracuse University

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SU receives $760,000 in NSF scholarships for graduate students studying information security

October 06, 2010

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

Syracuse University received a two-year, $760,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund U.S. citizens interested in studying cybersecurity and information assurance. The money will fund six graduate students a year for two years through the Scholarships for Service (SFS) program.

“We are very happy to have received this grant, which renews the presence of the SFS program within SU for the next two years,” says co-principal investigator Carlos Caicedo, assistant professor in the School of Information Studies (iSchool) and director of the Center for Convergence and Emerging Network Technologies. “The interdisciplinary faculty team and administrative support staff put a lot of effort into making this grant award a reality. Through the SFS program, we will prepare a new generation of cybersecurity professionals, for which there is a high demand within federal government agencies. These professionals will help shape and protect the cyber infrastructure that is so important for the economic prosperity of the United States.”

The SFS scholarship provides one-year or two-year scholarships that fund 18 credit hours per year of tuition costs and a yearly stipend of $12,000 in return for working for a government agency after graduation. One year of government service is required for each year of SFS scholarship funding. The program is designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of information security professionals in the federal, state and local agencies in the United States.

To be eligible for the SFS program, students from the iSchool, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the S.I.Newhouse School of Public Communications must apply and be accepted into the iSchool’s Certificate of Advanced Study in Information Security Management, or L.C. Smith’s Certificate of Advanced Study in Systems Assurance. For more information about the program or to apply for the scholarship, visit

SFS graduates who seek information security positions with a government agency often are required to undergo a background investigation to obtain a security clearance. Criminal convictions may prevent approval for a security clearance.

Since 2003, SU has graduated nearly 50 SFS scholars who are already working in government agencies with skills that enable them to work in a range of information assurance management, policy and systems development positions.

SU continues to bolster its reputation with a faculty and curriculum that are ever-more-recognized for their excellence in information assurance and cybersecurity. Last year, the Systems Assurance Institute, which was originally founded as an interdisciplinary research center in 2002, expanded to become the Center for Information and Systems Assurance and Trust (CISAT) and continues to foster collaboration and offer leading-edge courses in dynamic areas of theory and practice.

Additionally, SU researchers work with professionals at the JPMorgan Chase Technology Center on SU’s main campus on a range of projects that include issues relating to cybersecurity and risk analysis.

In 2001, 2004 and 2007, SU was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The most recent honor carries a five-year designation, which is held by only an elite few other institutions, such as Stanford University. In 2009, SU also received designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance-Research (CAE-R). The goal of both of these programs is to reduce the nation’s information infrastructure vulnerability by promoting higher education and research in information assurance, as well as producing more professionals in the field.

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