Cyber Security Scholarships Available to UA Students

  • February 6th, 2020
Federal and UA employees stand on a stage during a ceremony holding a certificate.
Dr. Jeffrey Carver and Dr. Travis Atkison from UA, center, are recognized by Karen A. Marrongelle and Dr. F. Fleming Crim with the National Science Foundation on the left and, on the right, Bradford J. Willke from the Department of Homeland Security and Veronica Villalobos from the Office of Personnel Management.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama will provide scholarships through a national program aimed at recruiting the next generation of cyber security professionals interested in government service.

UA received a five-year $3.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships to UA students interested in pursuing government careers in cyber security. The scholarships are offered through the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service, SFS, which is supported by the NSF and the Department of Homeland Security. UA’s program is called SFS@BAMA.

The program provides a full-tuition scholarship along with a stipend – $25,000 annually for undergraduate students and $34,000 annually for graduate students – along with an allowance for books, certifications and professional travel.

UA students chosen for the scholarship program must complete a summer internship and obtain employment in a governmental cyber security job after graduation for at least as many years as they receive the scholarship. Students will attend an annual job fair in Washington, D.C. and receive additional support for identifying summer internships and post-graduation employment.

“It is abundantly clear that our nation requires cyber security professionals to address the nation’s critical cyber security needs,” said Dr. Jeffrey Carver, professor of computer science, chair of the UA Cyber Initiative and lead on the project. “SFS@BAMA will produce a set of diverse, high-quality cyber security professionals who are ready and capable to meet these critical cyber security demands.”

Students are encouraged to apply through the program’s website, cybercorps.cs.ua.edu. Eligible students must be:

— a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

— enrolled in the bachelor’s or master’s degree or in the Accelerated Master’s Program in either computer science, criminology and criminal justice, or management information systems.

— a full-time UA student with a grade-point average of at least 3.0.

— on schedule to graduate within two years of the start of the award.

— eligible for civil service employment, including the ability to obtain a national security clearance.

— willing to work in government service for a period equal to the length of the scholarship award.

“These scholarships will be very competitive, and we anticipate a strong response,” Carver said. “We encourage interested students to apply as soon as possible.”

Cyber security jobs include work in network attack, network defense, cyber crime investigation, cyber operations planner, security architect, cyber policy and strategy manager, among others.

“These scholarships provide our students with opportunities to serve their country by defending our nation’s critical systems,” said Dr. Travis Atkison, UA assistant professor of computer science who helps lead the grant. “This program gives our students the advantage of interactions with many of the federal government agencies who require this type of work.”

Interested UA students are encouraged to visit the SFS@BAMA website or contact Carver at carver@cs.ua.edu for general program questions.

For questions specific to an area of study, UA students are encouraged to contact other faculty members on the grant. Computer science students can contact Atkison at atkison@cs.ua.edu. Students in criminology and criminal justice can contact Dr. Diana Dolliver, UA associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, at dldolliver@ua.edu. Students in MIS can contact Dr. Matthew Hudnall, UA assistant professor of MIS, at matthew.hudnall@ua.edu.

Contact

Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328, adam.jones@ua.edu

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.