National Science Foundation Scholarships for Service
Applications are currently being accepted for Spring 2011
The need for Cybersecurity professionals
Cybersecurity has emerged as a critical domain of global competition that reaches across the social, economic, political and military realms of influence. The growth of the Internet and its infusion into nearly every aspect of our life presents a target opportunity for adversaries. It is essential to develop new operational doctrines, cyberwarfare capabilities, and the necessary human capital needed to maintain our interests in cyberspace. Meeting these challenges requires developing qualified professionals who understand this environment and its opportunities or risks. The Computer Science Department at FSU is an NSA/DHS Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE_IAE) (since 2001) and Research (CAE_R) (since 2009), and stands ready to help build the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
Scholarship for Service
Focused on Information Assurance education, the Scholarship For Service
program gives students scholarship funds in exchange for service in the federal government for a period
equivalent to the length of their scholarship, typically two years. As a result of the SFS program,
federal agencies are able to select from a highly qualified pool of student applicants for internships and permanent
positions, and students get a guarantreed job.
The SFS program is offered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The NSF has awarded the Florida State University Information Security program funding to support 30-45 CyberScholars for the period 2010-2014. Scholarship recipients shall pursue academic programs in Information Assurance for up to two years at MS level. They will participate as a cohort during two years of study and activities, including a summer internship in a federal agency at the end of their first year of support. The recipients will become part of the Federal CyberCorps whose responsibility is to ensure the protection of the United States Government’s information infrastructure. Upon graduation, the CyberScholars will be required to work for a federal agency for two years in fulfillment of their Federal Cyber Service commitment. The scholarships provide academic year stipends of $12,000 per year for graduate students and other expenses.
Program Documents and Forms
The Information Security (InfoSec) MS in Computer Science is ideally suited for students
who want to assume leadership positions in the Information Assurance area. Graduates of the
InfoSec program become security experts equipped to manage
the growing complexities associated with securing data and networks.
Several Documents and Forms are listed below. The first gives a thorough description of the SFS program with helpful recommendations on meeting its requirements and finding a successful career. It includes a section on SFS FAQs for Students and a copy of the SFS Student Service Agreement. Look for tips on interviewing and job hunting for Federal jobs. In particular, tips for writing a government resume, a technical resume, a cover letter; tips for telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, and how to dress for face-to-face interviews. The second document covers FAQs. The third on hiring SFS Cyberscholars. The fourth has some general guidelines and requirements for FSU applicants. The fifth is the Program of Study. Then come the policy of C-SAIT for SFS and a copy of the Service Agreement. The last two concern CyberCorps scholars and the National Training Standards Certificate for Information Security Professional.
- SFS Student Toolkit
- SFS FAQ for students
- SFS Hiring Toolkit
- General Guidelines for applicants, Requirements for Cyberscholars
- Program of study
- C-SAIT Scholarship Program Policy
- Service Agreement [.DOC version]
- CyberCorps Website
- The Committee on National Security Systems, NSTISSI-4011
- A stipend of $12,000 for graduate students, in addition to the cost of tuition, fees, books, lab expenses, supplies and equipment.
- Internships and job opportunities with the world’s leading security organization.
Note: This scholarship is only available to full U.S. citizens!
How & When to Apply
Applications are currently being accepted for Spring 2011
Important: Participating in this program obliges you to a period of service in the federal government.
For details check SFS FAQ.
If accepted, you will need to commit to a Service Agreement with the federal government.
Each applicant should provide the following:
- Letter expressing interest in the NSF Cyber Training Scholarship program that includes a statement that indicates an understanding of the two year degree seeking nature of the program and of the two year commitment to the federal government after graduation
- Transcripts of all college work
- Standardized test scores (SAT, GRE)
- Statement of purpose and description of goals in your computer science MS degree program and in the field of computer security and information assurance
- Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members or employment managers familiar with the student’s background
- Official acceptance into Florida State University
- Current personal Resumé
Send your complete application to:
Kristan McAlpinGraduate Coordinator203D Love BuildingFlorida State UniversityTallahassee,FL32306-4530
The following minimum requirements must be met for eligibility:
- You must be a citizen of the United States.
- You must have completed at a minimum an undergraduate degree program and be eligible to begin the first or second year of a MS degree program and complete a graduate certificate program in Information Assurance.
- You must be a full time student within two years of graduation at Florida State University with MS degree in Computer Science.
- Successful applicants will demonstrate in the application process academic merit as well as indicators of future professional success.
- You must meet selection criteria for federal employment (you may be required to undergo a background investigation).
Assessment of Applications
Applications will be evaluated in three stages:
- Verification – Upon receipt of an application, the Department of Computer Science will review it for completeness and ensure that the applicant meets the minimum requirements for the program. The applicant will then be marked as “Insufficient Potential”, “Sufficient Potential”, “Average Potential”, “High Potential”, or “Superior Potential” based upon his or her transcript, GPA, academic honors, distinctions or awards and letters of reference.
- Classification – Upon completion of the application period, a panel of Information Security professors will objectively rate the applicants as “No Knowledge or Ability”, “Basic Knowledge or Ability“, ”Intermediate Knowledge or Ability“, “Advanced Knowledge or Ability”, “Superior Knowledge or Ability” based on the selection criteria.
- Ranking – The FSU Principal Investigator will compile a list of students who have been selected for the awards and forward the names to NSF for confirmation.
Criteria for Selection
The criteria used to classify and rank applicants are:
- Cumulative Undergraduate/Graduate GPA
- Major Undergraduate/Graduate GPA
- Academic record (course content)
- Standardized test scores
- Evaluation of the student’s statement of purpose.
- Two (2) Letters of Reference from current/former faculty members or current/former supervisors
- Demonstrated leadership, participation in team activities, prior social service, and/or evidence of creative and independent thinking and/or acting
- Knowledge of the techniques of the information technology and/or information security (assurance) discipline, including encryption, access control, physical security, training, threat analysis, and authentication
- Knowledge of the human factors in the information technology and/or information security (assurance), including human computer interaction, design, training, sabotage, human error prevention and identification, personal use policies, and monitoring
- Ability to identify and analyze problems, distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions, and provide solutions to individual and organizational problems
- Ability to consider and respond appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations; is tactful, compassionate and sensitive, and treats others with respect
- Ability to make clear and convincing oral presentations to individuals or groups; listens effectively and clarifies information as needed, facilitates an open exchange of ideas and fosters an atmosphere of open communication
- Ability to express facts and ideas in writing in a clear, convincing and organized manner appropriate to the audience and occasion
|203D James J. Love Building|
|Florida State University|
|Tallahassee. FL, 32306-4530|