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UofL given millions of dollars to grow cybersecurity workforce, fight cyber threats

Funding will provide up to 100 full scholarships for undergraduate, graduate students.
Credit: University of Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville was awarded millions of dollars from the National Science Foundation to help grow the cybersecurity workforce.

The $3.4 million grant will cover full tuition for 100 students — 20 per year over five-years.

To be considered for the grant, students must be enrolled on campus in either the bachelor’s or master’s in computer science degree programs offered through the UofL J.B. Speed School of Engineering. They also must serve in federal, local, state or tribal government roles after graduation.

Adel Elmaghraby, UofL program lead for the CyberCorps and a professor of computer engineering, said there is a need for highly-trained cybersecurity professionals.

“Our lives are becoming increasingly connected and digital, and the same is true for our nation’s critical infrastructure,” Elmaghraby said. "UofL is already leading the development of this workforce and looks forward to expanding efforts through CyberCorps.”

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s Data Breach Report, there were 1,862 data breaches in 2021, with more than 80% revealing sensitive personal information.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals is high and growing. The White House’s National Cybersecurity Strategy calls for “developing a diverse and robust national cyber workforce.”

Sethuraman Panchanathan, NSF director, said as cyber threats become more complex, it's important to invest in cybersecurity.

"Cybersecurity is one of the most important issues confronting society in the information age," Panchanathan said in a news release. "It is imperative that we support the development of a strong cybersecurity workforce to ensure we can all benefit from secure and trustworthy cyberspace."

UofL is the first and only school in Kentucky to receive an NSF CyberCorps Scholarships for Service grant. To be eligible, schools must be designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in cyber defense education, cyber operations or research by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

“With technology continuing to become more of an integral piece of our everyday lives, a strong cybersecurity industry and workforce are the most important protections we have to ensure secure businesses and critical infrastructure across the Commonwealth and nation,” Kevin Gardner, UofL’s executive vice president for research and innovation, said.

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