U. Central Florida announces $3M cybersecurity scholarship program

(University of Central Florida)

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The University of Central Florida has received a nearly $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships for its cybersecurity students.

The funding will specifically go to scholarships related to cybersecurity training and research at the university, requiring that recipients must work for a federal, state, local or tribal government after graduation for at least the equal length of the scholarship.

“UCF has tremendous strengths in cybersecurity education and research, with growing recognition thanks to the excellence of our students and faculty,” UCF President Alexander Cartwright said in a university announcement. “We are so proud to be able to continue to help our students graduate with the critical skills and knowledge needed by employers and our nation to help our students graduate with the critical skills and knowledge needed by employers and our nation to help safeguard against growing digital threats.”

The grant announcement comes days after Oldsmar, Florida, which is near Tampa, announced a cyberattack against a water treatment plant that temporarily altered its sodium hydroxide to a potentially dangerous level.

The new investment is designed to help UCF train the next generation of cybersecurity leaders in Florida and contribute to a growing technological workforce.

“A world dependent on technology creates opportunities, but it also makes us vulnerable to cyber-attacks,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy said in the university announcement. “These federal investments will help UCF train the next generation of cyber professionals right here in Central Florida — creating jobs in our community and helping defend our nation against dangerous cyber threats.”

The $3 million grant is part of the National Science Foundation’s “CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service” program, which is focused on training the next generation of IT leaders and funneling those workers into roles within federal, state, local and tribal government agencies. UCF joins more than 70 other universities that have received the scholarship dollars from NSF.

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