Merkley, Wyden Announce $1.7 Million Coming to OSU for Cybersecurity Workforce Development

Merkley, Wyden Announce $1.7 Million Coming to OSU for Cybersecurity Workforce Development

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Oregon State University (OSU) is receiving $1,727,359 from the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) to prepare highly qualified cybersecurity professionals to serve in federal, state, local, and tribal governments.

“We must be prepared to take on the threat of cyber attacks on our critical infrastructure, as they pose a significant security risk to our nation,” said Senator Merkley. “This program will help train the cybersecurity professionals of the future, help strengthen and safeguard our infrastructure systems to stand up to this growing challenge, and prepare OSU students to enter a well-paid and in demand job field.”

“The constant and ever-evolving threat to cybersecurity from bad actors demands a rigorous and unflinching commitment to protect individuals’ privacy and communities’ safety,” Wyden said. “I’m glad OSU has earned this federal investment to prepare students for good-paying jobs in this crucial field that defends our state and country from cyberattacks.”

This project is supported by the CyberCorps® SFS program, which funds proposals establishing or continuing scholarship programs in cybersecurity and aligns with the U.S. National Cyber Strategy to develop a superior cybersecurity workforce. NSF intends to award a total of $4,799,707 over five years to support scholarships of 29 undergraduate and graduate students in four cohorts, emphasizing recruitment, retention, and placement of underrepresented and underserved groups in cybersecurity including women, first-generation college students, and low-income students.

 “The U.S. is facing a massive shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals. In Oregon alone, there are over 7,500 openings for cybersecurity and related jobs. This NSF grant will allow OSU to provide scholarships to students in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science’s cybersecurity program, and provide support for OSU’s new CyberClinic, which is an innovative program where students participate in a series of professionally guided clinical rotations to provide cybersecurity services to underserved organizations across the region. We thank Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley for their support for this grant opportunity, and for their efforts to improve US cybersecurity workforce development.” said Rakesh Bobba, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University.