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Purdue To Train 18 Security Specialists with Million-Dollar Grant

Purdue University has received a grant that will help it fund scholarships for master students in information security. The million-dollar, two-year grant from the National Science Foundation could be renewed for an additional two years.

A trio of Purdue professors, Eugene Spafford, Melissa Dark, and Victor Raskin, pursued the funds. All are part of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). The team submitted a proposal for "Preparing Cyber Security Leaders" to the NSF as part of CERIAS' Scholarship for Service program.

The money covers two years of tuition, living expenses, and stipends for American citizens to receive degrees in information security in return for mandatory employment in the federal government for the same amount of time. The university is targeting a total of 18 new graduates with a master of science degree in information security through the grant funding.

According to an abstract of the proposal, as part of their education, these students will participate in security research and "receive presentations by leaders in commerce, academia, and government."

"We have many on-going collaborations and provide services to key private and government contractors, and our students place well in the job market," said Spafford. "This new award will enable several groups of students to pursue master's degrees in either computer science or the interdisciplinary information security program and conduct research associated with CERIAS at Purdue."

Recipients of the scholarships may also take exams to prequalify them to return for doctoral study after their mandatory employment ends. This is no small matter. According to Purdue, a quarter of the Ph.D.s in the field have had affiliations with CERIAS over the last 12 years.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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