This scholarship program, which was established by the National Science Foundation, is part of the “President’s National Plan for Information Systems Protection,” explains a notice published by OPM on January 29.
“This program seeks to increase the number of qualified students entering the fields of information assurance and computer security in an effort to respond to the threat to the Federal Government’s information technology infrastructure,” says the OPM notice. “The program provides selected 4-year colleges and universities scholarship grants to attract students to the information assurance field.”
“Scholarship For Service (SFS) is a unique program designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure,” says a fact sheet prepared by the program. “This program provides scholarships that may fully fund the typical costs incurred by full-time students while attending a participating institution, including tuition and education and related fees. Additionally, participants receive stipends of up to $20,000 for undergraduate students, $25,000 for master’s degree students and $30,000 per year for doctoral students. The scholarships are funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation.”
Students who participate in the program are required to serve a 10-week internship during their studies, and then complete a post-graduate employment commitment equal to the length of the scholarship or one year, whichever is longer.
OPM estimates it will hear from 630 respondents each year about this scholarship program.
Comments from the public about this information-gathering effort are due to OPM by February 28.