NSF Kicks Off Cybercorps Program

In a bid to lure computer whiz kids away from the private sector and into government jobs, the National Science Foundation kicked off its "cybercorps" program May 23, allocating more than $8.6 million to six universities participating in the project.

Administered by the NSF, the program provides scholarships for students to study computer science and related subjects. In return, students who receive the government support are required to serve one year in a government IT job for each year of scholarship-funded education they receive.

Discussing the program at an event in Herndon, Va. Richard Clarke, the Bush administration's top information security watchdog, said that the scholarships would play a vital role in strengthening the government's electronic defenses.

While the NSF concedes that some of the scholarship students will leave after they serve out their terms, the agency said that "many other graduates are expected to stay with the government, providing a cadre of young professionals to make a significant contribution to federal security programs over the long term."

The six universities funded under the program were Carnegie Mellon University, Iowa State University, Naval Postgraduate School, Purdue University, University of Idaho and the University of Tulsa.

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