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UA Researchers Obtain $4.63 Million Grant for Cybersecurity Program


Jia Di

A team of University of Arkansas researchers has received a five-year, $4.63 million grant to recruit and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Named the “Cyber-Centric Multidisciplinary Security Workforce Development,” the program will use faculty in the University of Arkansas’ Computer Science and Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Industrial Engineering departments. The faculty members will design a curriculum that emphasizes cybersecurity, particularly in computer information systems and critical infrastructure.

As part of the program, the future students will learn about the tools and knowledge necessary in three principal industries: cybersecurity, transportation security and critical infrastructure security.

“The federal agencies that support these industries – all critical to our nation’s security and economic health – understand that new cybersecurity challenges are met with an increasingly insufficient security workforce,” said Jia Di, professor of computer science and computer engineering and principal investigator for the program. “But people at these agencies also understand that our university, with its specific research strengths, is uniquely positioned to expand the pool of highly skilled professionals who can address these challenges.”

Job training and research opportunities will be available for undergraduate and graduate students. Internships will also be available.

According to a University of Arkansas article, the program is aimed at combating a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. According to Di, there were 300,000 cybersecurity jobs open from September 2017 to August 2018.

READ MORE: Application Open for Fall 2019 I-Fund

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