Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting Cybersecurity & Privacy Education and Workforce Development

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

April 24, 2023

Dear Colleagues:

Cybersecurity and privacy research evolves constantly and rapidly to address current and emerging threats, and it is critical that educational and training curriculum evolve in lockstep with these advances. There is a critical need for novel educational and pedagogical approaches to build a highly skilled cybersecurity and privacy workforce to protect and defend U.S. cyberspace, ensure national security, and mitigate harms to individuals and communities from the use of digital technologies. The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program views security and privacy as a multidisciplinary subject that can lead to fundamentally new ways to design, build, and operate cyber systems; protect existing infrastructure; and motivate and educate individuals about cybersecurity. The education (EDU) designation in SaTC is focused on the development of evidence-based and evidence-generating approaches that will improve cybersecurity education and workforce development at the K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and professional education levels. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) aims to complement efforts under the EDU designation, as well as efforts to strengthen the national cybersecurity workforce pipeline via the NSF CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service program and the Cyber Defense Education and Training program at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

This DCL invites novel and transformative approaches for formal or informal educational innovations in cybersecurity and privacy, and identifies opportunities for two types of additional funding: education supplements to existing SaTC research awards, and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals.

  • Education supplements: Principal Investigators (PIs) on all existing SaTC Small, Medium, Large, and Frontier awards (Core and Transition to Practice) and Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) awards may submit a supplemental funding request for an education supplement to enable the co-evolution of cybersecurity curricula with the state-of-the-art in the cybersecurity body of knowledge. These requests should leverage the original SaTC project to rapidly translate research advances to novel educational materials that can lead to new ways of teaching and learning cybersecurity concepts and principles.
  • EAGER proposals: The EAGER type of proposal supports exploratory work, in its early stages, on untested but potentially transformative research ideas or approaches. This work may be considered especially "high risk – high payoff" in the sense that it, for example, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches to cybersecurity education and workforce development.

Proposals and supplemental funding requests should clearly describe the approach, expected outcomes, and budget for the proposed effort. The proposed effort, as outlined in the following paragraphs and bullet list, should be focused on advancing cybersecurity and privacy education and workforce development.

Proposals and supplemental funding requests that demonstrate innovation, feasibility, and potential for development of education and workforce skills on all research topics within the scope of the SaTC program are welcome, and submissions that describe an interdisciplinary approach are especially encouraged. Of particular interest are proposals and supplemental funding requests that target emerging areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (including generative AI), cyber-digital assets (such as digital ledgers, blockchains, and cryptocurrencies), software assurance and resilience, virtual and augmented reality, wireless networking, and quantum computing. The submissions should emphasize secure- and privacy-by-design approaches, and multidisciplinary socio-technical aspects of cybersecurity and privacy including understanding of data protection and privacy laws and their ramifications as well as the threats, risks and harms of emerging technologies.

Supplemental funding requests: Prior to submission of a supplemental funding request, PIs must submit a one-page summary of the proposed topic and approach for review by NSF. The one-page summary (PDF preferred) should be sent to, with a CC to the award's cognizant program director by May 23, 2023.

EAGER proposals: Prior to submission of an EAGER proposal, PIs must submit a two-page concept outline of the proposed topic and approach for review by NSF. The two-page concept outline (PDF preferred) should be sent to by May 23, 2023. 


Junior Faculty


Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

May 23, 2023