The National Science Foundation has awarded Georgia State’s Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group (EBCS) nearly $300,000 for a pilot program to teach students advanced cybersecurity research skills and match them with CISOs, with whom they will test tools to improve organizations’ security.

Sixty students from throughout the Southeast will train in the “Evidence-based Cybersecurity-Training and Mentorship Program for Students” in groups of 30 over two summers. The training is free to the students, who will also receive cost-of-living stipends.

EBCS director David Maimon leads the academic side of the program with Georgia State faculty Robert Harrison, Richard Baskerville and Yubao Wu. Mentors will include members of the EBCS Advisory Board, made up of government, academia and business CISOs.

“The idea is to work closely with these CISOs, our law enforcement partners and others to produce a better, evidence-based science and employees who move the cybersecurity industry several steps forward,” Maimon said. “We will provide a supply of highly effective cybersecurity and law enforcement researchers.”

The industry will benefit when companies hire the students and apply the evidence-based cybersecurity research approach to their work, according to Maimon.

EBCS has begun recruiting mentors and will begin its student recruitment campaign in the fall.