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GOOGLE.ORG CYBERSECURITY SEMINARS

Bringing hands-on training in cybersecurity to European universities

Google, in collaboration with the European Cyber Conflict Research Incubator CIC (ECCRI CIC), will support selected universities across Europe to increase access and opportunities for students interested in learning about the key topics in the field of cybersecurity and exploring careers in the field. Students who participate in the courses will gain real-world experience in cybersecurity by making a tangible impact on local communities via activities such as internship placements, mentorship, and hackathons.

Why Cybersecurity Seminars

At Google, security has always been at the core of our products. We’ve worked to protect people, businesses and governments by sharing our expertise and advancing cybersecurity tools and resources.

This program will support cybersecurity training in higher education institutions in eight European countries to help students learn more about cybersecurity and explore pathways in the field. The program actively supports the expansion of cybersecurity training in European higher education institutions. We want to support these institutions in building a diverse workforce needed to help the most vulnerable organizations in Europe prevent potential cyber attacks.

Starting in December 2023, we will begin accepting applications from universities interested in establishing a Cybersecurity Seminar program on their campus.

How to apply

Signup for an Applicant Workshop

If you are a university interested in establishing a Cybersecurity Seminars program for students, please sign up for a virtual workshop to learn more about the program and the application process, which opens December 2023.

How organizations apply

Universities interested in participating in the Cybersecurity Seminars program can easily apply through the dedicated portal on the ECCRI CIC website.

How organizations are selected

Google.org, along with ECCRI CIC, will review and select applicants to receive funding during two open calls: one from November 29, 2023 to February 29, 2024; and one from April 8, 2024 to July 8, 2024.

Funding and support

Selected organizations will receive cybersecurity education resources by ECCRI CIC, up to $1M in funding and access to Google's technology and expertise. In addition to the financial support, recipients will benefit from educational guidance and resources provided by ECCRI CIC. Furthermore, they will gain access to a diverse and extensive European-wide cybersecurity instructor network, providing valuable mentorship and expertise to help them excel in the field of cybersecurity.

Google.org's approach to philanthropy

Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, brings the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges combining funding, product donations and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide opportunity for everyone.

We engage nonprofits, social enterprises and civic entities who make a significant impact on the communities they serve, and whose work has the potential to produce scalable, meaningful change.

FAQs

About

What is the Google.org Cybersecurity Seminars Program?

The Google.org Cybersecurity Seminars program is launching an open call to European universities to submit their application to host a cybersecurity seminar on their campus to create more opportunities for students from different walks of life and backgrounds to learn about the cybersecurity field, gain hands-on experience, and explore potential career pathways.

What do you mean by “Cybersecurity Seminars”?

Recognizing the diversity of students, communities, and locations across Europe, the program encourages universities to adapt and customize the setup of the cybersecurity seminars to best serve their unique needs and contexts.

University seminars can be run via various formats, such as a summer school, as a series of evening courses over a trimester, or as a credit-worthy course in university time, with the aim to allow students to explore the field of cybersecurity and get practical experience while supporting the digital defenses of under-resourced community organizations. University-based cybersecurity seminars address two simultaneous needs: building cybersecurity capacity and resilience in their communities and training the next generation of cybersecurity talent with real-world job experience. ECCRI CIC will offer a fully designed course syllabus, implementation support and other education resources to each selected university.

Why is Google supporting Cybersecurity Seminars?

At Google, security has always been at the core of our products. We’ve worked to protect people, businesses and governments by sharing our expertise and advancing cybersecurity tools and resources.

This fund will support higher education institutions to help students explore career pathways in cybersecurity. We want to support these institutions in building a workforce with the real-world experience needed to protect European communities.

What is the Applicant Workshop?

We are hosting applicant workshops in late January and early February and then again between April and June to ensure that all prospective participants have the opportunity to learn more about the program and its application process. During these workshops, we will walk you through the application process step by step, ensuring that you understand the requirements and procedures for applying. You will also have the chance to ask questions and seek clarifications about any aspects of the program.

When is the Google Cybersecurity Seminars program open for applications?

Applications for the Cybersecurity Seminars program will be accepted via two open calls. The application window for the first open call will be open November 29, 2023, to February 29, 2024, and the application window for the second open call will be open from April 8, 2024 to July 8, 2024. Make sure to mark these dates on your calendar to ensure you have ample time to prepare and submit your application.

What is the full program timeline?

First open call:

  • November 29, 2023: Application portal opens
  • Late January to Early February 2024: Information workshops
  • February 29, 2024: Application deadline
  • March 31, 2024: Notifications
  • September 1, 2024: Program commencement at universities

Second open call:

  • April 8, 2024: Application portal opens
  • April-June: Information workshops
  • July 8, 2024: Application deadline
  • September 2, 2024: Notifications
  • December 1, 2024: Program commencement at universities

What will successful applicants receive?

Successful applicants will receive up to $1,000,000 in funding from Google.org. In addition to the financial support, recipients will benefit from educational guidance and resources provided by ECCRI CIC. Furthermore, they will gain access to a diverse and extensive European-wide cybersecurity instructor network, providing valuable mentorship and expertise to help them excel in the field of cybersecurity.

What will universities commit to if selected?

As part of their commitment, selected universities will organize and run at least two cybersecurity seminar courses, reach 200 students, and engage with 250 community organizations over the next three years. In addition, universities must commit to offering each student hands-on experience with at least one community organization within each seminar course. These seminars can cover a range of topics, including vulnerability and risk assessments, cybersecurity policy development, incident response planning, penetration testing, AI and cybersecurity, and more, ensuring that students are well-prepared for real-world challenges.

In terms of time commitment, we would expect each cybersecurity seminar course to be roughly equivalent to a 5EC course under the European Credit system (about 135 hours total), even if the course is not taken for credit. Compared to most university courses, cybersecurity seminar courses will likely have a higher proportion of contact hours (around 50), and less self-study, with most self-study time dedicated to project work with underserved organizations.

Running cybersecurity seminars is a substantial commitment. Applications will be judged on the creativity, depth and feasibility of their proposal, especially on its ability to deliver real impact to under-resourced organizations beyond the university. Cybersecurity seminars are not a one-off; they require ongoing passion and dedication over three years - and ideally beyond - as well as a true enthusiasm for improving cybersecurity skills of students in a practical, careers-oriented way.

Crucially, universities are expected to actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within their cybersecurity programs, creating an inclusive environment that welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds, enriching the overall learning experience and strengthening the cybersecurity community.

What is the difference between the two open calls?

ECCRI CIC is offering institutions to apply to the program via two open calls: The first open call will take place from November 29, 2023 to February 29, 2024 and is only open to universities in Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine. The second open call will take place from April 8, 2024 to July 8, 2024, and is open to universities in all EU countries that did not receive grants in the initial phase.

What if I still have questions after reading the FAQs?

Please contact contact@europeancyber.org if you have additional questions.

Confidential information / IP

The details and ideas contained in your application will not be treated as confidential or proprietary so please do not share any confidential information as part of the open call process. Submitted project ideas contained in your application will be reviewed by ECCRI CIC, and Google, and other external experts in order to evaluate your proposal.

Who is the ECCRI CIC?

ECCRI CIC is a UK community interest or not-for-profit company (CIC), with its assets tied to the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative (ECCRI), a UK registered charity. ECCRI encourages and supports high-quality original research, as well as enabling researchers to communicate their findings to policy-makers and the general public. ECCRI CIC is facilitating the Google.org Cybersecurity Seminars Program, including training, curriculum development, networking and knowledge sharing. As part of this role, ECCRI CIC is responsible for all aspects of launching, hosting and operating the open call, including management of the application form and applicant data.

How will my data be stored?

Data collected in the applicant workshop form, data collected in the grant application form, and data provided by you through contact with ECCRI CIC via contact@europeancyber.org will be collected and retained by ECCRI CIC for the duration of the open call application process and will be deleted within three months of the open call window closing. The information you provide through the applicant workshop form and grant application will be used to contact you about workshops, next steps in the grant application process and to request additional information about your grant application, as applicable, in accordance with ECCRI CIC Privacy Policy. All personally identifiable information contained in your grant application will be redacted by ECCRI CIC before it shares your application with Google or external experts for further review. You may contact ECCRI CIC at any time to delete your application or to make updates or request deletion to your contact information.

How do I add, update or remove my contact information? Can I make changes to other points of contact in my organization?

At any time, you may request to delete or update your contact information by contacting contact@europeancyber.org.