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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.