Penn State Security Center announces Fall 2021 Grant Program

July 14, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Center for Security Research and Education (CSRE) is announcing its Fall 2021 Grant Program to support security-related scholarship and educational programs at Penn State. University faculty and researchers are eligible to apply by Sept. 30. The primary grant categories include Impact ($30,000), Seed ($15,000), and Education ($5,000).

Complete details on the CSRE grant program, including award levels, criteria, allowable expenses, reporting requirements and the grant application are available on the CSRE website. Applications can be submitted online.

Impact grants are designed to support interdisciplinary collaboration among Penn State faculty members and researchers pursuing specific and significant external funding opportunities. Seed grants are intended to facilitate the development of innovative and interdisciplinary initiatives and to explore external funding opportunities. Education grants are intended to promote awareness of security issues or enhance the curricular experience of Penn State students.

Proposals may address the broad range of security challenges confronting society. Applicants may seek funding to address threats currently facing national or international people, physical and electronic infrastructure, food and water supplies, public health, and the natural environment, as well as the implications of society’s responses to these threats on economic well-being, civil liberties, and culture.

For the Fall 2021 Grant Program, CSRE is particularly interested in proposals that address resilience and interdependencies of the critical infrastructure sectors, as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In particular, we invite proposals that address:

  • The protection of food and water supplies from cyberattacks at all stages of the production and distribution process; food or water supply contamination or disruption, including accidental or intentional food contamination, as well as a natural or human attack on a food transportation or energy source; disease and pests, resulting from exposure during international or national movement through the supply chain or from the harmful effects of severe weather coupled with global climate change.  Proposals that include international scope and partnerships are encouraged.  These topic areas were developed in partnership with and applicants may receive additional support from Penn State’s Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES).
  • Proposals that address challenges to energy infrastructure and security, such as those relating to protection of energy transmission and delivery grids including cyber and physical security threats; natural disasters and extreme weather conditions; workforce capability and human errors; aging infrastructure; changes in fuel supply; the changing geopolitics of energy; and improving the security of an increasingly distributed electric power system. These topic areas were developed in partnership with and applicants may receive additional support from Penn State’s Center for Energy Law and Policy

Though all University faculty and researchers are eligible for grants, preference will be given to proposals that originate or include substantial participation from CSRE contributing units, which include the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, Information Sciences and Technology, and the Liberal Arts; Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs; Applied Research Laboratory; Institute for Computational and Data Sciences; Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment; Penn State Harrisburg; Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences; and the Social Science Research Institute.

Preference will also be given to proposals that clearly reflect the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary security challenges, describe the objectives to be achieved, and include cost-sharing from additional Penn State units. Additionally, applicants who have previously received CSRE funding should provide evidence of positive outcomes from the prior award.

Grant recipients must be willing to present their research, serve as a panelist, or otherwise support a CSRE Critical Infrastructure Protection conference at University Park on March 30–April 1, 2022. 

The Center for Security Research and Education at Penn State promotes research, teaching and public outreach programs in the field of security. CSRE brings scholars from diverse disciplines together to pursue comprehensive solutions to security challenges. CSRE also promotes public discussion of the critical security issues of the day.

Last Updated July 16, 2021