Apply for a One-on-One Engagement with CTSC

One of CTSC's core activities is conducting one-on-one engagements with NSF projects and facilities.  To manage scheduling and learn about prospective engagees, we have instituted an engagement application process that is described on this page and also in our recorded webinar video.

When you are ready to apply, click the application link at the bottom of this page and complete the online form.

Our Application Review Cycle & Current Status

We review applications and plan engagements on a six-month cycle, unless an expedited process is undertaken for a particular application.  Most of our engagements are executed over a 1 to 6 month period.

We encourage early application (before the deadline) to help us process applications efficiently and thoroughly.

Important Dates:

  • October 2, 2017: Application Deadline for engagements to be executed January - June 2018

  • November 1, 2017: Decisions announced for first half of 2018

  • January 2018:  Kick off new engagements for January - June 2018

  • Spring 2018:  Begin accepting applications for consideration for execution in the second half of CY2018.

Expected Number and Types of Engagements

Topics for engagements include anything broadly in the scope of information security and can include development of new cybersecurity programs, assessing existing cybersecurity programs, software assurance, identity management, recommendations on new software features. Examples of prior engagements can be found on our blog

All engagements are contingent on CTSC having the available effort and expertise given necessary deadlines and other commitments. CTSC personnel have specific areas of expertise and the degree of overlap in required skills by simultaneous engagements will impact what CTSC can undertake.

For the upcoming application period of January-June 2018, CTSC expects to accept 3 applications, with one (at most) in the area of software security and one in the area of identity management. Based on prior application periods, we expect to accept less than half of the applications

Engagement Application Review Criteria

Applications providing positive information responsive to these criteria will cause a proposal to be reviewed favorably. We assess the strength of the entire application. Strength or weakness on any single criterion will not necessarily result in an accept or decline.

  1. NEED. How will this engagement impact the applicant and ultimately impact NSF science?
    • Note: Many NSF projects and facilities have institutional or other readily available cybersecurity resources. To clearly demonstrate the need for CTSC assistance, applicants are encouraged to provide context on the availability and utilization of these other resources.
  2. BROADER IMPACT. Is this engagement likely to produce broader impacts (e.g., public reports, tools, narratives, or other deliverables that will positively impact the science community beyond the engagee)? What other communities, organizations, or projects will benefit directly or indirectly from this engagement?
    • Note: To foster broader impact, submissions on behalf of multiple projects or communities are encouraged, as are those that collaborate with institutional or other information security teams.
  3. APPLICANT COMMITMENT. CTSC’s engagements are inherently collaborative and always require significant effort on the part of the engagee. Does the applicant have the appropriate managerial support, time, and resources to collaborate on the engagement and follow through with resulting recommendations?

Application Review Processing & Phases

One of our goals is a transparent process with clear communication.  We take each application through several phases, and may communicate with prospective engagees along the way. If you have questions regarding the status of your application, please contact the CTSC staff member assigned to your application -or-

  1. Initial Processing. Upon receipt, applications undergo initial processing: (a) an application owner is assigned within the CTSC team; (b) a determination is made regarding whether enough information was provided in order to review the application; and (c) if the applicant has requested expedited review, we have determined whether to undertake that expedited review.

  2. Under Review. The applications received within the application period will be formally considered by center leadership (leadership with significant organizational or funding conflicts of interest will recuse themselves). Applications under expedited review will be reviewed at the earliest convenience to the center leadership, depending on the circumstances.  The decision of whether to accept an application, and (if so) when to agree to execute on the engagement is based on the criteria given above.

  3. Determination Made.  CTSC's determination to accept or decline the application and the basis for that decision will be communicated to you in writing. Accepted applications will be made public (e.g., announced on our blog). Declined applications are not announced publicly, but may be shared with our advisory committee and NSF to seek feedback on our application decisions.


If you have questions regarding the application process or status of your application, please contact

To Apply

Please apply via our online form.