News Article

WANTED: Cyber leaders of the future

Last Updated: 05 Jul 2016
GCHQ’s CyberFirst Bursary scheme is now open for applications, on the same day we also welcome a new batch of students to our Cyber Insiders Summer School in Cheltenham.

News article - 4 Jul 2016

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©GCHQ 2016
With much of our lives heavily dependent upon making connections and transactions in cyberspace, there has never been a greater need for young talented people to help protect UK society, our families and our way of life. We are therefore pleased to announce that GCHQ’s CyberFirst Bursary scheme is now open for applications for this academic year 2016/17. 


CyberFirst offers sponsorship scheme for those studying relevant Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses at undergraduate level as well as work experience within a government department or a private sector firm involved in national security. Students receive a bursary of £4,000 a year for the duration of their course and are guaranteed a job in the cyber security sector upon graduation. There are 100 places up for grabs - a huge expansion from our pilot last year of just 20. To be eligible to apply you must be a UK citizen and have an offer to study an undergraduate degree in a STEM, or social science subject, at a UK university starting autumn 2016. Please visit our recruitment pages to find out more.

Also building on the success of last year’ programme we are welcoming our second batch of students to our Cyber Insiders Summer School in Cheltenham today.  In addition to providing participants with an innovative and informative curriculum, we also hope to attract them to return to GCHQ in the future as interns or to apply to become employees. This year’s successful candidates are studying for either a degree in computer science or a STEM subject. They  must also have the ability to code in C, Java, Javascript, MATLAB, Perl or Python. At the selection stage, they were assessed on their knowledge of cyber security and current experience of coding languages. We were also interested in their enthusiasm for coding and computer science, such as working on coding projects in their own time.

The course has been designed to focus on areas which would be particularly relevant to people taking on roles as Computer Network Operations Specialists. It includes modules on advanced coding, malware, operating systems, reverse engineering, cyber defence, and penetration testing.

Cyber Insiders is closely followed on 11 July by Cyber Exposure, a six-week cyber summer school in Scarborough, Manchester and the South East. Cyber Exposure is aimed at people who won't necessarily have technical experience, but who are curious about technology and want to learn from the best.