A new honours scholarship will help train the next generation of experts tackling major challenges across cybersecurity, data science and cloud computing, as well as a range of other key areas.

The Co-Lab Honours Grant was launched this week by Vice-Chancellor of The Australian National University (ANU), Professor Brian Schmidt, and the Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Andrew Hastie MP.

Based at ANU, the Co-Lab brings together leading ANU academics and some of ASD’s foremost analysts and technologists to collaborate on research projects and STEM career pathways for students – with Australia’s national security at its centre.

The new honours grant program offers $8,000 in funding for exceptional students to focus on leading research projects with real life impact, greatly enhancing their student experience and career opportunities.

Professor Schmidt said the grant and the Co-Lab collaboration with ASD was another example of the University’s distinct national mission.

“This is a really important initiative,” Professor Schmidt said.

“Our students will work with the country’s leading agency on cybersecurity to help build the future workforce to meet Australia’s national security requirements.”

The grant program welcomes students who are interested in a career with ASD, with a goal of helping to foster new talent for ASD’s growing, multi-skilled and diverse workforce.

Assistant Minister Hastie said more than ever ASD needs people with a rare mix of specialist skills, adaptability and imagination to defend the nation against the most sophisticated adversaries.

“Growing ASD’s workforce to support its mission is a top priority – talented people are at the heart of ASD’s capability,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.

“So I’m pleased to announce that ASD’s technical experts, in conjunction with ANU researchers, will offer 30 Honours students bespoke training, career guidance and mentoring while working on real-world problems in real-world settings.

 “The growth and maturity of the Co-Lab Honours Program reflects the strength of the ASD-ANU partnership, and I’m continually impressed by the sheer ingenuity and insights of the students this program attracts.”

Grants are available to students undertaking a research project during their Honours year that aligns with ASD research interests including the following fields: Mathematics; Engineering; Computer Science; Linguistics; Statistics; Psychology; Sociology; Languages.

ASD’s mission is to defend Australia from global threats and advance Australia’s national interests by delivering foreign signals intelligence, cyber security and offensive cyber operations.

Applications are open until 28 February 2022. You can read more and apply here.

Top image: ANU

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James Giggacher

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