FAQs

The following FAQ's related to only the AZSecure Cybersecurity Fellowship Program

When do I apply?

Please see the application deadlines and links on the How To Apply page.

Do I have to sign a contract to participate in the AZSecure Cybersecurity Fellowship Program?

Yes, you will sign a written service agreements that details your responsibilities. The current service agreement may be seen in the menu at left.

Can traditional master's students or PhD students participate? 

The scholarship funding is only available to eligible, qualified SFS program participants.  However, students enrolled in MIS are welcome to take information assurance classes and/or to enroll in the online Enterprise Security Certificate program.

Am I required to work for two years if I earn my degree in less than two years? 

No, the work requirement is a one-for-one match between the time you are supported and the time you are expected to work, but you must work a minimum of one year.

How do I get my UA transcript for applications?

If you are applying for a position that requires an official University of Arizona transcript, you may order transcript delivery through the University’s Office of the Registrar.  See the “University of Arizona Transcripts” page at https://www.registrar.arizona.edu/transcripts to view an unofficial copy of your transcript, or to order an official copy.

They also offer an FAQ page at https://www.registrar.arizona.edu/regtransFAQs.

Does an internship or employment at a local government agency fulfill the work requirement? 

Yes, you may work for federal, state, or local government entities. Non-federal placements require prior approval from the Scholarship for Service's officer in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Can I do my internship or be employed by a national laboratory? 

Yes, a limited number of students may be placed in National Laboratories and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs).  Such placements require prior approval from OPM SFS.

Can I fulfill my internship or employment responsibility by working at a government contractor? 

No; to fulfill your government obligation, you must work at a federal, state, local, or tribal government organization, an independent agency, government corporation, commission, quasi-official agency, national laboratory, or federally funded research development center.

Do I have to work in the area of cybersecurity? 

Yes, you must be employed at a government agency in an information assurance position.

What does a security clearance involve?

More information about security clearances can be found on the OPM website’s “Background Investigations” page (http://www.opm.gov/investigations/background-investigations/). The procedures and forms used by agencies vary, but the Standard Form (SF) 86 (Questionnaire for National Security positions) is often used for background investigations and security clearances.

Am I guaranteed a permanent position with a federal agency? 

No, you are responsible for your own job search, but will receive support in that search through events and services such as a national career fair and a database of participants' resumes.

What is the starting salary for someone graduating from this program? 

Federal employees with a bachelor's degree typically begin their employment at the GS-7 level and above, and those with a master's degree may be appointed at the GS-9 level.  Higher civil service levels and steps may be applicable depending on many factors.  The hiring agency makes the determination about the civil service step and pay grade.  Federal pay rates vary depending on the geographic location of the appointment, and special pay rates have been created for federal IT-related jobs.

What happens if I do not accept an offer and am not placed? 

If you decline a reasonable offer and do not find a position to meet your obligation you could be required to pay back the monies received through the scholarship.

What happens if I leave my job before I've served the time required? 

You must repay a prorated amount equivalent to the length of the period not served.

How can I get additional information?

The U.S. Department of Personnel Management has an extensive list of FAQs related to the SFS program that you may find helpful.  Or, contact the SFS Program Coordinator or Program Administrator for more information.

More FAQ's available at the OPM SFS FAQ page at https://www.sfs.opm.gov/StudFAQ.aspx

The above adapted from UT-Austin SFS website, 2014.