The title pretty much says it all. Does the US Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency fund academic research projects related to cyber security or infrastructure security? If not, which agency is primarily responsible for funding this kind of research?


2 Answers 2


A little. You can see their forecast here. CISA currently has 8 solicitations, but none under the R&D codes. Of these, perhaps the best fit towards academics is this one seeking a vendor to evaluate the severity of vulnerabilities -- apparently CMU's software engineering institute is the "incumbent" performer. Similarly, UT-San Antonio got $1.2M last year to "develop methods by which state, local, tribal and territorial agencies can better identify their high-value assets." But these are just a few, small-ticket items.

(Note, this answer does not address your second question, which was added later.)

  • Thank you for your answer! I edited my post to add an additional question. If you happen to know an answer to the second part as well that would be fantastic. Apr 13, 2022 at 21:16
  • @graphtheory123 - that added second question is a shopping question, so please remove it...
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 13, 2022 at 21:26
  • 1
    Probably other offices within DHS or DOE, I don’t know specifically though. There is also (as of 2021) a “national cyber director’s office.”
    – cag51
    Apr 13, 2022 at 21:29
  • And yeah, we frown on “what are some good sources” questions (so-called "shopping questions"), but you might be able to get away with rephrasing in a more answerable way, such as “which US government agency funds most of [this kind of work]”. I took a stab at rewriting along these lines.
    – cag51
    Apr 13, 2022 at 21:32
  • NSF (National Science Foundation) funds a certain amount, but I don't have numbers or comparisons... Apr 13, 2022 at 22:09

By looking top-down (i.e. not from past granted research funds, but from federal budget requests and from current grants funded by CISA), it is clear to me that CISA does not perform R&D, not even applied R&D, but it supports the implementation of the results of such research, by offering grants to the local/statal governing institutions.

On top of that, in this news article from a topic-related site

The White House’s discretionary funding request for CISA in fiscal 2022 totals $2.1 billion, or $110 million more than Congress allotted the agency the previous fiscal year. Discretionary budgets are those that Congress can alter with appropriations bills, in contrast to the “mandatary” funding that is built into law.

The funding request also includes $20 million for a new “cyber response and recovery fund” at DHS meant to help state and local government recover from things like ransomware attacks. The request also calls for more federal investment in cybersecurity research, with the Biden administration proposing an additional $128 million, compared to the fiscal year for 2021, going toward the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

I am not sure if the NIST is responsible for the research funds you are interested in, but there is the page of the Department of Homeland Security which refers to its own Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), where forCybersecurity / Information Analysis R&D it states that:

Securing and protecting our nation’s cyber networks is a key priority for the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

S&T conducts and supports research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), and the transition of advanced cybersecurity and information assurance technologies to secure the nation’s current and future cyber and critical infrastructures. [...] S&T supports DHS components such as CISA, FBI, ICE, DoJ, FEMA, USCG

And looking into their site one can find that

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has awarded $2 million to the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), a DHS Center of Excellence (COE) led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

which should be the designed destination for your enquiries addressing applied R&D towards resilience in the cyberdomain.

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