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Press Release | Nov. 29, 2012

NSA Award for the Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper

In order to encourage the development of the scientific foundations of cybersecurity, the National Security Agency (NSA) established an award for the best scientific cybersecurity paper. NSA invites nominations of papers published in fiscal year 2012 that show an outstanding contribution to cybersecurity science. A set of Distinguished Experts will review the nominations according to the criteria published below to select the winner and finalists for the Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Award. The finalists and winning papers will be announced on NSA's web site. The winner will be invited to present the winning paper to an audience of cybersecurity experts and government personnel.


Papers published in peer-reviewed journals, magazines, or technical conferences are eligible for nomination. The date of the publication must be within fiscal year 2012. Nominations should, in 500 words or less, describe the scientific contribution of the paper and explain why the paper merits the award. Nominated papers must be available in English and pdf format. Nominations must be submitted via the portal of the Science of Security Virtual Organization at The nominator may not be an author or co-author of the nominated paper.


The competition is open to the public and is not limited to U.S. citizens. If a paper includes a reviewer as a co-author, it may not be considered for an award.


A set of Distinguished Experts will review the submitted nominations and provide individual assessments to Dr. Deborah Frincke, NSA Deputy Director of Research, and Dr. Patricia Muoio, NSA Chief Trusted Systems Research Group. The following individuals have agreed to serve as Distinguished Experts for the first year.

  • Dr. Dan Geer, In-Q-Tel
  • Dr. John McLean, Naval Research Laboratory
  • Professor Ronald Rivest, MIT
  • Professor Angela Sasse, University College London
  • Professor Fred Schneider, Cornell University
  • Mr. Phillip Venables, Goldman Sachs
  • Professor David Wagner, University California at Berkeley
  • Professor Jeannette Wing, Microsoft Research

The NSA Deputy Director of Research and the Chief Trusted Systems Research Group will recommend awardees to the NSA Director of Research, whose decision will be final. Considerations in the evaluation of the nominated papers may include:

  • Scientific merit and significance of the work reported,
  • The degree to which the paper exemplifies how to perform and report scientific research in cybersecurity.

Papers may come from any field of cybersecurity research


  • Submission Period Begins: November 30, 2012
  • Submission Period for Entries Ends: January 31, 2013
  • Evaluation Process for Entries Begins: February 15, 2013
  • Evaluation Process for Entries Ends: April 1, 2013
  • Winners Notified: May 1, 2013
  • Winners Announced: June 1, 2013