(a) In general
The Director shall make awards on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations (or consortia of such institutions or organizations) to carry out research on the cyber workforce.
(b) ResearchIn carrying out research pursuant to subsection (a), the Director shall support research and development activities to—
understand the current state of the cyber workforce, including factors that influence growth, retention, and development of that workforce;
understand trends of the cyber workforce, including demographic representation, educational and professional backgrounds present, competencies available, and factors that shape employee recruitment, development, and retention and how to increase the size, diversity, and capability of the cyber workforce;
other closely related topics as the Director determines appropriate.
(c) RequirementsIn carrying out the activities described in subsection (b), the Director shall—
collaborate with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, including the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Office of Personnel Management, and other Federal departments and agencies, as appropriate;
align with or build on the National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education Cybersecurity Workforce Framework wherever practicable and applicable;
leverage the collective body of knowledge from existing cyber workforce development research and education activities; and