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Experiential Learning Proposal: A UROP+ on Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure (Multiple Openings)




17: Political Sciences

Faculty Supervisor:

Chappell H. Lawson

Faculty email:


Apply by:

September 14, 2020



Project Description

The last two decades have revealed the vulnerability to cyberattack of “critical infrastructure” – that is, the power grids, pipelines, financial networks, and other vital systems. Governments are alert to this danger, but no consensus has emerged on how best to address it, especially where critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector. UROPers will work on one of four projects: (1) Why countries have adopted different policies, (2) the details of policy in five sectors within the United States (electricity, financial services, telecommunications, the water and wastewater, and mass transit), (3) the development of international partnerships for defense against common threat actors and “defend forward” strategies that aim to disrupt threats abroad before attacks affect infrastructure, and (4) how much firms actually underinvest in cybersecurity as a result of not taking into account the fact that failures in one firm could affect another firm in the same industry. UROPers participating in these projects will receive training in analytical writing and interviewing, and will also be invited to serve as rapporteurs in a series of conferences on cybersecurity policy.