Announcement / December 2023

Call for Papers: Public Interest Cybersecurity Research

UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity is proud to announce a special Call for Papers (CFP) for Public Interest Cybersecurity research papers. In particular, CLTC is looking to support research that will increase the body of knowledge about cybersecurity for US-based communities and organizations that often fall through the cracks of cyber defense (sometimes called “target-rich, resource-poor” organizations or organizations “below the cyber poverty line”). These organizations include nonprofits, state and local governments, small utilities, hospitals, or school districts.

Selected projects will be invited to present their findings alongside our curated sessions at the 2024 Cyber Civil Defense Summit. Papers that are presented at the conference will receive a $2,000 honorarium, and 1-2 researchers per paper will receive airfare and accommodations support to attend. At the discretion of CLTC and the author(s), selected papers may also be published as CLTC white papers.

Applications for this CFP close on Friday, January 19, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET

What is Public Interest Cybersecurity Research?

We are interested in paper proposals on empirical research questions in the area of Public Interest Cybersecurity. These might include topics like analyzing the differential impacts on communities after local ransomware attacks, or measuring the effectiveness of an intervention (such as the introduction of a cybersecurity framework) in improving the defenses of municipalities. 

In short, if your topic benefits the public good, and especially if it serves communities and organizations that typically fall through the cracks of cybersecurity services, we encourage you to submit a paper. 

The Cyber Civil Defense Summit

The Cyber Civil Defense Summit is an annual one-of-a-kind gathering of cyber defenders, academics, and policymakers with the shared mission of protecting the most vulnerable public infrastructure against cybersecurity threats. This in-person event hosts exclusive keynotes and panels with government and industry leaders in cybersecurity, creating an intimate space for cross-sector conversations between academics, volunteers, and policymakers on how we can work together to protect vulnerable community organizations. 

The Cyber Civil Defense Summit was first hosted in 2023, with keynote addresses by CISA Director Jen Easterly and Wendy Nather of Cisco. A full write up of attendance and panels can be found here. The conference is a unique opportunity to connect with cyber defenders across industries, and get ideas in front of beltway changemakers. 

Proposal Guidelines

Because public interest cybersecurity is such a broad field, we have outlined below some  specific components of successful applications:

  1. Paper proposals should be centered around an empirical research question related to public interest cybersecurity. Final papers should be between 3,000-6,000 words long. 
  2. Papers should incorporate some type of quantitative data analysis and/or other unit of measurement.
  3. Papers should explore a topic that contributes to the cyber defense of under-resourced organizations in the United States, such as nonprofits, state and local governments, small utilities, hospitals, or school districts. 
  4. CLTC will not consider paper proposals that seek to test or otherwise promote for-profit products or services.

Timeline and Funding

Successful applications will receive an invitation to present their paper at the annual Cyber Civil Defense Summit in Washington D.C. on June 13, 2024. Papers that are presented will receive $2,000 honorarium, as well as airfare and lodging for 1-2 researchers per paper to attend the conference.  

Applications DueJan 19, 2024
Decision NotificationsJan 26, 2024
Research and Analysis PeriodJan 26, 2024— May 31, 2024
Paper Outlines and Initial Findings Due April 1, 2024
Practice PresentationsJune 1, 2024
Final Papers DueJune 10, 2024
Symposium in DCJune 13, 2024


This CFP is limited to research paper proposals from individuals, or small teams of researchers. We encourage researchers with questions about their eligibility or paper topics to reach out at powazek[at]

Application Requirements

  • Researcher(s) name, contact info, and affiliation
  • Researchers’ CV or Resume
  • Session/Paper abstract (250 words max)
  • Public Interest Cybersecurity Alignment Statement
  • Paper Timeline

This project is made possible by a grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.