BLOOMINGTON - A nearly $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation will fund a new Indiana University-led effort to secure U.S. research. IU is working with Duke University, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the University of California San Diego on the project to protect scientific computing from cyberattacks.

The funding will help create the Research Security Operations Center. The virtual center will offer training for research project and higher education teams about cybersecurity. It will also work with other cybersecurity leaders and organizations to improve security systems and services.

Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research Director Von Welch is the principal investigator on the award. He says research tools including telescopes, microscopes, computers and sensing devices are all vulnerable to attack. He says the work from ResearchSOC will focus on "strengthening the integrity and reliability of research data and products."

IU President Michael McRobbie says the funding shows the university "continues to play a vital and leading role in improving network security in higher education."

The announcement comes about five months after IU, Purdue University and three other Big Ten universities announced the launch of OmniSOC, a specialized real-time cybersecurity operations center. The center is based at IU and aims to provide rapid cyber intelligence to its university members, which also include Northwestern, Rutgers and Nebraska.