We’re intrigued by the University of Tulsa’s newly unveiled doctoral fellowship program in cybersecurity research and development.

On Tuesday, TU announced the unique new program that has connections with Team8, an international cybersecurity venture capital firm, and a $5 million multiyear funding commitment from the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Fellows will receive four years of graduate tuition, a living stipend, benefits and a $20,000 bonus if they stay in Tulsa for at least two years after graduation.

The program fills an obvious need in the modern world.

From your credit report to your Facebook account, everything seems to be under attack by ordinary thieves, organized crime, foreign powers and thrill seekers.

Juniper research estimates that data breaches will result in $2.1 trillion in losses this year.

Global Market Insights estimates that the cybersecurity market will exceed $300 billion by 2024.

Securing our electronic data, controls and communications is a huge growth opportunity for research, jobs and economic expansion. Tulsa needs to make sure it is positioned to take advantage of that opportunity.

The cybersecurity program plays off TU’s established strengths.

The school has been an international leader in the field for decades. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in computer sciences, including three master’s degree tracks in cybersecurity.

TU has been a federally designated center of academic excellence in information assurance and cyberdefense education since 2000, and its graduates are working around the world securing the electronic systems of individuals, businesses and governments.

The new fellowship is a smart investment for the community that promises great things to come. It will build the school’s strengths, the city’s economy and the world’s security.

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