The Challenge

The Paul Revere Chapter of the Air Force Association will sponsor a white paper, innovation demonstration, and poster challenge for its 2015 Cyber Workshop, which will be held at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on September 22-23.

The challenge will address strategic cybersecurity issues by stimulating innovative thought, discussion, debate, research, and university-industry-government partnerships.

AFA will submit the top white papers for publishing and will sponsor monetary awards: the winning white paper will receive $1,000; second place will receive $750; and third place will receive $500.

Additionally, AFA will sponsor a poster contest for students with awards for the top three posters: $200, $150, and $100.

AFA will also invite and potentially sponsor a number of white paper/demo/poster authors to be panelists at the workshop.


The AFA 2015 Cyber Workshop’s overarching theme is cross-sector collaboration to achieve superior defense against strategic cyber threats by 2030. This will include engaging in next-generation cybersecurity research and development, experimenting with solutions for secure and resilient operations, and creating education programs that protect public and private information assets.

To be successful, organizations will need to focus on six cyber elements: cyber offense, operational innovation, resiliency, threat-based defense, situation awareness, and partnerships/sharing. These elements will span technology, policy, and workforce dimensions and will need to address governance, legal, acquisition and workforce-related issues.

cyber-workshop 2015


Submitter(s) must categorize their challenge entries using no more than two of the six cyber focus areas identified in Themes: cyber offense, operational innovation, resiliency, threat-based defense, situation awareness, or partnerships/sharing. Additionally, entries should support or extend Air Force Cyber Vision 2025*.

All entries must be submitted electronically in MS Word or PDF format via email attachment to Contestants may also send inquiries about the challenge, formatting requirements, etc. to this address.

White Papers

For formatting and instructional purposes only, papers should conform to IEEE Article Templates and Instructions (Templates for Transactions)**. (Note: AFA does not expect to submit papers to the IEEE.) Papers are limited to 5,000 words, abstracts are limited to 250 words, and biographies are limited to 150 words (per author).

Papers must be original, unpublished, and not currently under consideration by other publications. The publisher(s) and AFA will retain the right to publish the winning and other entries. Graphics, photographs and other supporting elements are encouraged, but they must be original and/or in the public domain. Abstracts, references and footnotes, biographies, and supporting graphics do not apply toward the overall word count.

The paper’s cover should be a separate tear-away page that includes the title, author name(s), organization, address, telephone number, email address, which of the six cyber focus areas (no more than two, refer to Themes) the papers relate to, and the overall word count. Replicate this information in the body of your transmittal email and include the paper’s title in the subject line.


Only current students are eligible to submit posters.

Attach your poster as a PDF to your transmittal email with the poster title in the subject line. The body of your email should include your name, advisor’s name, school name and address, grade or year/level, telephone number, email address, title of your poster, which of the six cyber focus areas (no more than two, refer to Themes) your poster relates to, abstract (150 words or less), and a biography sketch (50 words or less per author).

Posters must be no larger than 30 x 40 inches. A 4-ft. by 4-ft. presentation footprint and an easel will be provided.

Innovation Demonstrations

Only non-commercial innovations are eligible for demonstration at the workshop.

Include the title of your innovation in the subject line of your submission email. The body of your email should include your name, (advisor’s name if applicable), organization and address (if school, grade or year/level), telephone number, email address, the title of your innovation, which of the six cyber focus areas (no more than two, refer to Themes) your innovation relates to, and a biography sketch (50 words or less per author).

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Innovation demonstrations must be self-contained and occupy a footprint of less than 8 x 10 ft. Standard household circuits will be provided to power demonstrations (two 110V outlets, 20 amp maximum). A shared Wi-Fi Internet connection will also be provided. Demonstration equipment must be moved, set up, and removed by the demonstration organization.

Evaluation Criteria

An evaluation committee will review submissions for:

  • Quality of written expression, including a clearly stated thesis, well-organized paragraphs with effective transitions, and virtually error-free spelling and grammar.
  • Quality of argumentation, including an engaging introduction, logical arrangement of ideas supported with convincing evidence, and a thought-provoking conclusion.
  • Degree of currency and relevancy, including the presentation of novel ideas about cyber defense and the development of viable solutions to relevant university, industry, government, and Air Force cyber issues and strategic goals.


All entries must be submitted to on or before August 3, 2015.

Winners will be informed via email on or before August 17, 2015 and may be invited to be workshop panelists. Winners will also be recognized at the workshop with formal award presentations.

*Cyber Vision 2025 – United States Air Force Cyberspace Science and Technology Vision 2012-2025:

**White Paper Challenge Template:

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