Competition Goal:

Through the Department of Energy CyberForce Competition®, we aim to leverage the people, research and capabilities of the National Laboratory Complex by providing a competition that tests the next generation of cyber professionals’ ability to protect and defend energy-focused critical infrastructure.

Student (Blue Team) Eligibility:
  • Participants must be at least 18 years of age to participate.
  • Participants must be attending an accredited U.S. higher education institution.
  • Participants must be degree seeking: associates, undergraduate, graduate, and PhD.
  • Participants must be actively attending the institution they wish to represent.
  • Participants must be on a team of 4-6 individuals.
  • Once the competition has begun, a participant must complete the competition.
Successful teams will have:
  • A connection to an accredited cyber program.
  • A base knowledge in industrial control systems.
  • The ability to work together as a team.
  • The motivation and want to learn and try new things.
  • A passion to think outside the box for defensive measures.
  • A drive to provide innovative solutions.

Ineligible Participants

The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the CyberForce Competition:

  • Individuals publicly banned from doing business with the U.S. government, such as individuals debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in federal programs, are not eligible to compete.
  • Individuals identified as a restricted party on one or more screening lists of the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, and Treasury are not eligible to compete. See the Consolidated Screening List at Consolidated Screening List (
  • Individuals participating in foreign government talent recruitment programs[1] of foreign countries of risk are not eligible to compete. Further, teams, including mentors, that include individuals participating in foreign government talent recruitment programs of foreign countries of risk[2] are not eligible to compete. Participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program could conflict with this objective by resulting in unauthorized transfer of scientific and technical information to foreign government entities.

To be eligible, each team member must satisfy the eligibility requirements set forth at Eligibility – Department of Energy’s CyberForce® Program, and each team member and mentor is required to sign the following statement: 

I am providing the application as part of my participation in this competition. I understand that I am providing this application to the Federal Government. I certify under penalty of perjury that I, as a mentor or named competitor, as applicable, meet the eligibility requirements for this competition and will comply with all other rules contained in the Official Rules document. My participation in the competition constitutes a deemed representation that I comply with the Official Rules document.  I further represent that the information contained in the application is true and contains no misrepresentations. I understand false statements or misrepresentations to the Federal Government may result in civil and/or criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and § 287.

[1] A foreign government talent recruitment program is defined as an effort directly or indirectly organized, managed, or funded by a foreign government to recruit science and technology professionals or students (regardless of citizenship or national origin, and whether having a full-time or part-time position). Some foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs operate with the intent to import or otherwise acquire from abroad, sometimes through illicit means, proprietary technology or software, unpublished data and methods, and intellectual property to further the military modernization goals and/or economic goals of a foreign government. Many, but not all, programs aim to incentivize the targeted individual to physically relocate to the foreign state for the above purpose. Some programs allow for or encourage continued employment at U.S. research facilities or receipt of federal research funds while concurrently working at and/or receiving compensation from a foreign institution, and some direct participants not to disclose their participation to U.S. entities. Compensation could take many forms including cash, research funding, complimentary foreign travel, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, promised future compensation, or other types of remuneration or consideration, including in-kind compensation.

[2] Countries currently deemed at risk by the U.S. government include Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China.