Development of the Science Gateway Institute (SGW-I)

Katherine Lawrence, researcher at the School of Information, is participating in a project funded by the National Science Foundation to plan a Science Gateway Institute. This institute would offer a complete range of services aimed at connecting numerous individual groups developing domain-specific, user-friendly, Web-based portals and tools that enable scientific research.

Start date: 9/1/2012
End date: 8/31/2014

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The increasing digitization of modern science poses exciting challenges and opportunities for researchers. The frontiers of transformative science continue to grow, whether it is streaming data from sensors, simulating the formation of tornadoes, annotating and sharing tagged audio and video data, or using geographic information systems to anticipate the spread of disease. More and more scientists have been turning to web portals or science gateways to analyze, share, and understand large volumes of data more effectively.

The existence of science and engineering gateways—and the sophisticated cyberinfrastructure tools and resources behind these accessible Web interfaces—can  significantly improve the productivity of researchers. Most importantly, science gateways can democratize access to the cyberinfrastructure that enables cutting-edge science.

Through Summer 2014, the team will be engaging interested members of the science and engineering community in a planning process for a Science Gateway Institute. The Institute will provide a full support system for those developing gateways—from technical expertise to licensing advice to long-term planning and project management.

The team envisions the Science Gateways Institute as offering a startup, or incubation service, which would include complete development environment and hosting service, as well as consulting, documentation, and software recommendations to ensure the gateway is properly planned for maximum participation and success. An extended support team could build gateways for research teams that request support, transferring knowledge by teaching those teams what it takes to build, enhance, and operate gateways in the process.

“In previous research and community engagement projects, developers of gateways and portals have indicated a strong desire for this type of mutual support and community building,” said Lawrence.

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego is the lead institution on the project, with Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, SDSC associate director, serving as the principal investigator. Other partner institutions are Elizabeth City State University, Indiana University, Purdue University, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas, Austin, in addition to the University of Michigan.

For more information about the project, please visit the Science Gateways website here.


Collaborative Research:  The Science Gateway Institute (SGW-I) for the Democratization and Acceleration of Science, National Science Foundation: $59,984


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"

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