Sustainability Training

Looking to build a sustainability plan for your gateway? Planning to write your next funding proposal?

We offer two training opportunities that can get your software and website projects to get to the next level.

Gateway Focus Week: An intensive and in-depth workshop for innovative research teams that covers a broad range of topics to help you produce a strong development, operations, and sustainability plan.

Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan mini-course: A Focus Week spin-off, this course focuses solely on sustainability planning.  


Gateway Focus Week


During the Focus Week workshop, teams

  • Engage in hands-on activities that help them articulate the value of their work to key stakeholders.
  • Produce a strong development, operations, and sustainability plan
  • Develop a pitch deck with actionable goals
  • Work closely across teams to learn from each other's experiences and challenges

You’ll leave Focus Week with a flexible toolkit that you can use as your project continues to mature.


Focus Week and Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan are taught by Juliana Casavan and Nancy Maron. Focus Week also includes some guest instructors.


Juliana Casavan is a program designer and facilitator and teaches others how to build and implement strategies for success.

Currently, she is a program manager for MatchBOX Coworking Studio, the leading coworking space in Greater Lafayette, Indiana, where she coaches local startups and entrepreneurs through strategic planning and product development.

Prior to joining MatchBOX, Juliana was a founding member of the Purdue Foundry, an internationally recognized leader in university startups and technology transfer. During her time, she created Firestarter, the premier startup workshop of Purdue University, leading over 500 teams of researchers and students through the ideation process.





Nancy Maron is founder and principal of BlueSky to BluePrint, a strategic research and consulting organization. She is the author of several research reports and guides on business strategy and sustainability including A Guide to the Best Revenue Models and Funding Sources for your Digital Resources (2014), Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host Institution Support Beyond the Start-up Phase (June 2014) and many case studies of sustainable initiatives. She created and regularly leads workshops in sustainability and business strategy, including the Sustaining Digital Resources course.




Here is a small sampling of the topics we cover:

  • Napkin Drawing
    Effectively communicate the value of your project through verbal and visual communication.

  • Value Proposition
    Identify the primary value that your project brings to its users and community.

  • Understanding Your Audience & Key Stakeholders
    Explore and assess your audiences and stakeholders to better engage them.

  • Budgeting & Goal Setting
    Use impact-driven goals to begin developing a budget and financial forecast

  • Sales & Marketing
    Learn principles of sales and marketing, and how to develop a plan to connect with your target audience and promote your gateway.

  • Usability
    Plan and conduct an informal usability test. Derive actionable insights.


There are two ways that you can participate in a virtual Focus Week.

1. Apply and attend the full workshop. Seats are limited! 
Participants who apply for and attend the full program will enjoy: 

  • Direct feedback from course instructors and other gateway leaders in group sessions
  • Participation in the final “pitch” session, to get feedback on your pitch
  • Follow-up from our team to see how you are progressing toward your goals
  • Joining the growing list of alumni who have benefited from attending this program!  

For those who are planning to use the program to actively develop a sustainability strategy that they can put into action in the near term, this version of the program will be the most impactful.

2. Attend sessions “a la carte”

Participants are welcome to attend the sessions that interest them. However, you won’t have access to personalized instructor feedback.

This is a good alternative to those with limited availability.


The main sessions occur Monday through Thursday over two weeks from 12-1:30 pm ET. Some group feedback sessions follow the main presentations.

  • Monday: Introduction to Sustainability & Value Proposition
  • Tuesday: Market Landscape
  • Wednesday: Understanding Your Audience
  • Thursday: Value Proposition Redefined
  • Monday: Goal Setting & Budgeting
  • Tuesday: Revenue Models
  • Wednesday: Sales & Marketing Strategy
  • Thursday: Sustainability Strategy “Pitch”



Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan

Interested in developing a sustainability strategy for your gateway?

The Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan mini-course can help! It's free, and we're offering it virtually. 

Please know that this mini-course is by no means a replacement for Gateway Focus Week, which covers multiple topics in-depth. Instead, we will focus solely on offering practical and effective steps for developing a sustainability strategy. This free mini-course offers PIs of research and teaching-focused gateways and their teams the perfect way to kick off sustainability planning, whether you are writing a new grant or ready to get to the next level with a more mature project. 

The mini-course agenda is listed below. 

Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan: What to Expect

The mini-course will outline the core topics any sustainability plan should address, including: 

  • Key components of a Sustainability Strategy

  • Practical steps for developing your plan

  • Pitfalls to avoid 

Subjects covered will include:

  • What exactly is sustainability, and why is it important?

  • Articulating your value proposition

  • Audience as the key to a sustainability strategy

  • Finding the funding model that works for you

Participants will receive: 

  • Examples of real-world sustainability strategies

  • Tips on what to include in a sustainability plan

  • Tools to use to develop your plan, including the Sustainability Framework

Each day will include: 

  • Main presentation and discussion addressing a major theme of sustainability

Instructors and Agenda

The Jumpstart mini-course is taught by the two main Focus Week instructors, Nancy Maron and Juliana Casavan. Learn about them here.

Day 1

12:00–1:30 pm ET Sustainability: How Science Gateways can thrive (not just survive)

Day 2

12:00–1:30 pm ET Audience & Environment: Sustainability Through Impact

Day 3

12:00–2:00 pm ET Finding your Funding Model, course wrap-up  

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