Gateway Focus Week brings together a cohort of gateway creators to work together on developing sustainable plans for their gateways


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

Gateway Focus Week helps software and website projects get to the next level.


Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has, for now, limited our ability to travel, we have shifted Focus Week to be a virtual experience. A full session of Focus Week was offered in Nov.–Dec. 2020. Stay tuned for virtual Focus Week opportunities in 2021. Our lead instructors have also designed a mini-course focused on sustainability strategies called Jumpstart Your Sustainability Plan. The next Jumpstart mini-course will be March 1–3, 2021. Register now!

Gateway Focus Week is an intensive workshop that has been carefully designed to benefit teams who want to ensure the sustainability of their gateway projects. Science gateways, which are also commonly referred to as virtual labs, portals, virtual research environments, citizen science projects, eScience, etc., allow research communities to: 

  • Access shared data, software, computing services, instruments, and other resources

  • Collaborate with their community around a research topic or discipline

  • Provide training and education materials to a community

During the Focus Week workshop, teams engage in hands-on activities that help them articulate the value of their work to key stakeholders. Participating teams produce a strong development, operations, and sustainability plan with a corresponding pitch deck that includes actionable goals. By working closely across teams, participants have the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges. Teams also learn how to access consultations, engagement opportunities, and other resources from the SGCI.

Focus Week is offered twice per year and is subsidized by the National Science Foundation. This allows you to attend what would otherwise be a $2,500 per team event at no cost

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

Here is a small sampling of the topics we cover (and here are the Focus Week instructors):

  • 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.


Please sign up for our newsletter to find out about the next Focus Week offering.


Read about the
September 2019
Focus Week


“Before coming to the SGCI Bootcamp [Focus Week], I only had a limited perspective on our gateway from the host institution stakeholder point of view. Taking the time to be fully present during the Bootcamp [Focus Week] to work with my teammate on our project opened my eyes to the real impact our gateway could have, the broader impact we can make in our community, and the opportunities and actions that are low hanging fruit to tackle in the next three months.”

Erin Robinson
Executive Director
ESIP Data Management Training