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e-Science 2008 4th IEEE International Conference on e-Science

Workshops & Special Sessions

Project Management and User Engagement


  • Dimitrina Spencer, University of Oxford, UK
  • Sharon Lloyd, University of Oxford, UK
  • Marina Jirotka, University of Oxford, UK
  • David Abramson, Monash University, Australia


This workshop invites both practitioners and researchers to discuss communication and collaboration challenges and opportunities facing e-science projects in the context of the growing scale, increasing complexity and distributed nature of e-science teams. We welcome participants from any discipline whose role currently involves or will involve the management or coordination of activity in e-Science, as well as those who research e-science projects. Focusing on project management as relationship management, we will discuss concepts, tools, and techniques for managing e-science projects, and how these may impact on design, development and user engagement. The aim of the workshop is to explore the mechanisms behind management and organisational life and research practices in e-science through sharing experience, analyses, observations and lessons learnt about:

  • developing and managing a common vision;
  • organisational barriers to collaboration and .team. development; legal, financial and social constraints among others;
  • managing sustainability, uncertainty, change, risk, and conflict;
  • managing different contexts, distributed teams and workers;
  • issues of power, implementation and responsibility;
  • managing barriers of language and culture in the teams;
  • managing different types of working groups, mixed teams;
  • building trust in a multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary team;
  • managing multiple projects;
  • tools and forms of communication to manage disparate teams and different stakeholders;
  • tools and forms of collaboration between different stakeholders;
  • the role of project managers in user engagement; requirements and design;
  • managing relationships with users and user expectations;
  • the role of funding bodies, commerce, industry, research councils, universities and departments and other important actors for the success or failure of e-science projects.
  • other related topics.

Date and Time

Monday, December 8, 1–5:00 p.m.


1–1:15 p.m.
Opening: Why Project Management and User Engagement?
Dimitrina Spencer, OeRC, Uiversity of Oxford, UK; Sharon Lloyd, Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford, UK; Marina Jirotka, OeRC, University of Oxford, UK; David Abramson, Monash e-Research Centre (MERC), Monash University, Australia
1:15–1:45 p.m.
Introduction: Beyond Being There: How to Apply Lessons Learned about Virtual Organizations for Successful e-Science Projects
Thomas Finholt, Crew, School of Information, University of Michigan, USA
Session 1: The challenges of Distributed eResearch projects
1:45–2 p.m.
Good partners are hard to Find: The Search for and Selection of Collaborators in the Health Sciences
Heiko Spallek, School of Dental Medicine, Titus Schleyer, School of Dental Medicine, and Brian Butler, Joseph M Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, USA
2–2:15 p.m.
The Challenges of Distributed Scientific Collaboration among Top Scientists—A Case Study
Airong Luo, Office of Enabling Technologies, University of Michigan Medical School, USA
Why good software sometimes dies&mdash and how to save it
Neil Chue Hong, OMII-UK, ECS, University of Southampton; Alex Voss, National Centre for e-Social Science, University of Manchester, UK
2:30–3 p.m.
Session 1 Discussion
3–3:15 p.m.
Coffee Break
Keynote talk: Transforming Research
Stephen P. Meacham, Sr. Science and Technology Advisor, Office of Cyberinfrastructure, National Science Foundation, USA
Session 2: Case Studies in Project Management and User Engagement
3:45–4 p.m.
The Power of Cyberinfrastructure in Building Grassroot Networks: A History of the Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA) and Lessons Learnt in Developing Global Networks
Peter Arzberger, Chair PRAGMA Steering Committee, University of California, San Diego, USA; Grace S. Hong, London School of Economics
4–4:15 p.m.
Trials and Tribulations of a National Grid
Gillian Sinclair, UK National Grid Service (NGS)
4:15–4:30 p.m.
Managing and Engaging through the UK e-Science Program
Tony Hey, Microsoft; Anne Trefethen, OeRC, University of Oxford, UK
4:30–5 p.m.
Session 2 Discussion and closing

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