Sci-GaIA Winter School

4th of April – 30th of May 2016       


The goal of the Sci-GaIA Winter School was to create the skills to integrate scientific applications in the Africa Grid Science Gateway and/or in other domain-specific Science Gateways.

This will contribute to the creation of an intercontinental pool of experts that can act as “interface” between the end-users of the Communities of Practice (CoPs) supported by the project and the e-Infrastructure services.

The school was entirely web-based and included a combination of pre-recorded lectures and interactive sessions where to check the progress of students through their short presentations and the correction of the exercises. Both the inaugural lecture and the final day’s presentations were also held as interactive webinars.

The school followed a project-driven education approach with teams of students working on the development of scientific applications to be integrated in the Science Gateway(s).

Here are some relevant numbers concerning the school:

  • 5 instructors and 27 registered pupils from 12 countries;
  • 11 applications, either proposed or assigned;
  • 1 online inaugural lesson, 11 checkpoint web-meetings and 1 online final event, for a total of more than 12 hours of direct teaching and tutoring;
  • 7 pre-recorded lessons, including exercises, for a total of several hours of teaching time.

At the end of the school, a panel of experts will assess the progress made by the various teams of students and the winner and the runner-up application teams (max 2 persons per team) will win a free participation to the Sci-GaIA Final Conference that will be held in Brussels in March/April 2017.



In order to profit from the course, the following prior knowledge are required:

  • Java programming;
  • Web application development (HTML, Java server pages, XML, Application Server, servlets);
  • Basic Unix shell (VPN, SSH, bash scripting);
  • Basic Database management (e.g., MySQL).

  • Being a web-based course, no hardware is provided by organisers. Participants should have at their disposal for the whole duration of the course a real/virtual machine with either Mac OS X or Linux installed and at least 2 GB of RAM. CentOS, Fedora and Ubuntu are all recommended Linux distributions.

  • All software needed to integrate scientific applications in Science Gateways using the Catania Science Gateway Framework (CSGF) will be provided by organisers except the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) since participants can already be used to different IDEs.


For the sake of pedagogical completeness, the online course covered the following topics:

  • General concepts and driving considerations;
  • Course prerequisites;
  • Science Gateway Development Environment;
  • Portlet development: General concepts and definitions; Hands-on;
  • Portlet User Interface Development: General concepts and definitions; Job Management Portlet Setup; Form design; Form action method implementation; User Interface search container; deleteJob Action; Validation and internationalization; Assignments;
  • Liferay portlet preferences;
  • The Grid and Cloud Engine;
  • Example of portlet for job submission;
  • Example of portlet for special job submission.



All presentations related to the various lessons can be found here.
Links to all education materials created for the Winter School are also listed among the Sci-GaIA Training & Education Materials.

The playlist of the video-recorded lessons can be found here.
Links to all education materials created for the Winter School are also listed among the Sci-GaIA Training & Education Materials.

The Winter School course can be accessed from here.


Societal challenge:
(1) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry (2) Climate action, environment
Short application description 
Alioune Touré (Centre de Suivi Ecologique), Dieynaba Seck (Centre de Suivi Ecologique), Gayane Faye (Centre de Suivi Ecologique), Abdoulaye Pouye Diop (Centre de Suivi Ecologique)
Country: Senegal 
 Societal challenge:
(1) Health, demographic change and wellbeing (2) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy (3) Smart, green and integrated transport (4) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials (5) Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies (6) Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

Short application Description
Team: Stephan Mgaya (TERNET) Tanzania – (view video profile), Chukwudi Nwogu (Brunel) UK

 Societal challenge:

Health, demographic change and wellbeing

Short application description

Team: Owen Iyoha (Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative), Oluwatobi Badejo (Eko-Konnect), Temiloluwa Bodunwa (Eko-Konnect), Michael Olatunji (Eko-Konnect), Ohaeri Uchechukwu (view video profile)

Country: Nigeria

Societal challenge:

Diseases, Medicine, Knowledge and skills for communicable/non-communicable diseases

Short application description
Team: Dennis Joseph Mazali (Muhimbili University of Health And Allied Sciences), Madaha James Masungulwa (view video profile) (National E-Learning Support Centre), Geoffrey Collins Musinguzi (Softtech Consultants), Mulashubila Godfrey Kato (National E-Learning Support Centre).

Country: Tanzania

Societal challenge:

(1) Smart, green and integrated transport (2) Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

Short application description


Short application description
Team: Patrick Kalamula (view video profile)  – Malawi

Team: Damas Makweba  (view video profile) – United Republic of Tanzania

Short application description

Team:Philippe Junior Sibiro Central African Republic, Geofrey Tumwine Uganda

REPAST Use Case1 and REPAST Use case 2

Short application description Repast1

Short application description Repast2

Team: Collins Udanor (view video profile), Blessing Ogbuokiri, Stephen Aneke, Chikaodili Ugwuishiwu

Country: Nigeria

TTA portal update

Short application description
Team:Aron Kondoro Tanzania, Eustache Muteba Ayumba Congo



For all questions you may have regarding the Sci-GaIA Winter School, please contact us by email at