Gateway to Research – latest news!

The latest updates made to Gateway to Research (GtR) include classification information from the RCUK Research Classification System and the Health Research Classification System (HRCS).

You will notice that we have now included the Technology Strategy Board Logo on our Home Page. Clicking on the TSB or RCUK logo will take you the Home Page of the respective website, while clicking on Gateway to Research will take to the Gateway to Research Home Page.

A warning message is now displayed which recommends accessing GtR using a modern browser for the best results for viewing GtR information on your screen.


Classifications from two research classification systems have been made available and can be viewed on the project overview page. It is not currently possible to search or filter by any classification on the User Interface.

  • RCUK Research Classification System

Note: The RCUK classification system is not used by all funders included in GTR so will not be available for all projects.

  • Health Research Classification System (HRCS)

Note: HRCS covers health related projects funded by MRC.

Update for API Users

API1 and API2 have both been updated to reflect the changes made to GtR and further information can be found in GtR API Changes April 2014.

The CERIF API has NOT been updated to reflect the above changes.

Note: API Users may want to download the new API1 XML Schema or the new API2 XML Schema.

Gateway to Research – new enhancements!

Contact Us:
If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement you can email the team on or leave a message on the blog

The latest updates made to Gateway to Research, including improved search functionality and API improvements, are as follows:


  • When searching by Grant Reference only (using Advanced Search), the search term is no longer case sensitive. Searching for AH/L006022/1 or ah/L006022/1 amount to the same search. The results will contain any exact or similar Grant References, with exact matches at the top.
    Should you wish to search for exact matches only, contain the Grant Reference within double quotes like this “AH/L006022/1
  • On the Publications Tab (in the Search Results), the following new facets have been added allowing you to refine your search further e.g. if you only want to see publications of a particular type, for a particular year or from a particular funder.
    • Type
    • Year
    • Funder

These facets are visible on the right hand of the page,

  • On the Organisations Tab (in the Search Results), a new facet has been added allowing you to refine your search further by Region.

This facet is visible on the right hand of the page.


  • GTR1 API has new optional element ‘gtr:typeInd’ in the ‘gtr:leadResearchOrganisation’ structure that can be set to ‘P’ or ‘RO’.
  • GTR1 API has new Organisation Role names of LEAD_PARTICIPANT and PARTICIPANT.
  • GTR2 API has new Link Relation of ‘PARTICIPANT_ORG’

Note: API Users may want to download the new XMLSchema, which applies only to GTR1 API.


When you are viewing Technology Strategy Board data you will see the following changes:

  • On the Project page TSB Projects have title ‘Lead Participant’ (previously ‘Lead Research Organisation’)
  • On the Organisation Tab you will now see Participant Organisations indicated by the word ‘Participant’.

Events – The word is spreading…

Gateway to Research has been raising awareness about the website at recent events.


  • Dr Steve Harris from BAE Systems speaking at the Inter-Company Academic Relations (ICARG) meeting
  • Promotion at UKRO’s 30 year anniversary event in Brussels


More dates for your diary – look out for Gateway to Research at other events to be announced shortly.

Latest changes and improvements to enhance the Gateway to Research

Contact Us:
If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement you can email the team on or leave a message on the blog

Following the highly successful official launch of Gateway to Research (GtR) at the House of Commons on December 4th 2013 we are pleased to announce the latest changes and improvements to enhance the Gateway to Research web-site.

Gateway to Research Release Update – Data and Technical Improvements

A number of key changes have been made to improve the data and usability of Gateway to Research.  Latest developments to look out for are:


  • Case Studies which show the value that business, research professionals and intermediaries are already getting by using the Gateway for Research.
  • New Function –   CSV export allows the data from your search to be translated into an Excel Spreadsheet, allowing you to analyse and manipulate the data about Projects, Publications and Organisations yourself. See this document for more information on the export function.
  • A Related Projects’ tab has been introduced within Projects to show Transfer Grants. This tab will be developed further in the future to show other types of project relationships e.g. Training Grants and Studentships.


  • RCUK data cleaned and updated up to January 13 2014.
  • Training Grants are now shown for all seven Research Councils.
  • Key Findings available for BBSRC.
  • Additional roles have been added to the ‘People’ tab within a Project. It is now possible to also see Researcher, Researcher Co-Investigator and Training Grant Holder where appropriate.
  • Improvements to Abstract information for Training Grants related to specific training schemes.


  • The CERIF API has NOT been updated to reflect the above changes but this will follow and be communicated shortly.
  • There have been no changes to the structure of the GtR and GtR-2 APIs in this release.

Future Developments

The next data update will be based on information from source systems (e.g. the outcome collection systems) as of March 7 2014. This is the cut-off date for information to be entered onto the source systems in order for it to be shown in the next GtR release due in April 2014.
Look out for Studentships information

In our efforts to provide a high-quality service we will continue to improve the quality of data and usability of the Gateway for Research website/portal.  This is based on continuous dialogue and feedback from you, our users and key stakeholders.

Gateway to Research data refresh – November 2013

By Aja Marriott, GtR Communications Officer. 

It’s been a while since we have blogged as we have been extremely busy making improvements to GtR in time for the official launch which we can now announce will take place at the House of Commons on the 4th December. The Minister for Universities and Science the Rt Hon David Willetts will be hosting the event which will give a wide range of users the opportunity to view the website and listen to short presentations from the Minister, Prof Dave Delpy, CEO of EPSRC, and Dr Steve Harris of BAE Systems.

We are also very happy to announce that data from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has now been included with the refresh which took place on the 15th November!

This refresh contains:

  1. RCUK data cleaned and refreshed to 20th October 2013
  2. Improvements to the User Interface and search options
  3. Intramural research projects included for 4 Research Councils running research institutes and facilities (BBSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC)
  4. Full range of outcomes types (collaboration, research materials, products and interventions, spinouts, further funding, dissemination, key findings, intellectual property, impact summary, impact on summary)
  5. Fuller range of attributes for these outcome types
  6. Pre-2006 projects included for MSC
  7. Changes to the GtR API and introduction of a new GtR-2 API

In two weeks’ time we will expect to release some additional items of data and a refresh of the Portal User Interface to better support accessibility and improve usability (especially on mobile and tablet devices).

An updated API document can be found here:

A technical summary of the GTR-2 API, released to the GTR Beta system in November 2013, can be found here:

Gateway to Research at the Science & Innovation Conference 2013

By Aja Marriott, GtR Communications Officer

As we move towards releasing the final live Gateway to Research at the end of this year, we’re pleased to welcome a number of new project board members. Professor Dave Delpy is now the Senior Responsible Owner for the project; David Docherty from the National Centre for Universities & Business (NCUB) joins us as a Senior User; and Louise Grant is the new Project Manager.

We have a fantastic opportunity to discuss Gateway to Research at the forthcoming Science & Innovation Conference 2013 this Thursday, 27 June at the QE11 Conference Centre in London (see

Members of the Gateway to Research project team will meet key stakeholders responsible for shaping the future of government to talk about the value of Gateway to Research, as well as giving live demonstrations throughout the day, so if you happen to be attending, please come along to the RCUK stand.

There will be several seminars throughout the day, including RCUK ‘Fostering Business-Research Engagement’ which includes a talk from Steve Harris, University & Collaborative Programmes Relationship Manager at BAE Systems, who will explain how he has made use of Gateway to Research. More information is available on the RCUK website:

The seminar will focus on RCUK’s role in fostering two-way engagement between business and researchers, highlighting some specific examples of how this is being achieved and the benefits, including:

  • brokering connections through the Gateway to Research – how the system helps users to access research data from across the Research Councils. It also helps them identify potential partners in universities.
  • stimulating innovation through research and innovation campuses: campuses provide business with excellent access to facilities and other research capabilities and infrastructure.
  • building partnerships model used in social science from entry level up to joint centres

We look forward to seeing you there, but if you can’t make it, we are still very interested to have your feedback about the system, which can be emailed to


Gateway to Research Hack Day event outputs

Over thirty technically minded people gathered together on the 14th &15th March 2013 at The Lakeside Centre at Aston University for the Hack Day hosted jointly by the Gateway to Research (GtR) project & United Kingdom Office for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN).

The event was helped along by the Developer Community Supporting Innovation (DevCSI) project. Their considerable expertise in running Hack events and engaging developers was a huge help in guiding the GtR team and developers over the two days.

The Hack opened by GtR Project Manager, Dr Darren Hunter, who gave a summary of the GtR project as a joint initiative between Research Councils UK to deliver a web based Portal to provide a single public point of access for searching and analysing information for Research Council funded research projects including their outcomes and outputs.

A key aim of the project was, as he explained, to facilitate improving the links between the research base within institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The Hack itself had been set up to give the group chance to test the two APIs (CERIF and bespoke) that the GtR team had developed and also build prototype applications to show how they might be used in practice.

Darren, Paul Chitson (GtR Technical Co-ordinator), Rhys David (GtR Technical Architect) and Scott Paisey (GtR Developer) all got actively involved throughout the event.

The GtR team were keen to get feedback from all those involved with the Hack so they could find out how the APIs performed. At the end of the two days they were really encouraged by the amount that was achieved in such a short time and took away a number of actions that reinforced GtR user stories and added focus to some areas of the project.

This first hack event was primarily to provide early feedback and was kept necessarily small.  The team learnt a lot from all who were present and the organisers.  The excitement and interest have reinforced our commitment to run further hack events and challenges involving a wider audience.

In closing the event the GtR team stressed that they didn’t want to lose the momentum built up throughout the intensive two days and established a Google Group (!forum/gtrHackday) to keep developers informed about future build and to foster a community around the APIs. Watch this space for further details about the upcoming autumn Hack Day….

Check out this link for more detail about the day including videos.

Introducing the beta Gateway to Research

Today (12 December 2012), Research Councils UK (RCUK) release the first phase of the Gateway to Research (GtR) portal and dataset –  a beta release.

In January, we agreed with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to to deliver a “proof of concept” by the end of the year.

We hope we have delivered more than a proof of concept. The portal is live, the data is real. This is the first time that it has been possible to use one location to explore the entire breadth of the RCUK portfolio that results from the investment of around £3 Billion of public money annually in research and innovation.

The beta is an early release which will enable users to try out the system under real conditions. It has gone through robust testing in-house and is close in look, feel and function to how we envisage the final product. We want to engage with users to ensure that the functionality and data we are delivering meets their needs.

A few points about the system and data:

  • The dataset is currently a static dataset (i.e. at this stage it will not be routinely updated);
  • A public interface is available (API) that will enable external users to use the data. This will initially be a simple CERIF (XML) API, based on an international research information standard but others will follow (REST, OAI and SPARQL) to maximise potential users. Data that is visible on all the detailed screens will be viewable in XML;
  • We have used Open Source, Open Standards and adopted an Open Government Licence.

We intend to make user engagement a central part of the project’s development. Complementing this, there are a number of activities that we have identified which will enhance the user experience, enrich the information available, and help the Research Councils meet their obligations to make research information more open and better aligned with users’ needs. Some highlights of the next 12 months include: 

  • Expansion of the GtR dataset to include further Research Council information for example, studentships, all intra Council grants and linking to research datasets and publication repositories.
  • Making the GtR dataset dynamic, reflecting changes in source systems rapidly;
  • Further iterations of the User Interface based on feedback on the beta-system and changes prompted by the expanding dataset;
  • Working with JISC to enhance the experience of HEIs and other data users in depositing and harvesting data from the Research Councils;

The next year should provide exciting opportunities to demonstrate the value of RCUK research information in diverse settings. Hack days are being planned for the spring, with at least two different providers to ensure a range of approaches. This project has involved the Research Councils working cooperatively on a complex project, and rapid agreement has been reached on the key decision points to date. The final phase of the project will build on this.

JISC and Research Councils UK work to reduce reporting burden on universities

Matt Jukes, MRC Digital Communication Manager –

JISC have just published a blogpost outlining joint activity between them and us here at the Research Councils that is of particular interest to anyone following the Gateway to Research project. Rather than reproduce it here I recommend you check it out over on the JISC blog. There is a great of interesting work being undertaken in this area.

The GTR technical approach

Paul Chitson, BBSRC Head of Information Services –

The GtR technical team have started the process of pulling together data from various Research Council funded projects and building a technology platform through which to make it available to a wide variety of audiences.

The project is being managed and delivered within an Agile framework, perhaps the first cross council project in the Research Councils to adopt this approach.  This means we will not only be trying to hit key milestones but also aiming to release as much information and as many early previews as we can.  This blog post is the first from the technical team and hopefully sets a precedent for the way we wish to continue.

The process began with the gathering of user stories from potential audiences which have since enabled us to understand the content that is of interest, the ways in which people may want to interface with the data and, of equal importance, what people do not want.

The requirements gathering phase has informed our initial thoughts on the solution architecture and how the data will be stored.

The data will be extracted from various sources, transformed and then stored in two forms. The first will be in a relational database using the CERIF data model.  Initially, the intention was to provide an interface that would output data in a CERIF format but following a workshop with Keith Jeffery (President of euroCRIS) we felt that we could use it as the internal storage model.  However, we also have a commitment to provide data in a linked data format (RDF) via a SPARQL interface, so have chosen to store the data in two forms (rather than a RDF wrapper) and benefit from a SPARQL interface out of the box.  We will, wherever possible use existing open source technologies and integrate rather than build from scratch. Any code or customisations we make will be made freely available.

GtR technology at a glance:

  • Data storage model will be CERIF. This ensures compliance with many universities, research organisations and consumers of research data;
  • A user portal with full text and facetted search (SOLR);
  • REST based interface providing rich information in both human and machine readable forms;
  • SPARQL interface for querying a triple store (initially using the JENA Software stack);
  • Web services providing data in OAI-PMH and CERIF formats.


We are at the start of an exciting journey and invite you to add your input along the way.

Introducing the Gateway to Research

Catherine Coates, Director of Business Innovation at EPSRC and the SRO for the Gateway to Research project, introduces the project and explains why the Gateway is important –

The UK’s Research Councils host a significant quantity of data which provides information on the research and training that they support, as well as the outcomes of that research. This is of huge potential interest and value to business and many other organisations, particularly universities that already make similar data publically available. The Research Councils together are determined to play their part in making the data we hold freely and easily available for others to use as they see fit, including seeding collaborations and helping interested parties to find out who, what and where knowledge sits to enable them to make contact with people who can help them.

With the Gateway to Research project, we envisage an integrated Research Council data set that enables data sharing across the government, private and university sectors.

For example, although currently our data is in the public domain, accessible through our websites, it isn’t easy to navigate what seven Councils hold when using seven different websites!

So we want to create a smart way to make that easy, with common data standards and interoperability, so anyone can access it and use it as they see fit. This is the Gateway to Research concept. Not a controlling gateway but an open door!

We aim to produce an integrated data depositing and harvesting experience for universities and other stakeholders.

We need your help in making this happen. We will use this blog to engage with interested parties regarding the platforms, technologies and data formats that we will be delivering. Help us to deliver the functionality and user experience that will enable you to use our data.

This blog will be updated as often as is practical when there is new information to share. Realistically this will be once a week at most. We will, however, endeavour to engage with questions on a more frequent basis.