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Jim Gray eScience Award

Each year, Microsoft Research presents the Jim Gray eScience Award to a researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of data-intensive computing. The award—named for Jim Gray, a Technical Fellow for Microsoft Research and a Turing Award winner who disappeared at sea in 2007—recognizes innovators whose work truly makes science easier for scientists.

Jim Gray postulated that data exploration, or, as he termed it, eScience, is the evolutionary next step in scientific exploration, following the original, empirical phase and the subsequent theoretical and computational phases. In a lecture he delivered just 17 days before he went missing, Jim outlined the increasingly important challenge and opportunity afforded by the availability of previously unimaginable volumes of data and continuous research dedicated to creating new understanding of the world around us.

Award recipients

2014 Award

Paul Watson was awarded the 2014 Jim Gray eScience AwardPaul Watson was awarded the 2014 Jim Gray eScience AwardDr. Paul Watson is professor of Computer Science and director of the Digital Institute at Newcastle University UK, where he also directs the $20M RCUK Digital Economy Hub on Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy. As a Lecturer at Manchester University, he was a designer of the Alvey Flagship and Esprit EDS systems. From 1990 to 1995, he worked in industry for ICL as a designer of the Goldrush MegaServer parallel database server. In August 1995, he moved to Newcastle University, where he has been an investigator on wide range of eScience projects. His research interest is in scalable information management with a current focus on cloud computing. Professor Watson is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the British Computer Society. Learn more…

2013 Award

Tony Hey presents David Lipman with the 2013 Jim Gray eScience AwardTony Hey presents David Lipman with the 2013 Jim Gray eScience AwardDr. David Lipman, M.D., is director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Under his leadership, NCBI has become one of the world’s premier repositories of biomedical and molecular biology data, providing invaluable information to both the research community and the public. Every day, more than 3 million users access NCBI’s more than 40 databases. Learn more...

2012 Award

Antony John Williams receives the Jim Gray eScience Award from Tony Hey at the 2012 Microsoft Research eScience WorkshopAntony John Williams receives the Jim Gray eScience Award from Tony Hey at the 2012 Microsoft Research eScience WorkshopAntony John Williams is vice president of strategic development and head of Chemoinformatics for the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has pursued a career built on rich experience in experimental techniques, implementation of new nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technologies, research and development, and teaching, as well as analytical laboratory management. He has been a leader in making chemistry publically available through collective action: his work on ChemSpider helps provide fast text and structure search access to data and links on more than 28 million chemicals, and this resource is freely available to the scientific community and the general public. Learn more... 

2011 Award

Tony Hey presents Mark Abbott with the Jim Gray eScience Award at the 2011 Microsoft Research eScience WorkshopTony Hey presents Mark Abbott with the Jim Gray eScience Award at the 2011 Microsoft Research eScience WorkshopMark Abbott is dean and professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. He is also serving a six-year term on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and provides scientific advice to the White House and to Congress. Throughout his career, Mark has contributed to integrating biological and physical science, made early innovations in data-intensive science, and provided educational leadership. Learn more... 

2010 Award 

Phil Bourne accepts the Jim Gray eScience Award from Tony Hey at the 2010 eScience Workshop Phil Bourne accepts the Jim Gray eScience Award from Tony Hey at the 2010 eScience Workshop Phil Bourne, the recipient of the third-annual Jim Gray eScience Award, is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California at San Diego. Phil is also the Associate Director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, an Adjunct Professor at the Burnham Institute, and a past president of the International Society for Computational Biology. “Phil’s contributions to open access in bioinformatics and computational biology are legion, and are exactly the sort of groundbreaking accomplishments in data-intensive science that we celebrate with the Jim Gray Award,” notes Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President of External Research.  Learn more...

2009 Award

Jeff Dozier accepts the Jim Gray eScience Award from Tony Hey at the 2009 eScience WorkshopJeff Dozier accepts the Jim Gray eScience Award from Tony Hey at the 2009 eScience WorkshopJeff Dozier was presented the 2009 award in recognition of his achievements in advancing environmental science through leading multi-disciplinary research and collaboration. While presenting the award, Tony Hey stated, “Jeff Dozier's work epitomizes what the Jim Gray eScience Award is all about … using data-intensive computing to accelerate scientific discovery and, ultimately, to help solve some of society's greatest challenges. By combining environmental science with computer science technologies, Jeff brings a new level of understanding to climate change and its impact on our planet." Learn about Dozier’s thoughts about environmental science in The Fourth Paradigm: Data Intensive Scientific Discovery, pages 13–19.

2008 Award

Tony Hey presents Carole Goble with the 2008 Jim Gray eScience Award Tony Hey presents Carole Goble with the 2008 Jim Gray eScience Award At the 2008 Microsoft eScience Workshop, the Jim Gray eScience Award was presented to Carole Goble in recognition of her contributions to the development of workflow tools to advance data-centric research. To learn about her work and the role of workflow tools in scientific research, see my experiment and The Fourth Paradigm: Data Intensive Scientific Discovery, pages 137–145.
 

2007 Award

Tony Hey presents Alex Szalay with the 2007 Jim Gray eScience AwardTony Hey presents Alex Szalay with the 2007 Jim Gray eScience Award The winner of the first Jim Gray eScience Award was Alex Szalay, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University. Alex was recognized for his foundational contributions to interdisciplinary advances in the field of astronomy and groundbreaking work with Jim Gray.

Award Criteria

Award recipients are selected for their ground-breaking, fundamental contributions to the field of eScience. They are innovators from both technological and scientific backgrounds who have had a long-term impact in eScience, whose field of work crosses disciplines, who work on international projects, and who pursue open, supportive, and collaborative research models. And, finally, award recipients are individuals we feel Jim Gray would have selected for their influence on areas of science that could appeal to the public imagination.