The Research Computing (RC) Core, a collaborative effort by Research Computing and HMS IT, offers a range of billable services designed to enhance and support the Harvard biomedical research community. We aim to foster collaboration across the vast ecosystem, enhancing capabilities and performance through transparent and sustainable IT services.

In response to the growing demand for high-performance computing resources, which has surpassed our capacity, the RC Core was established. This initiative aims to alleviate resource contention that hampers research and academic progress, particularly for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. A cost-sharing model, aligned with practices at HMS-affiliated institutions and a new university-wide policy, supports this approach, ensuring consistent services and fees across all Harvard Schools and external users.

Getting started

Signing up for RC Core resources

To access HMS Research Computing Core services, including O2 compute or storage, registration for an account is required. Start the signup process via the PPMS RC Core system. The lab principal investigator must also register, attest to RC Core policies, and provide a purchase order before access is granted.

Purchase orders for external labs

External labs must submit a PO through the PPMS RC Core system. For submission, visit this URL and select RC Billing Form - Required by EXTERNAL Customers with POs. We recommend that POs remain active for at least 18 months to cover several billing cycles.

Harvard Sponsored Role (HSR) requirement

Non-employees or students at Harvard University need an HSR to access RC Core services. Learn more about the HSR policy. External researchers must have an email address from the HMS Affiliated institution and sign the RC Core user agreement to use our O2 cluster and storage services. Notify the RC Core immediately at if an HMS affiliate lab member with access leaves the institution. HSRs must have an email address from the HMS Affiliated institution.

Services offered

  • High-performance computing through the O2 Cluster supports diverse research requirements and workflows for HMS-affiliated researchers.
  • Research data storage:
    • Active storage – For data needing frequent access, modifications, or computations.
    • Standby storage – For infrequently accessed data still readily available for use.
  • Fee-based scientific software – Available to Harvard University affiliates with a Harvard 33-digit billing code. Software includes:
    • BioRender
    • FlowJo
    • GraphPad Prism
    • SnapGene

Account cancellation and expiration

Canceling services

Complete the off-boarding request form to cancel any services you or your team utilize with HMS Research Computing,

HMS account expiration for guests

HMS accounts for guests, provided by the HMS RC Core to O2 Users, will expire one year after creation. To extend your HMS account, email with your principal investigator included in the email, stating your HMS account ID and the desired extension date. Extensions can only be granted for up to one year, and you may need to sign a new RC Core user agreement.

Additional information


Detailed information on RC Core rates and billing is available on the HMS IT Service Portal.



Detailed information on the HMS IT External Use of HPC Resources Policy

RC Core

Detailed information on the HMS RC Core Policies


For general inquiries or business-related questions, contact For support and help using our services, reach out to