This page was developed to assist the HMS community in bringing HSRs onboard according to the University HSR policy and to explain additional HMS-specific requirements.

A Harvard Sponsored Role (formerly known as POI) designation is the mechanism to describe non-employee, non-student affiliations an individual may have in the Harvard community that support granting the individual access to resources, both digital and physical, under an appropriate level of oversight by the University. Harvard Sponsored Roles are necessary to clearly differentiate affiliations to the University that are distinct from employee, student or alumni roles. A member of the Harvard community must act as the sponsor for a Harvard Sponsored Role (HSR) request, and in doing so, the HSR Sponsor provides a legitimate and verified business need to justify giving access to Harvard resources to the HSR.

  • Harvard Sponsored Roles may not be used in place of a formal appointment where individuals performing similar roles and duties hold an appointment.
  • Harvard Sponsored Roles may not be used to extend access for departing employees or other Harvard affiliates who wish to retain access to email, file shares or other resources to which their employee role granted them privileges.
  • General information

    Who can be an HSR at HMS: An individual with a legitimate need for access to Harvard and HMS space and digital resources for purposes that advance the Harvard or HMS's business mission, and who also meets the definition of one of the HSR role types defined in appendices A, B, or C of the Harvard University HSR policy (also found in the HSR role type descriptions).

    • Special note on academic affiliates of HMS: Individuals who hold an academic appointment through HMS (for example, postdoctoral researchers, lecturers, instructors, assistant and associate professors, and professors) should not be brought on board as an HSR. People who have an HMS academic appointment already have access to Harvard/HMS space and resources. To access, affiliate appointees should claim their Harvard University ID (HUID), HarvardKey, and HMS account ID. Instructions are available through the HMS-IT Getting Started web page and via the HMS IT Service Desk at HMS IT does not sponsor HSRs.

    Note – All HSR requests must comply with the Harvard HSR policy, and all HSRs must be brought on board, renewed, or terminated using the new Harvard HSR portal.

  • HSR sponsors and approvers

    HSRs must be sponsored and approved by authorized members of the HMS community. Sponsors must ensure that the HSRs they sponsor comply with the Harvard University HSR policy and all other applicable Harvard policies. At HMS, sponsors must be active, paid employees of HMS in employee class: A (Admin & Professional), F (Senior Faculty), J (Junior Faculty), O (Other Academic) and S (Support Staff). In addition, unpaid HMS faculty who are employed by HHMI and who are located in Quad-based pre-clinical department are eligible to sponsor HSRs. Note: HMS hospital-affiliates are not eligible to sponsor HSRs at HMS. 

    • Training – Sponsors, sponsor delegates, and local and central approvers MUST take a one-time HSR training before sponsoring and / or approving HSRs in the University HSR portal.
    • HSR Portal Roles – Local Approver, Administrator, Reviewer, and Central Approver roles for your department can be requested by emailing Sponsor delegate access does not need to be requested
    • Limitations – HMS personnel can be assigned multiple roles in the HSR system; however, the same person cannot be both the sponsor and the approver for the same HSR request.
    • HSR role types: Harvard has identified 25 different assignable HSR Roles that describe/define the circumstances under which a person qualifies for a HSR role and can be granted access by Harvard and HMS to a variety of time-bound physical and digital resources. It is important to match the type of access needed to the appropriate HSR role and to ensure that the HSR matches the criteria defined in the HSR policy for the HSR role.
    • Expiring HSRs: HSRs must be renewed on or before their end date listed in the HSR Portal. Renewing HSRs must meet all HSR Policy criteria and have the required documentation to be approved for renewal. If an HSR roles has lapsed but should have been extended, as new HSR roles with all required documentation will need to be set up again.
  • Requesting HMS space and systems access for an approved HSR

    Consistent with HSR onboarding practices, approvers, departments, and/or sponsors and sponsor delegates must separately identify and request access to the computing or physical HMS resources that the HSR will need, after the request is submitted, to assign HSR status through the HSR Portal is approved. After the sponsored HSR has been approved:

    1. Physical access to HMS space (swipe card/key access) is granted through a request made by your Departmental Administrator or Core Director to HMS Security. Contact your Department, Center or Core’s Administrator for assistance.
    2. HMS Guest User Request Form which will request an HMS ID
    3. HMS Email. Note that not all HSR roles do qualify for a HMS email, per the HRS policy and email provisioning will only be approved for eligible HSR role types. For more information on email eligibility please refer to:  Quick Guide to Harvard Sponsored Role Types

    Note – Ideally, the HMS HSR Sponsor would also be the sponsor of the HMS account for guests for the HSR. However, that is not required, and sometimes the HMS account for guests and HSR are sponsored by two different people for the same HSR. You can find details on how to submit an HMS account for guests request by visiting our HMS account for guests web page.  

    For a more extensive list of services, visit Our Services | HMS IT (

    Approved HSRs will not be able to access any HMS resources until access to the resources has been requested through the processes outlined above. Access to space, materials, data, and systems are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with their HSR role type, and HMS/Harvard policies. Be aware that HSRs may not be granted access to all systems, data, space, or materials that are requested.