As HMS staff member, you’ll have access to a world of IT support and resources, including software. Follow the steps below to get started.

Harvard ID

When you were hired, you received an HUID number. If you haven’t received your HUID number yet, contact your hiring manager. You must have an HUID number to set up your eCommons account.

Register Your eCommons account

All HMS faculty, staff and students will need to register for an eCommons account with their HUID.

An eCommons account is required for access to HMS resources, including email, collaboration shares, wireless network, research cluster, and the HMS Web Portal:

  1. Go to and click the New User Registration link. Click Register Now.
  2. Enter your Last Name in Step 1 and enter your HUID in Step 2, then click Submit.
  3. Click Continue to validate your email address.
  4. Create your new password, and click Submit to complete the registration process.
  5. When prompted, register for SafeCode security, which is a self-service feature allowing you to reset your password or unlock your account should you forget your eCommons password.
  6. Register for Message Me to receive emergency notifications from Harvard University:

Setup your Harvard Key

Harvard Key is Harvard University's online user credentialing, uniquely identifying you to Harvard University IT applications and services. Your Harvard Key credentials are required for accessing PeopleSoft, a tool for reporting your time as well as many other Harvard University financial applications. HarvardKey grants you access to University Library Resources, Pubmed, My.Harvard, Harvard Web Applications, Crimson Cash, Aspire, and Peoplesoft.

Review the full list of which login credentials grant access to which University services.

Office 365 email account

You can access your HMS email through the Outlook Web Access (OWA) interface by going to Log in using your eCommons username and password. Interns or temporary personnel should check with their HMS supervisor regarding HMS email eligibility.

HMS Wifi and Virtual Private Network (VPN)

You can connect to the internet by Ethernet connection (wired) or wireless connections

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows HMS/HSDM quad-based faculty, staff and students to access HMS network resources securely over the Internet from a remote location. To request VPN access, please complete a VPN request form.

Harvard University uses an application called DUO, that makes the two-step verification process quick and easy. Using DUO for Two-step verification is now required to access the HMS VPN.

HMS Information Technology recommends Pulse Secure for use with VPN connections.

Accessing FileServer Resources

Home Folders

Home folders are your very own personal, private folders, for your eyes only & accessible only by you. Quotas for HOME storage are 50 GB for HMS staff. HMS provides a number of file sharing and collaboration tools including Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and departmental file sharing. Please contact HMS IT for information about these services.

Collaboration Shares

Staff needing access to \\\"dept name" will have to contact the owner of the Collaboration Folder for which access is needed. The owner of this folder can grant access via the Online Storage portal located on the Applications page from the eCommons website.


Dropbox for Business offers HMS a secure way to store, sync, and share data across platforms and across the globe. It keeps your computer up to date with your working files. Even entire Labs can promote collaboration via SmartSync, which provides a platform for accessing shared data without taking up valuable space on your computers. Complete information about Dropbox at HMS can be found at:

HMS faculty and staff can request a DropBox Account at

Once your DropBox account has been created, request access to a team DropBox folder from the team manager.

IT Resources for Researchers

HMS Research Computing (RC)

HMS offers O2, which is a high-performance computing cluster (HPCC) serving the diverse research requirements and workflows within the HMS community. These requirements include big and small projects in next-gen sequencing analysis, molecular dynamics, mathematical modeling, image analysis, proteomics, and other areas. You may request an O2 HPCC account at the following URL:

HMS Research Information Technology Services (RITS)

Research Information Technology Solutions works collaboratively with researchers to identify, design, and deliver a wide range of technological solutions to meet the dynamic research needs of the HMS community. More info can be found at the following URL:

HMS Data Management and Best Practices

Effective data management is critical for accurate labeling and access of data during all stages of a research project. Data management best practices often change throughout the different stages in the data lifecycle. More info about effective data management can be found at the following URL:

Requesting IT Support

Self-service request form:


Phone: 617-432-2000

Additional Resources

HMS New Employee Portal:

HMS IT Website:   

Data Security: