Research Computing

Research Computing Environment

The Research Computing Environment (RCE) is a large powerful computer cluster that you can use for computations that are too large to be conveniently done on a personal computer

About the RCE

Server with LED lights

We designed our RCE cluster (a large, powerful pool of computers) around open standards for reliability, scalability, extensibility, and interoperability. We use hardware from major vendors and a standard, enterprise-grade Linux distribution customized to address the specific needs of our users.

Project space can be used privately, or shared with collaborators (hence the name, "shared space"). Because our researchers bring confidential data to the RCE, we keep all project space separate from your home directory. 

Get an Account

Running Jobs

back of powerful server and cables

Running Batch Jobs

The batch processing system runs on a high throughput cluster on which you can perform extensive, time-consuming calculations without the technical limitations imposed by a typical workstation.

more about batch jobs

person at computer

Running Interactive Jobs

Interactive servers are intended for large processes that are memory intensive.

more about running interactive jobs

2 people at looking at computer screen

Working with your Jobs

When you run an RCE Powered Application, you must request a certain amount of processors and memory. If the amount you requested is available, a job is created on the cluster.

more about working with your RCE jobs

Data & Software Environment

Data Levels Supported

IQSS/HMDC can only support up to Level 3 data. 

When you apply for an RCE account, you are asked which category would best suit your needs. Therefore, you should know ahead of time if your data is rated as confidential information by your IRB.

Learn more about data levels supported and confidential data on RCE

Statistical Applications

The following statistical applications are available on the RCE:

learn more about statistical applications

Tools & Utilities

Many common code and text editors are available, such as:

  • Emacs
  • Eclipse
  • Gedit
  • Bluefish
  • Kwrite
  • Vim

Version control tools are available to interact source code repositories:

  • git (to interface with GitHubGitorious or private git repo's)
  • Subversion (svn)
  • CVS

Learn more about RCE tools and utiltities available

Accessing RCE

You can access the RCE login nodes from any modern workstation or laptop with a high-speed connection.  Please note, you'll need to connect to Harvard's VPN in order to use the RCE, whether you are connecting via NoMachine (NX), or SFTP (eg FileZilla) or SSH.

Learn more about accessing RCE

Get Started


RCE Accounts

We provide RCE accounts, free of cost, to qualified requesters in the pursuit of social science research.


Learn more about account and affiliate definition


Account Renewal

All RCE accounts have a renewal date that are selected based on the estimated end times of users' projects.


Learn more about account renewal


Help Request

For assistance, please contact us via email help@iq.harvard.edu