Research Computing Services

Research Computing Services (RCS) supports faculty needs in statistical analysis and computing, research design, programming, data collection, and behavioral research. RCS divides its time between consulting on faculty research, working on specific research projects, and developing and supporting research infrastructure at the School. As part of the Division of Research and Faculty Development, RCS works closely with the School’s other research support services to ensure seamless delivery of research services. They, also, provide guidance to doctoral students and research associates in supporting faculty research.


RCS expert staff provide a broad range of services, including the following:

  • Methodological consulting for quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Statistical programming
  • Consultation on “revise and resubmit” requests
  • Database programming and administration
  • Data cleaning, parsing, transfer, and matching
  • Scheduling experiments in the on-campus lab and online
  • Recruiting, tracking, and processing payments of live and online research participants
  • Programming custom online surveys
  • Consultation for survey and experimental design
  • Access, training, and troubleshooting for the research servers and research software
  • Advocacy, researching, and testing of new technology and software

Overview of Team

RCS has several PhD level scientific experts and other senior staff who have national or international recognition. They hold advanced degrees in a wide variety of fields including applied econometrics, geo information science, mathematics, literature, political science, computer science, clinical psychology, and physics. Our experienced 11 person team stays up-to-date with the latest technology, techniques, and software with regular training, attending conferences, as well as benchmarking around Harvard and beyond.

Faculty Research Computing Center (FRCC)

FRCC is a 24‐hour facility providing faculty with advanced desktop computers and peripherals loaded with major research software packages. It provides HBS researchers with the opportunity to use dozens of specialized statistical programs on high capacity desktop configurations. Research design resources, including advanced A/V tools and software for experimental design, are also available in this lab. Full consulting, along with a reference library, is available during normal business hours.

Research Computing Environment

Our server-based research computing environment provides high‐speed, high‐capacity computing resources to help HBS researchers effectively and efficiently conduct complex mathematical and statistical models and simulations. This computational environment is fully integrated with a dedicated research network-attached-storage (NAS) facility and a dedicated MySQL server used for housing custom databases. We offer one-on‐one consultations on use of the research computing grid as well MySQL database design and support.

Computer Lab for Experimental Research (CLER)

The CLER has an open room in which computerized research sessions can be conducted with as many as 36 participants at a time. Experimental sessions involving isolated individuals or small groups take place in five additional small rooms. The lab also has a room dedicated to supporting eye-tracking studies.

Lab users frequently make use of RCS’s research design, consulting, and programming expertise, including a post-doctoral fellow in experimental design, for support in designing or programming studies.

The School maintains an active subject pool with more than 7,000 individuals who have volunteered to participate in HBS studies. The CLER schedules and implements more than 10,000 research participations on the HBS campus each year. The lab’s staff also provides assistance with recruiting for experiments that need specialized subject pools.

In addition, RCS and the CLER team support a variety of new and emerging lab technologies including eye-tracking, sociometry, and other portable electronic sensors.