Research Computing Services

Research Computing Services (RCS) supports faculty needs in statistical analysis and computing, research design, programming, and data collection. 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. RCS staff 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
  • Access, training, and troubleshooting for using local and remote compute clusters
  • Licensing 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.

Research Computing Environment

Our 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 research cluster 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. For those with significant computing demands, we also facilitate access to other computing resources on campus, including the Odyssey compute cluster, which boasts over 60,000 CPUs.

Behavioral Research Services and the Computer Lab for Experimental Research (CLER)

Behavioral Research Services, collocated with RCS, can assist with:

  • Scheduling experiments in the on-campus lab
  • Recruiting, tracking, and processing payments for research participants
  • Staffing lab sessions
  • Consultation for survey and experimental design

The CLER has an open room with 36 computer stations. Experimental sessions involving isolated individuals or small groups take place in six additional small rooms. The School maintains an active subject pool who have volunteered to participate in HBS studies. The CLER schedules and implements several thousand research participations on the HBS campus each year. The lab’s staff also facilitates recruiting for experiments that need specialized subject pools. The team can also assist with studies run at other labs or non-campus locations. ​​​