Researcher Quick-Start Guide

Last updated: August 23, 2023
Audience: Researchers

UW Information Technology collaborates with partners across the University to provide technology to support world-class research. Use this guide to find out about the resources available to you, and check with your local IT department for their technology recommendations and guidelines.

Understand your research options

At a high level, there are two options for research: using the UW’s high-performance supercomputer, or leveraging the power of cloud computing.

  • Hyak, the UW’s own Supercomputer – UW-IT operates the on-site Hyak shared, high performance supercomputer cluster, capable of handling a broad range of workloads, from traditional high performance computing to emerging Big Data problems and everything in between.
  • Cloud Computing for Research – UW-IT works with several commercial vendors, including Microsoft, Amazon and Google, to match your research to the best cloud solution. In Partnership with the eScience Institute, UW-IT consultants can help you evaluate the cloud as a compute and storage platform, understand costs and learning curve, and help you integrate data science tools, technologies and methods into your research.

Leverage your data

The UW offers powerful tools to help you use, transfer, share and store your data.

  • Learn about the UW’s options for using your data, from quickly transferring large quantities of data to archiving and sharing your data using services from UW-IT and our partners.
  • UW-IT offers a large-capacity high performance research network supporting fast data transfers within and outside of the UW network.
  • Advance your research computing with the power of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for machine learning. Research computing experts at UW-IT can help you determine if GPU computing would benefit your research needs, and help you navigate the options to choose an option that works for you.
  • UW-IT offers high capacity, collaboration, and archive file services so researchers have convenient, cost-effective means to secure, long-term data storage and can share data sets with collaborators quickly, on and off campus.

Especially for students

Join the UW’s Research Computing Club, meet graduate and undergraduate students interested in high-performance computing and gain access to Hyak. Leverage the power of cloud computing resources available through the Cloud Credit Program. If you have a unique research computing need, send us a note at with “research computing” in the subject line.

Don’t go it alone

Whether you’re a faculty researcher or a student, we offer expert computing advice to keep your research computing work on track. We can help you find the best computing solution for your research needs, including supercomputers or volunteer or commercial cloud systems. Email us at with “research computing” in the subject line.