Remote Research Software

To facilitate software access from off-campus, and in compliance with usage agreements with software vendors, HGSE IT offers some of its software licenses through a remote desktop setup. Users can request access to this service by emailing Capacity for this service is limited, so approval may be subject to constraints on availability and urgency of use. HGSE faculty will be automatically approved for use upon request.

Instructions for connecting to the remote desktop are as follows:

1.Open the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client
Harvard University, including HGSE, uses the Cisco AnyConnect application for its VPN services. Instructions for how to acquire the app can be found here. Click "Connect" on the menu (pictured below) to advance to the login details prompt.


2. Connect to the Harvard VPN through the GSERESEARCH tunnel.
After opening the VPN app, follow instructions found here for how to connect to a specific VPN tunnel. The tunnel for HGSE's research software is 'GSERESEARCH', and usernames should have '#GSERESEARCH' appended to the end. Note the login for the VPN tunnel is your HarvardKey.


3. Open a remote desktop application
Depending on your machine, your remote desktop application may be different. Windows machines will typically come with the app "Remote Desktop Connection". Mac Users can download the app "Microsoft Remote Desktop" from the Mac App Store.

4. Specify connection details
Within the remote desktop application, make sure to address the following fields (you may need to access additional options):

  • Computer name should be ''
  • Username should be 'ad\' followed by the user's 3+3 (i.e. NetID, or ADID). For example, 'ad\abc123'
  • To import dataset or files from your personal machine, click the "More..." button within the Local Resources tab, and identify the folder and files to import (this is may be particularly relevant for R users who require external packages).
    Import Files from Remote Desktop

5. Connect to the remote desktop
Given an opening is available at the time of connection, and all other steps have been satisfied, the connection will go through. You can operate this remote desktop as though you were directly interfacing with it.

Remember to save your work often, and save to your personal computer's local files. If you encounter any difficulty during this process, please contact the HGSE IT service center at