User Accounts on the NIH HPC Systems

NIH HPC accounts are restricted to NIH employees and contractors as determined by inclusion in the NIH Enterprise Directory (

Users must each have their own account; no shared accounts are allowed. In addition, as per NIH Password Policy, users are prohibited from sharing passwords with each other and each user must have a separate, unique password.

HPC users, including NIH Volunteers, Guest Researchers, and Fellows, can maintain Helix/Biowulf accounts for the duration of their NIH status.

How to get an account on the NIH HPC Systems

To access any of the NIH HPC resources (e.g. Biowulf or Helix) you need an NIH HPC account. As of 29 March 2016, the process for obtaining an account has changed, and is detailed below.

  1. Users who want an account should start the process by filling out the account request form at
    This form is only accessible from the NIH network or VPN, and you will need to log in with your usual NIH authentication.

    Users will need to select their IC and PI on this form.

  2. The PI will get an automated email requesting approval of this account. The PI can approve the account either using the link provided in the email, or by replying to the email message.

  3. CIT will identify the account sponsor and obtain approval to charge the HPC monthly fee to the appropriate IC.

  4. The account will be created, and the user will receive an email notification with login instructions.
If you do not see your PI on the list, or if you are a new PI who may not yet be in our database, please send an email to and we will investigate.

Account Lifetime

An NIH HPC account will stay active as long as

Accounts will be locked if they are inactive for 60 days, as per NIH policy. Users can unlock their accounts on the User Dashboard (NIH access only), or by sending email to


There is a charge of $40.00 per month for an NIH HPC account. This gives the user access to all of the NIH HPC systems and associated services (i.e. Biowulf, Helix, hpcdrive).

There are no additional charges for CPU or storage usage on Biowulf, Helix, or any of the HPC Systems.

Deleting an HPC account

Users or PIs who no longer have a need for the HPC account can have the account deleted by opening a ticket with the NIH Service Desk (301-496-4357).

What can I do with an NIH HPC Account

An NIH HPC account gives you access to the scientific applications and databases on all the NIH HPC systems. The different systems are intended for different purposes.

Student Accounts

A set of Biowulf accounts is available for use during classes taught by the HPC staff and other NIH personnel. More information on this page (NIH only)