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Research environments

At Lifelines we want to make sure that researchers can work on their analyses, without having to worry about the facilities they need to make their research possible. This is why our services are available from any computer around the world, adhere to high (data) safety standards (in accordance with the GDPR) and are supported by our team of Data Managers. 

Available research environment

In general, Lifelines offers two different research environments: the Lifelines Workspace environment and Lifelines UMCG High Performance Cluster (HPC). Both of these environments work with personal login, meaning that an account will be created with your personal information, and therefore, should not be shared with others. For information on the costs per research environment, please click here

Lifelines workspace environment

The Lifelines Workspace environment is our regular research environment when requesting phenotypic data from our Lifelines catalogue. The most important specifications of the Lifelines Workspace are the following: 

  • Windows operating system 
  • Graphical interface 
  • For analyses in for example SPSS, R Studio, STATA, and Python 

Other research environment

By exception, we might allow some specific Lifelines data to leave one of the provided research environments. An alternative research environment must first pass an extensive and strict security assessment, for which Lifelines will charge an additional fee. 

Lifelines UMCG high performance cluster (HPC)

The Lifelines UMCG HPC environment is available for researchers who are interested in combining phenotypic and omics data for their research or in case you are going to perform heavy analyses. The most important specification of the Lifelines UMCG HPC are the following: 

  • Linux operating system 
  • No graphical interface 
  • For analyses in for example R, Python, and omics pipelines using job scripts 

Important to note: at the moment, companies are not allowed to work on the Lifelines UMCG HPC. If your organization does want to perform research on the data, we suggest partnering up with an academic institute who can do the analysis on your behalf. 


How does it work?

  1. Complete and submit an application form in which you indicate the research environment(s) you would like to use and for how many users. 
  2. The application form and appropriateness of the requested research environment is reviewed by Lifelines 
  3. Researchers will receive the necessary documents. When working on the Lifelines UMCG HPC, additional documents need to be signed.  
  4. Additional information will be obtained in order to create a personal account. 
  5. In case of Lifelines UMCG HPC access: successful completion of our e-learning module is needed (see below).
  6. Access to the research environment is provided.

E-learning module

When requesting access to the Lifelines UMCG HPC, we want to make sure you are familiar with working on a Linux environment. Therefore, we have developed an e-learning that will test your knowledge on both working on a cluster with Lifelines phenotypic and omics data and your understanding of the do's and don'ts. Important to note: the e-learning module is not designed to be used to gain experience if you are inexperienced with Linux environments. Because of this, your first attempt will be taken into account by Lifelines.

To continue to the e-learning you can follow the link below. You will be asked to register an account after which you can access the content.  

Start e-learning

Ready to start?

Submit an application