Research Services

The Office of Information Technology research and Innovation group provides a number of resources to assist researchers in preparing and executing their research initiatives. OIT staff can provide expertise in hardware, software, networking, data collection and analysis, and information security.

OIT can assist with research needs such as:

  • Helping get answers to your technical and security questions before submitting research project proposals.
  • Identifying suitable computing infrastructure (computers, storage, network, security, etc.)
  • Identifying suitable analysis or computational software.
  • Identifying suitable data collection instruments and survey tools
  • Insuring compliance with university IT policies and procedures
  • Identifying programming and database services

Surveys

WMU Secure Survey is an implementation of the commercial SelectSurvey product, which is available to all researchers at the University. The use of surveys is under the purview of the Office of University Relations, and distribution of mass email associated with surveys must be approved by the Chief Information Officer.

For more information about Secure Survey, and for relevant guidelines for survey administration, please see rules and guidelines for WMU Secure Survey.

Software and Hardware specification

Research often requires the acquisition and use of new computing resources, hardware and software, beyond what is already provided to faculty for daily use. Any such new acquisitions are subject to the University’s IT Acquisition Policy. OIT Research Services can assist with navigating the product review process for including technology in your research activities. 

WMU has access to significant discounts on Microsoft server and application software. If you have specific needs for Microsoft software, please contact oit-researchservices@wmich.edu to obtain a quote. See Microsoft software licensing.

Data Storage

The Office of Information Technology offers centralized mass storage with offsite backup to ensure data security and integrity. Our storage network is capable of supporting high data rates and high-speed, transactional data transfer, as well as archival, high capacity storage. For large-scale private data storage, our specialists can assist in specifying hardware and estimating costs of hardware to support sponsored research projects. OIT can also help to insure that your data management plan is in order, and that your valuable research data is properly protected.

Computing Resources

OIT maintains on-premises server clusters with resources available to researchers. Computing services are available in multiple tiers:

•Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)

•Platform as a Service (PaaS)

•Software as a Service (SaaS)

For assistance in specifying and pricing dedicated large-scale computing systems, please contact oit-researchservices@wmich.edu.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing services from Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, and others offer highly scalable computational and storage that is well suited to many research applications OIT staff can assist in identifying a cloud or hybrid (on premises + cloud) solution that is best suits your needs.

Networking – Internet2

Through the University’s membership in the Merit Network, WMU researchers can transparently exchange data with peers throughout the United States over Internet2, a private research network serving universities, research institutes, and regional academic networks throughout the country. 

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality

The OIT Innovations Team provides expertise in the emerging technologies of VR/AR/MR. OIT has facilities for motion capture, and VR simulation development. Together with University Libraries, OIT operates a virtual reality lab, and provides workshops in VR technology. Visit the virtual reality website.

For More Information

For more information or assistance with your research computing needs, please contact oit-researchservices@wmich.edu.