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Protected Environment (PE) at CHPC

CHPC operates a protected environment (PE) for researchers with sponsored research projects and work with data that is sensitive in nature. These resources have been reviewed and vetted by the Information Security Office and the Compliance Office as being an appropriate place to work with Protected Health Information (PHI). If you have data that has other compliance requirements, please let us know well in advance so that we may ensure that our PE meets the requirements needed for your project. Please follow the recommendations below when requesting access to a resource in the PE.  

NOTE: If you decide to work with protected &/or regulated data outside of CHPC's designated protected environment please know that you'll need to investigate any required agreement(s) that must be in place in accordance with the HIPAA privacy rule prior to creating, processing, maintaining, or transmitting ePHI/PII (protected health information &/or personally Identifiable info), such as a Business Associate Agreement or, in the case of research purposes a valid IRB or other agreement as appropriate. The Privacy Office contact information can be found at and IRB office at for guidelines and more information.  If CHPC resources are used, we work with you to make sure the required agreements are in place.  NOTE: A list of existing BAA's with the UofU (for those allowed via role based security) can be found via the following URL...


  • Only CHPC Staff system administrators will have root to hosts in the protected environment. 
  • Only sponsored research projects with HIPAA/PHI or other specific data restrictions will be provisioned in the PE.

Resources available

  • An HPC Cluster (apexarch)
  • Windows Statistics system (swasey)
  • VM (Virtual Machine) Farm
  • Database services

Get Started

  • Step 1: Determining if your project fits in REDCAP
  • Step 2: Needs Assessment
  • Step 3: Requesting access to a PE resource

Step 1: Determining if your project fits in REDCAP

Note 1: It may be that your project needs can be served by using the REDCAP (Research Electronic Data Capture) tool. REDCAP can be used to create web accessible forms, a secure database with continuous auditing, and a flexible reporting system. More information can be found at  To determine if the REDCAP tool fits with your project, require assistance or have any questions about REDCap, please contact REDCap Support or see for more information..

Note 2: One can put PHI on the University instance of Box, The reference for the acceptable use of Box for PHI can be found at University of Utah Box User Agreement.pdf. Please refer to this page and see the section at the bottom about storage of regulated information. To use the Box instance for PHI, users need to create a specific University Box account. Personal accounts cannot be used. The UofU Box service doesn't fit the needs for all use cases; if you only need a storage space of under 50GB, then it may be a good fit. If the needs are to store and process (HTC/HPC/SQL etc) or use SAS/SPSS and other applications, the needs are likely better served via CHPC’s Protected Environment (PE).

If the data is de-identified, there are no regulatory restrictions or mandates to use the Protected Environment.  For more information on what information is protected, please see

Step 2: Needs Assessment

For NEW projects, please submit the NEEDS ASSESSMENT FORM with all required information. We will respond to your request as soon as possible. In the meantime, please feel free to CONTACT US with any questions.
NOTE: If you don't have a uNID, please see

If you already submitted needs assessment form, please click here to see status.

Step 3: Requesting access to a PE resource

NOTE: PLEASE be sure to read and follow all steps in this section, you must have both a 'general' CHPC account AND a 'protected' CHPC account.  If you encounter any problems don't hesitate to contact us by sending an email to

  1. Complete HIPAA Annual Compliance Training (proof of CITI training is acceptable as well). Please upload or email your training via the CHPC PE account request web form or by sending email to or Below are instruction of how to locate your training certificate.

    a) For faculty and staff, visit  and complete the HIPAA training. You must submit proof of completion to CHPC.  If you are not assigned the training already, the modules are now searchable in the LMS (learning module systems) and can be assigned to new faculty and staff by their manager. You can also self-enroll. Please refer to these FAQs for further instruction. If you don't have the training assigned, or can't self-enroll or have a manager enroll you, let us know so we can have you added. If you have problems getting the training req done via the staff/faculty method then please use the student method below instead.

    b) For non-employees, e.g., students, vendors (Business associates) or others: Navigate to this web page  to read/understand & adhere to the HIPAA privacy and security training then submit the certificate to CHPC when you request a PE account.

  2. Acquire an account for the CHPC protected environment:  
    NOTE: The project PI must have an account provisioned in the protected environment before any project user accounts can be created.

    a) If you do not have an existing CHPC account, then you need to apply for a general CHPC account first via the following URL: (if youdo have a CHPC account go to the next step, 2b)
    NOTE: If you don't have a uNID, please see

    b) If you have an existing CHPC account, you can request a Protected Environment/HIPAA CHPC account   NOTE: You'll need to reference your project #, ask your PI if you don't know it.

  3. Get a DUO security account: This is an additional authentication step for additional security. If you don't have a DUO security account setup already then you'll need to do the following:

    a) If you don't already use DUO security, you will need to go to the following URL and register your device. Visit: to add your device to the campus DUO two factor authentication service.

    b) Then notify CHPC that you've completed the DUO registration - then we will request UIT to affiliate your DUO account to the proper CHPC PE group(s) and we will notify you when it's complete. see CHPC's DUO software page for more information.

  4. Once you've completed the previous steps (and have been notified by CHPC that your CHPC PE account is provisioned) - you can follow this URL for instructions of how to access the CHPC PE...

If resource needs are already met with existing infrastructure (swasey, apexarch, an existing protected environment VM, etc.) you are ready to start. Any new desired protected environment virtual machine requests must come from the PI (or co PI). See  1.4.2 Virtual Machine Allocation Policy

Please see the Protected Environment FAQ for more information about what resources are available in the CHPC protected environment.

If this is a new project you'll need to work with CHPC and the Information Security and Privacy office (ISPO) ( to satisfy security requirements: 


Last Updated: 7/25/17