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Access to Clinical Systems

Information technology (IT) services include support for procurement of computers, telephones and related devices, as well as help support.

In order to access IT services, you’ll need a network account. Your supervisor will need to submit the request on your behalf.

All PHSA staff and trainees must complete an online privacy and confidentiality course before they can be granted network access. Training is offered on PHSA’s Learning Hub. For any questions or concerns regarding the online privacy training, contact

Network access

Depending on your location and the type of research you are conducting, you may require access to your local research network and/or the PHSA network. 

Here is a summary of what you can access on each network:

Research networks

There are dedicated research networks operating at the BC Cancer Research Centre, the Genome Sciences Centre and the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute. If you are working in one of these locations, the local research network will be your default network. 

Each of the three research IT networks is designed and operated to support research and academic activity. They work with the University of British Columbia, BCNET and Canarie (Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education), providing high throughput access to academic and national research resources. 

Research networks are managed by their onsite research IT department and all support related to this network is provided by this department, including procurement, helpdesk, email, software and hardware. 

To request access to the BC Cancer-CRC network, have your supervisor complete and submit the New CRC User Account Request Form (password-protected). For the BC Cancer-GSC network, have your supervisor contact GSC IT. Access to the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute network can be requested through their IM/IT Support page

PHSA network

The PHSA network can be accessed instead of, or in addition to, a local research network. 

PHSA’s clinical IT network is designed and operated to support patient care activities. All clinical health information systems at BC Women's, BC Children’s Hospital, and BC Cancer reside on this network. Internal and external access for research purposes may be limited due to the confidential clinical data housed here.

PHSA policies and procedures apply to researchers using the PHSA network. All IT support is handled through the consolidated IM/IT helpdesk, including pre-approval for custom (non-standard) software or devices to be connected to the network. 

For access to this network, have your supervisor submit an e-form via PHSA’s Service Catalogue (password-protected site).

Remote access to PHSA network

PHSA’s Citrix environment provides remote access to your desktop’s programs and files. If you're working on a research network (wireless/wired), you can access Citrix directly by visiting the Citrix Remote Access Portal and logging in.

If you're accessing the PHSA network externally, such as from UBC or your home, you will need to use You’ll also require a Security Token, which must be purchased through by submitting a Remote Access request to PHSA IM/IT through its Service Catalogue

IT procurement

Your research may require the use of specialized computer hardware, software, telephone equipment or related devices that are not regular PHSA-supported items. IT devices needed for research purposes may be acquired outside of standard PHSA policy when:

  • The devices are permitted within the terms of reference of research projects; and/li>
  • The devices are paid for through research (funds 6 and 7) or special purpose funds (fund 8); and
  • The devices are solely accessing BC Cancer, Genome Sciences Centre or Child & Family Research Institute local area research networks.

All procurement of IT devices must be pre-approved and follow applicable PHSA Information Management and Information Technology Services (IMITS) and Finance procedures. You will not be reimbursed for purchases made without prior approval. 


Your first step is to complete PHSA’s “Pre-Authorization Form – IT Device for Research” (XLS) and submit it to the research IT department responsible for managing your local research network. This form must be completed and approved before procurement can begin.

Once the IMIT device is received, it must be sent to your research IT department for configuration and assignment of an asset ID number. Upon application of an asset ID number, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute and BC Cancer IT will send a copy of the final form to BC Children's Hospital Research Institute Finance and the BC Cancer Office of Research Facilitation, respectively, for record-keeping.

Not on a research network?

Researchers who are not supported by a local area research network (BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, BCCRC or GSC) may be able to procure IMIT devices for research purposes if:

  • The devices are permitted within the terms of reference of research projects; and
  • The devices are paid for through research (funds 6 and 7) or special purpose funds (fund 8); and
  • The devices do not connect with the PHSA network.

In this case, the exception outlined in RIS Policy 180 (PDF) will apply, PHSA IMITS will configure and assign an asset ID number, and a copy of the approved form will be sent to PHSA Research Administration. 

Research IT services

To support individual research projects or grants, some research IT departments offer research-specific technology services such as:

  • Pre/post award consultation
  • Data Management services
  • Research data storage and collaboration tools
  • High performance computing
Consult with your research IT department to discuss what services may be available to you.  

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