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Research Data Storage Service

The Research Data Storage Service provides campus researchers the ability to subscribe to a minimum of one Terabyte (TB) of desktop mountable storage for research purposes. This service, in addition to Box, provides a platform to store research data. This storage should be used when storing files larger than 15 GB or when using regulated data, such as PHI, PII, etc.

About the Service

The Research Data Storage Service is the University’s central storage platform made available to participating University Schools and departments. This storage should be considered when dealing with regulated data and can be used for secondary data copy requirements for grant fulfillment.

It includes two storage zones based on data regulation guidelines:

Once storage has been allocated, campus researchers will access the service by mapping a network drive to the provisioned share.

Data transfer is possible between Quest and the non-audited and FSM zones of Research Data Storage Service. However, files may not be transferred between Quest and audited zones of the Research Data Storage Service. Please remember that Quest is not approved for legally or contractually restricted data.

Key Service Features and Benefits

*You must be on the Northwestern University computer network to access the Research Data Storage Service share drive. If accessing the share remotely, Northwestern VPN is also required.

How to Request an Allocation

The requesting researcher (primary contact) must complete the Research Data Storage Service Request form. Both the primary and secondary contacts must have a Northwestern University MS-Exchange email account to be able to manage OWA Group memberships. If an exchange account is needed, please contact the IT Support Center. The request form requires a valid University Chart of Accounts String. Participants must acknowledge that they have read and understand the Purchase of Central Research Data Storage Service Resources for Research Support pdf. Within five days of requesting service, Northwestern Information Technology (IT) will email instructions on how to access the shared network and manage user access permissions.

Every August, Northwestern IT will send the primary contact an email reminder that their Chart of Accounts String will be charged beginning September 1, unless the allocation is canceled. Participants who wish to discontinue service, must notify by August 31 of each year. Data in discontinued storage allocations will not be retained by Northwestern IT. 

*** For Feinberg Researchers  Only***

To request storage, visit the Storage Options web page. The Feinberg IT Infrastructure group will consult with the individual making the request for storage and will recommend the preferred option for the specific storage needs. Questions about storage can be addressed to Please note that the FSM storage is not mountable on Quest and data may not be transferred between Quest and the FSM storage.


The annual cost is $137.00 per 1 TB of storage with the option to pre-pay for storage up to 5 years in advance. New orders will be pro-rated based on the date of purchase. See the table below:

Month/Period Activated Cost/TB
September 1 - November 30 $137.00
December 1 - February 28 $102.75
March 1 - May 31 $  68.50
June 1 - August 31 $  34.25

Basic Drive Mapping and Group Access Management

Last Updated: 4 June 2019

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