This page provides information on using SURE including the registration process, access charges, training and system requirements.

Download a flow diagram (PDF 160KB) that summarises the steps involved in setting up a project workspace in SURE.


Complete Project Workspace Application Form

Download SURE Workspace Application Form (PDF 313 KB)

Download instructions: Please download and save the editable PDF to your computer. Type your answers into each field and save your response before returning to [email protected].

Complete SURE agreements and return to the SURE team

Please return the application form by email to [email protected] A workspace agreement will be returned to the Chief Investigator for signature prior to gaining access. All new users will also need to sign a User Deed committing them to the terms and conditions of SURE access.

Receive invoice and complete payment

Once the agreements have been signed and completed, the SURE team will issue an invoice. Payment of the initial invoice will need to be completed before receiving access to SURE.

Receive user credentials

Users will be assigned with a unique username, passphrase and token to access SURE.

Additional users who join a project will need to contact the SURE team to gain access to the project.  This can be done via the Change in Service form (PDF 335KB). Users added to a project must be a named investigator on the project’s approved ethics application or have been subsequently approved by the ethics committee via submission and approval of a change in personnel form.

SURE is operated by the Sax Institute on a cost-recovery basis. The population Health Research Network (PHRN) contributes a significant proportion of funding to SURE, with the remaining costs of operating the system being funded through user access fees.

The PHRN is an initiative of Australian government being conducted as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

Fees for the use of SURE are charged for the establishment and maintenance of Workspaces. Each user also pays a fee for a virtual machine based on the computing resources assigned to that user.

The fees below relate to standard setup requirements and are effective 1 July 2019. We are usually able to accommodate special requests in the setup of a Workspace to meet specific requirements but additional fees may apply. Fees are exclusive of GST.

Project Fees

  • Standard project establishment fee: $2,000
  • Annual storage and operations fee: $2,674
  • Archiving and storage fee (up to 10 years): $500

User Fees

  • Supervisor Virtual Machine: $1,338 (annual)

Resources allocated to supervisor virtual machine: 4GB RAM, one CPU core, access to shared study file server.

Applications provided as standard are SAS, Stata, SPSS, Stat/Transfer, “R”, RStudio, Microsoft Office suite

  • Standard Virtual Machine: $2,674 (annual)

Resources allocated to standard virtual machine: 8GB RAM, two CPU cores, 250GB of fast “scratch” disc space, access to shared study file server.

Applications provided as standard are SAS, Stata, SPSS, Stat/Transfer, R, RStudio, Microsoft Office suite.

  • Standard Virtual Machine (free software): $2,300 (annual)

As above, but only free applications provided as standard; ”R”, RStudio.

  • Power Virtual Machine: $5,348 (annual)

Resources allocated to standard virtual machine: 16GB RAM, two CPU cores, 500GB of fast “scratch” disc space, access to shared study file server.

Applications provided as standard are SAS, Stata, SPSS, Stat/Transfer, “R”, RStudio, Microsoft Office suite.

  • Power Virtual Machine (free software): $4,700 (annual)

As above but only free applications provided as standard; Stat/Transfer, “R”, RStudio.


  • Fee for replacing an existing SURE user with a user that is new to SURE: $307 (one-off)
  • If a user has previously used SURE there is no fee for setting them up on a new Workspace.

Download the Schedule of SURE access fees (PDF 122KB).

Disclaimer: The Sax Institute reserves the right to alter access charges and the terms and conditions of access at any time. While the SURE team aims for the facility to be available to users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, periods of system downtime will be required to undertake system maintenance and upgrades. We will endeavour to provide advance notice for all scheduled downtime. User support services for SURE will normally operate between 9am – 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday.

Users of SURE are required to complete training prior to receiving access to the SURE facility. The training is offered as four, self-paced online modules. Training usually takes about an hour to complete.

There is no fee for SURE training.

The program has been designed to ensure:

  • Researchers are aware of legal and ethical issues and considerations relating to information security and data management relevant to undertaking linked data research
  • Researchers are given detailed guidance on the features of SURE including accessing and using the system.

This section contains the computing prerequisites for access to SURE.


To log into SURE, a username, passphrase and token is required. These are supplied to a user by the SURE team.

SURE users also need to install a personal digital certificate on each computer from which they access SURE – this is a simple task which only needs to be done once for each computer by the SURE user. The certificate and installation instructions will be provided as part of the registration process for using SURE.

Network connectivity

A reliable broadband Internet connection or AARNet connection is required to access SURE (most academic institutions in Australia are connected to AARNet). “Broadband” refers to either a direct Internet gateway at a place-of-work, or a domestic ADSL2+, cable modem or NBN fibre optic connection to an ISP (Internet Service Provider).

Citrix Receiver

On both Windows and Apple computers, you need to install the latest version of Citrix Receiver software, or have your workplace IT support people install it for you. Citrix Receiver is free (no-cost).

Internet browser

The internet browser that is used to access SURE should be:

  • Mozilla Firefox (for computers running Microsoft Windows)
  • Mozilla Firefox or Safari (for computers running Apple Mac OS X)

The latest version of these internet browsers should be installed as they have an auto-update feature built-in. The auto-update feature should be enabled to ensure that your installed browser is always up-to-date.

Local computer

The computer used to access SURE should be an employer-provided desktop or laptop computer.

The operating systems needs to be Windows XP or later for a computer running Microsoft Windows or Mac OS 10.7 or later for an Apple computer

The local computer used to access SURE also needs to have a recent version (not more than two years old) of an approved anti-virus product installed and running (such as McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, Sophos, Kaspersky, AVG (free and paid), Microsoft Security Essentials, Immunet powered by ClamAV and Avast! Free.