Getting started with Virtual Research Environments (VREs) - April 2024


Do you need a platform where you can work interactively with your software? Do you have high requirements for compute power? Or do you want a platform where you can work collaboratively on code and (sensitive) data? Then the Virtual Research Environment (VRE) is your solution. In this small scale, hands-on workshop we will get you started with using VRE in your research.

The VRE platform is a flexible platform that provides a variety of environments, suitable for:

  • heavy computations (CPU or GPU)
  • interactive usage of software tools that you are familiar with (e.g. RStudio, Jupyter, MATLAB)
  • working with sensitive data
  • collaboration, both inside and outside of UU
  • installing your own tools on a plain Linux or Windows server
  • or a combination of the above

In this one and a half-hour workshop, you will learn:

  • How to manage access and permissions in your project
  • How to operate the VRE portal (aka Surf Research Cloud)
  • How to start and operate your Virtual Research Environment
  • Various options for transferring and storing datasets
  • Some other good practices for working with VRE in your project

VRE is a service by Utrecht University (UU) that provides researchers with a starting budget for initial usage of the system, user support and some preconfigured UU environments. More information about the VRE service, including information on how to get an account can be found here.


  • No prerequisite knowledge is required to attend this workshop.
  • If you are not sure if a VRE is suitable for you, consider booking an (online) intake meeting (max. 30 min) for tailored advice.
  • This workshop is offered to Utrecht University staff and students only.


This workshop takes about 1,5 hours. Due to the short duration of this workshop, you cannot earn ECTS for attending.


If you have any questions, please contact us via

More information

Can’t make it on this date? We organize this workshop throughout the academic year. Please visit our website to see the scheduling for this workshop. We can also offer this workshop on request tailored to specific faculties, departments or research groups, as well as advanced users and data managers. Contact us for more information.

Start date and time
End date and time
Room 1.14, University Library, Utrecht Science Park
Entrance fee
Free of charge

Register here