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Research Support

The Coulter Faculty Commons, in collaboration with the Office of Research Administration, recognizes that the faculty of Western Carolina University engage in multiple forms of scholarship. The CFC can provide consultations on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Scholarship Tools and Resources

Research Software

The CFC manages the licenses of six research software programs, which are available to WCU faculty and staff:

  • ArcGIS 10.4.1 – Geographic Software
  • Atlas.ti 7 – Qualitative Analysis
  • Nvivo 12 – Qualitative Analysis
  • SPSS 25 – Quantitative Analysis
  • STATA 14 – Quantitative Analysis
  • SAS 9.3 – Quantitative Analysis


The software programs identified above run on Windows 7 or higher and sufficient hard drive space is required, especially for the ArcGIS and SAS software. If you have a Mac computer, you can run the software as long as the machine has a dual operating system (Bootcamp). In these cases, it is recommended the Windows partition on your computer be at least 120GB.

The use and availability of the research software is dependent on the current license agreement. ArcGIS, Atlas.ti, and SAS are local installations in which the software is installed directly onto the computer. SPSS is a network installation and requires that users access the software via a network connection. A commuter license is available for SPSS, allowing for off-campus use of the software for up to seven days at a time. Additionally, SPSS can be accessed via the Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN can be accessed through the menu system in myWCU

Faculty and Staff Access

The chart below summarizes the availability of each program and how to request the software.

Software Off-Campus
License Type Installed on
ArcGIS Yes Individual Yes IT Help Desk
Atlas.ti No 5 Concurrent for Faculty and Staff No IT Help Desk
NVivo Yes 10 Individual License for Faculty and Staff No IT Help Desk
SPSS Yes via VPN or Commuter License Unlimited Concurrent No IT Help Desk
STATA Yes 15 Concurrent for Faculty and Staff No IT Help Desk
SAS Yes Individual Yes IT Help Desk

Of the six software packages, the availability of Atlas.ti is the most limited. There is one license that supports five users at one time. The software is installed locally. It is requested that faculty members check out a license only when needed and return the license when their current project is completed. There is a trial version available through the ATLAS.ti website that might be appropriate for smaller projects. 

Note: Faculty and staff within the CEAP can access Atlas.ti via the college's virtual desktop. Contact Lee Nickles for access information.

Student Access

Most of WCU research software agreements limit our ability to install research software on students' personal computers. Students can access SPSS and SAS in the Open Access Student Labs. A student version of ArcGIS is available through the Help Desk. Students can also access educational licenses of SPSS and Atlas.ti for approximately $100. These licenses can be found online on the SPSS and Atlas.ti websites.


Support documents and additional information about several of the programs can be found on the following websites:

In the panels below you will find additional resources for WCU faculty research...

The Office of Research Administration provides comprehensive support to faculty seeking grant and contract support for their research projects.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees research involving human subjects at WCU. Learn more about the IRB, including links to its forms and procedures.

The Coulter Faculty Commons supports and facilitates communities of practice for faculty and instructional staff members at Western Carolina as professional learning communities designed to provide peer mentorship and collaboration opportunities for faculty, staff, and graduate students. See More About Our Communities

University Policy 50: Research involving recombinant DNA molecules

University Policy 51: Conducting surveys

University Policy 55: Solicitation of external funds

University Policy 56: Ethics in research and research misconduct

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