The National Grid Service (NGS) aims to enable coherent electronic access for UK researchers to all computational and data based resources and facilities required to carry out their research, independent of resource or researcher location. The NGS is free to use for academics in the UK - If you wish to join the NGS as an individual user, you will first require a personal certificate.

Who can have a certificate?

Anyone who is a member of the UK e-Science community or who is actively involved with an e-Science project, and is a registered member of UEA. Please note - students should provide confirmation from their project supervisor explaining why they require a certificate.

Who should apply for a certificate?

You should apply for a certificate if you have not previously owned an e-Science certificate, or if your e-Science certificate has expired or has been revoked. If your certificate is going to expire and you would like to renew it before this time, you are only allowed to apply a maximum of one month before its expiry date.

How long is my certificate valid for?

All certificates currently being issued will expire after one year.

Why you need a certificate:

A certificate is used to prove your identity on the Grid. If you do not have a certificate then you can not be given access to Grid resources.

Getting a Certificate:

  • Download CA and root certificates into your Internet Browser from
  • Go to the then select "Request a Certificate" and then "User Certificate" (Note for Mozilla Firefox users: if you get the "Secure Connection Failed" error, go to
  • Select UEA ITCS from the Registration Authority list that appears on the Certificate Request page. You will need to enter a PIN that you will need to remember and keep safe during the certificate application process.
  • A page showing a summary of the request will now appear. Check that your details (e.g. your name and your e-mail address) are correct.
  • The "Certificate Request Confirmation" page should then appear, showing you a summary of the details you entered to apply for a Certificate. It is recommended that you keep a copy of this page as it can help identify your certificate if there is a problem with the issuing process.
  • An email will then be sent to you confirming your request. You will then need to visit us in person with your photo identification - you should email us at to arrange a suitable time to visit. Acceptable photo ID include current: UEA ID card, passport or photo drivers license and a photocopy of the ID will be taken. You will also be asked to put in your PIN number that you entered when you made the request.
  • Your certificate will be signed by the CA within one working day. An email will be sent to you once your certificate is signed and ready to use. You can click on the link that is sent in the email in order to import the certificate into your Internet browser. You can also go to -> ‘retrieve new certificate' and enter the serial number from your email as your identifier.
  • Now test that your certificate works by going to Then go to ‘Test Certificate' (ensure that you get the "Success" message).
  • More detailed information can be found at



  • NEVER allow anyone else access to your Internet Browser. This will give them access to your certificate.
  • NEVER give anyone your certificate. Always keep it safe.
  • If you feel that any of the above happened to you, you should go to this site and apply for a new one.


For any enquiries or further information please contact us at