Funding opportunity: ADR UK welcomes applications for linked justice and education data Research Fellowships

This is the second funding call to be launched as part of the ADR UK Research Fellowships scheme, which has been developed to meet the following three objectives with associated expectations of researchers and research projects:

  • Useful research: to demonstrate the potential of administrative data research for public policy impact within the timeframes.
  • Useful data: to develop the data as a useful research resource for future users.
  • Useful engagement: to foster opportunities between academia and government that allow fresh thinking to flourish, and to maintain public acceptance for the use of data for research purposes.

Applications to use this dataset could explore research questions such as:

  • Is there an association between particular interactions with the education system and offending?
  • What are the protective and risk factors for different types of crime?
  • How are the relationships between educational and criminal justice outcomes impacted by demographic factors? 

However, this is by no means a restrictive set of research interests and applications exploring other topics are also encouraged.

Proposals are welcome from individual researchers from eligible research organisations, as per the Economic and Social Research Council’s standard eligibility criteria. This includes early career researchers, for whom a mentor is mandatory. Researchers on fixed term contracts are eligible to apply if their institutions are willing to extend their contracts to cover the period of the Fellowship.

We are looking for demonstrable experience of working with large datasets, coupled with a willingness to engage with other researchers across the ADR UK partnership as well as policymakers. Experience of MoJ or DfE data is not essential.

The data will be made available to Fellows via the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service (SRS).

On 16 February we are holding an online applicant workshop for those who want to learn more about this funding opportunity. Please register on the Eventbrite page.

Further ADR UK Research Fellowship Calls, to be announced over the next 12 months, will promote the use of other administrative datasets. To be the first to hear about newly available data or funding opportunities, please sign up to our mailing list.

About the data

The MoJ-DfE linked dataset contains information such as offending histories, court appearances and prison sentences from 11 MoJ datasets, linked to information such as academic achievement, absences and exclusions from 20 DfE datasets. The linkage was conducted by matching records from the Police National Computer to the National Pupil Database. More information can be found in the Data First User Guide.

Should you require a copy of the metadata for the MoJ-DfE linked dataset, please email both DfE and MoJ using the following mailboxes:




Researchers can apply for research grant lasting 12 months, with a start date no later than 15 November 2021, up to a maximum of £130,000 per annum at 100% full economic cost. We hope to fund five projects as part of this call.

Key conditions of the call include developing the data as a resource for future users by:

  • supporting work to improve the user guide and metadata files; 
  • openly sharing code with other Research Fellows and ultimately publishing it;
  • making recommendations for plausible extensions to the data for the future.

Successful proposals will be conditional on full approval from MoJ and DfE data access groups to lawfully access the data (see full details in the call specification).

Fellows will also be expected to participate in ADR UK stakeholder engagement events and publish their research in accessible formats to increase its impact on policy and practice, as detailed in the call specification.


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