Funding opportunity coming soon: Linked family court data

These Research Fellowships will enable researchers to improve our understanding of children and families’ experiences of the family justice system. Examples of research could include exploring the impact of long-running proceedings on children and families, the overlap of private and public law cases, and the characteristics of cases involving litigants in person (those in court without legal representation).

This call is expected to open for applications in late June. Sign up for email alerts to be notified as soon as the call is live, and/or when further linked administrative datasets become available through ADR UK’s Research Fellowship scheme.

About the data

The Data First family court - Cafcass linked dataset came about from a data sharing agreement between the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank and MoJ and Cafcass. It contains information on public law and adoption cases, marriage and divorce characteristics, and family law applications and legal orders. For more information about the metadata, access the data catalogue or contact SAIL Databank

ADR UK will be providing funding for researchers to make use of this data for policy-relevant projects in the public interest and aligned with MoJ’s research priorities. Researchers will access the data via the SAIL Databank, an ADR UK partner.


Eligibility and applications

Proposals will be 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 will be mandatory. Researchers on fixed term contracts will be eligible to apply if their institutions are willing to extend their contracts to cover the period of the Fellowship.

We will be 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 Cafcass data is not essential.

The application process, including data owner approvals, will be coordinated by ADR UK. Full details of how to apply will be provided when the call opens in the coming weeks. The deadline for applications is expected to be in autumn/winter 2022 (to be confirmed when the call is launched).


This page was updated on 5 May 2022 to change the expected launch date of this opportunity from late January to June.

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