Funding opportunity coming soon: linked justice and education data

These Research Fellowships, being launched in partnership with MoJ and DfE, will enable funded researchers to be some of the first to demonstrate the potential of this pioneering dataset to understand links between childhood characteristics, educational outcomes and offending, informing policy and practice in this area. Such research could help inform, for example, where interventions are needed to prevent young people becoming involved in the criminal justice system, and which interventions are most effective.

This call is expected to open for applications from 26 January 2021. 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 MoJ-DfE linked dataset is the result of a data sharing agreement signed between the two departments in September 2019. It 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. For more information, email DfE and MoJ for copies of the relevant metadata.

As part of the ground-breaking Data First programme, ADR UK is now providing funding for researchers to make use of this data for policy-relevant projects in the public interest. Researchers will access the data via the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Secure Research Service.

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 DfE 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 at the end of March 2021 (to be confirmed when the call is launched). 

In the meantime, you can sign-up now for the applicant workshop on 16 February, where you will hear directly from, and be able to question, MoJ, DfE, ONS and ADR UK about the data, application process, and research priorities.

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