Funding opportunity coming soon: Using linked justice system administrative data to evaluate the impact of justice services
ADR UK will soon open applications for two Evaluation Fellows to carry out an ambitious 18-month project. The Fellows will co-design and deliver evaluations to establish the effectiveness of interventions in the justice system using linked administrative data. This is a jointly led opportunity between the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
The call is expected to open for applications on 9 August 2022. You can register to attend a webinar for applicants on Thursday 15 September 2022, 13:00 - 14:30.
Sign up for email alerts to be notified as soon as the call is live. The call will close on 26 October 2022.
About the opportunity
Two Evaluation Fellows will explore the feasibility of using administrative data to evaluate policy and practice interventions in the justice system. They will use quasi-experimental methods – research designs that aim to identify the impact of specific interventions – to understand whether interventions are effective at delivering intended outcomes, including reducing reoffending and delivering swift access to justice.
The Evaluation Fellows will access de-identified and linked administrative data made available via the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service (SRS) and/or the SAIL Databank through the Data First programme, led by the Ministry of Justice and funded by ADR UK.
Possible areas of focus for the projects include criminal justice, family law, civil law and court reform, in line with the UK Government’s National Data Strategy. Evaluation Fellows will help to fill vital evidence gaps, including those outlined in the Ministry of Justice Areas of Research Interest 2020, and contribute to better evidence-based policy across the justice system.
The Fellowships will follow three stages:
Scoping phase (3 months, January 2023 – March 2023): Fellows will co-design the evaluation activity with MoJ and ESRC and submit their project proposals for approval.
Implementation phase (12 months, April 2023 – March 2024): The Fellows will explore the feasibility of using Data First datasets to evaluate policy and practice interventions and conduct quasi-experimental evaluations using linked justice administrative datasets.
Impact phase (3 months, April 2024 – June 2024): Fellows will disseminate their findings to key stakeholders.
About the data
The Data First datasets provide rich information on people and cases as they interact across the criminal and family courts, prisons and probation services. Linking these datasets provides new and unique opportunities to enhance understanding of the pathways, needs and outcomes of justice system users.
Datasets in the scope of this funding opportunity include:
Family courts (which can be linked to Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) data by SAIL)
Further information about the content of these datasets can be found in individual data catalogues and a user guide, published on the MoJ Data First webpage.
Eligibility and applications
Proposals will be welcome from individual researchers from eligible research organisations, according to the Economic and Social Research Council’s standard eligibility criteria. 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 in the justice space or using justice administrative data is not essential. We will be looking for the ability to apply relevant skills and experience to these datasets.
You will need to become an accredited researcher of the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service (ONS SRS) or have completed one of the safe researcher trainings.
More information about the application process will be available when the full call launches in August 2022.