New funding opportunity will support research using Northern Ireland business data
ADR UK will soon launch a new funding initiative to support projects utilising the Business Data for Research (BDR) Northern Ireland database for policy-relevant research. Grants will be available for a maximum of £65,000 (100% full economic cost) for up to six months.
ADR UK, working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is pleased to announce a new funding initiative for research awards to undertake research relevant to the Department for Economy (DfE) Northern Ireland economic policy.
Researchers will be able to use two NISRA products – the Business Data for Research (BDR) Northern Ireland database and the Earning and Employee Study (EES) 2011. Research using BDR and/or EES must meet a development need or challenge, and aim to support research priorities for the Department for Economy (DfE) NI economic policy, specifically the DfE’s 10X Economy - An Economic Vision For A Decade Of Innovation.
This opportunity is expected to open for applications in mid-May 2022. Sign up for an applicant webinar on Wednesday 25 May, 14:00-15:30 to find out more.
You can also sign up for email alerts to be notified as soon as the call is live. You will also find out when further linked administrative datasets become available through ADR UK’s Research Fellowship scheme.
About the data
Business Data for Research (BDR) utilises de-identified NISRA trade and economic data for monitoring, evaluation and research purposes, exploiting data linkage both longitudinally and cross-source. The data includes two surveys from 2014 to 2020. The EES utilises NISRA de-identified earnings data, geographic and demographic variables and can be used to evaluate pay.
BDR is currently available on a restricted basis for analysis by government researchers, and NISRA would like to widen its use and make it available to ADR UK researchers. You can read a summary of the business surveys on the NISRA website. Due to the size of BDR, the initial focus for the release of data to researchers is on a subset of the two main datasets:
- The Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry (NIABI) including Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics (BESES)
- Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES).
The Earnings and Employees Study (EES) 2011 is also included in this funding initiative.
NISRA de-identified trade and business data has been routinely used for some time by Department for Economy (DfE) statisticians in support of monitoring, evaluation and research conducted by the department. Business and trade data are of importance to a range of policy and research areas including:
- economic recovery, including the DfE’s Economic Recovery Action Plan;
- EU Exit and the NI Protocol (the BDR database has already been utilised in support of the DfE Brexit Analytical Workplan)
- the impact of Covid-19 on the Northern Ireland economy
- Northern Ireland International Trade in Services
- Northern Ireland exports, for example, Economic and Social Research Institute: Export Participation and Performance of Firms on the Island of Ireland (September 2018)
- providing an evidence base for DfE 10X Economy: Economic Vision, Skills Strategy and Trade & Investment documents (see DfE’s 10x Research Programme).
ADR UK will provide funding for researchers to make use of this data for policy-relevant projects in the public interest. Funded projects must be aligned with research priorities for the Department for Economy (DfE) NI Economic policy, specifically the DfE’s 10X Economy - An Economic Vision For A Decade Of Innovation).
Eligibility and applications
Proposals will be welcome from individual researchers from eligible research organisations, as per the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)'s standard eligibility criteria. The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £65,000 and the call will follow standard ESRC funding guidelines.
The legal gateway for making data available to researchers is through the Digital Economy Act. As such, the following conditions will also apply:
- Researchers will be required to hold accredited researcher status under the Digital Economy Act (2018). Details on obtaining accreditation are outlined on the UK Statistics Authority website;
- Successful applicants’ projects must be approved at the UK Statistics Authority Research Accreditation Panel (RAP); and
- The data will be made available through the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service (ONS SRS). The research organisation will have to have access in place with ONS SRS either through Assured Organisational Connectivity to the ONS SRS or through SafePods in advance of applying here.
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 May 2022.
You can also sign up for an applicant webinar, which will take place on Wednesday 25 May 2022, 14:00-15:30. You will hear from NISRA and ADR UK about the data, application process, and research priorities, and will have the opportunity to ask questions.
The deadline for applications is expected to be in late-June 2022. The full timeline for this application process will be confirmed when the call is launched.