How do we work with government?

Linking data across departments

The essence and greatest potential of our work lies in linking together data held by different government departments, as well as that held by the devolved administrations and other public bodies. Revealing how the relationships between different parts of our lives work means policy decisions can be taken not in isolation, but with a better understanding of how what is done in one area affects what happens in others – and departments cannot do this without joining their data together. When administrative data is linked to other sources of data, such as surveys and longitudinal studies, the possibilities expand even further.

Dual publication

We promote the publication of research findings in forms that are easily digestible and useable for both government policymakers and wider society, as well as academics. Often this will mean a dual publication approach, for instance with findings being published in both an easily-accessible policy paper as well as in an academic journal.

Funding administrative data research through ADR UK

The Strategic Hub manages a dedicated fund for commissioning projects using administrative data in-line with ADR UK’s research themes. The fund includes:

  • The Research Ready Data Fund (RRD Fund), dedicated to enabling the creation of novel high quality, long-term linked administrative data research resources, and; 
  • The Strategic Research Fund (SR Fund), supporting research to address research priorities related to public service delivery. 

The RRD Fund is accessible by invitation only. The SR Fund is currently also accessible by invitation only, although some focused open calls around administrative data research will be commissioned in the future.

Potential invitation only calls begin with an initial discussion arising from contact made with any partner of ADR UK, a stakeholder engagement event, a meeting of a professional group in government, at a conference, or in any other forum. These would typically be where there is already significant energy or interest from government and partners to engage in the creation of novel administrative data linkage for public benefit. Potential invitation-only applicants are asked to demonstrate their eligibility to the relevant Strategic Hub Fund and produce a ‘strategic case’ for their proposal. Research proposals must be in the public interest and demonstrate real potential to inform policy decisions to improve the lives of people living across the UK.

A regularly updated list of grants awarded from the ADR UK Strategic Hub Fund is available in the publications section of our website.

Why is ADR UK the best way for government to share data for research?


Previously, government departments have made single-use ‘data shares’ for individual research projects, with the condition that the datasets be destroyed once the project is complete. This represents a significant investment of time and resources for a limited result. The ADR UK model, on the other hand, moves to creating curated, themed data sets that are maintained and can be used again and again to answer new and different questions.


ADR UK is a partnership that brings together organisations with deep knowledge and expertise in safe and impactful administrative data research, in tandem with talented researchers from reputable academic organisations across the UK.


ADR UK’s research themes are linked to government departments’ Areas of Research Interest and the devolved administrations' evidence needs, meaning data shared via this route can be used for research relevant to policy priorities, supporting policy makers with evidence to make key decisions.


ADR UK has more than £40 million of funding drawn from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), meaning we are able to facilitate valuable research on behalf of government departments, without substantial direct cost to the departments themselves.

Find out more about ADR UK’s research themes

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