How do we work with researchers?

Researcher submits proposal for project

Project is approved by relevant bodies and panels

Researcher engages in training and may take assessment

Required data is determined, then ingested by the relevant data centre

De-identified data is made available through a secure data service

Researcher conducts analysis, activity of researcher is monitored 

Outputs are checked to ensure privacy of subjects

Research serving the public good is published

For example, if you would like to access linked data from the 'Growing Up in England' dataset within the Children & Young People theme, this involves being granted accreditation to access the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service (SRS). To access the SRS, all researchers must pass an assessment before access to the service and the data required can be granted. More information about the Approved Researcher Scheme can be found on the ONS website.

If you are interested in accessing data from one of the devolved centres, your route might be slightly different and the amount of time it takes to access the data will vary. For example, for administrative data held by ADR Wales within the SAIL Databank, access involves a two-stage process. First, an initial application and scoping document must be drawn up, which is to be completed by a SAIL Databank analyst following a discussion about a potential project. Second, an application must be made to gain Information Governance Review Panel (IGRP) approval.

To find out more about how administrative data can be accessed via ADR Scotland, including tips on developing an application, check out the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) Researcher Handbook.

What data is already available for research?

There is already a variety of data available within ADR UK's various partner data centres for researchers to apply to use for projects in the public interest. Within the ONS SRS, for example, these include the Annual Population Survey (APS), Understanding Society, and National Energy Efficiency Data (NEED), amongst many others. The full list of datasets available in the SRS, and any associated access restrictions, can be seen in the SRS Data Catalogue.

The ADR Northern Ireland Data Prospectus details the range of data sources available via the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA), including the School Census, the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS), and Environmental Records, amongst others.

This page will be updated soon with more information about the data available via ADR Scotland and ADR Wales.

Funding research through ADR UK 

If you are a researcher working on issues that are relevant to public service delivery but you don't have funding support, please get in touch. If our partners can prepare and provide data for your work, we may be able to fund your project. You can also see how we are working closely with government and partners to fund research on the Working with Government page.

You can find out more about ADR UK’s areas of research on the research themes page. If you are a researcher interested in accessing administrative data for your research project, please contact the relevant partner via the contact page to discuss your proposal.

Why is ADR UK the best way for researchers to access data?

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ADR UK’s approach delivers one of the richest sources of data available for economic and social researchers. By linking data ADR UK offers the opportunity to study important issues and construct a more comprehensive picture of life in the UK. Society is complex, but the public sector data we enable access to can help untangle the many factors and dynamics at play.

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Working with ADR UK as a researcher means that we will be able to provide guidance and support on how best to access and utilise our datasets.

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By linking our research themes to key government priorities and examining each project for public good, ADR UK ensures that the research it enables delivers maximum impact, offering researchers the opportunity to influence government policy and change lives.

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Administrative data is one of the most inclusive sources of data available, with records documenting all interactions with public services, ensuring representation of marginalised and underrepresented groups. Additionally, ADR UK’s partnership structure facilitates analysis on a UK-wide scale for researchers focused on studying issues within and across the home nations.

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