Call for Expressions of Interest

Would you like to investigate an urban policy, planning or research problem using big, complex, or administrative data?

If so, the UBDC is here to help. We provide access to novel and innovative urban-related data, as well as expert support. Our services include: access to open and safeguarded data, access to controlled (or personal) data, and data sourcing services.  See Data services: Guide for researchers (0.6MB PDF) for more information on how we can support your research. This, our third Call for Expressions of Interest, closes on 31 March 2017, so submit your research ideas today! For inspiration, browse our current research projects, which came through our last Call for Expressions of Interest, here: Current Projects Spotlight.

Who can submit an interest form 

  • Academics in any discipline (including Masters and PhD students)
  • Local authorities, government departments and public agencies
  • Businesses and industry
  • Third sector organisations
  • Citizens with an interest in using data to understand and improve their local communities

Please be aware: We are not able to support researchers from outside the UK in this Call, but non-UK researchers may still access our Open Data Collection and some datasets whose T&Cs allow it in our Safeguarded Data Collection. Likewise, the Controlled Data Service, which supports access to administrative data is only for users and data from UK organisations. If you are interested in any other type of international research collaboration, please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Data available through the UBDC 

We are steadily growing our open and safeguarded data collections and encourage you to think about using these data in your research. Below you can read summaries of a few highlights:

Using your own data / sourcing new data 

If your organisation holds or generates data that you would like our help to work with, or if you have access to someone else's data to use in your research, we may be able to provide expertise to help you get the most out of it. If you have data that you would like to make available to other researchers to work on, we would be very happy to work with you to find potential partners. Alternatively, if you are a researcher who has an idea about data you would like to access, you may be interested in our data sourcing service. We can use our experience in data brokering and data sharing agreements to help you access the data you need. We also have a small budget for data acquisition, which we can use when the data you want would also benefit the wider urban research community.

Please keep in mind

  • If you need research staff or other resources, you must provide these or the funds to support them. We have data scientists who can assist with proposal development, data sourcing and data management, but this resource is limited.
  • There may be some restrictions for business users in terms of negotiating access to some data, but we are happy to investigate options with you.

Timescales - Submit your interest by 31 March!

To submit an Expression of Interest, please complete the web form by 31 March 2017. We will respond to submissions by 7 April 2017 to either (a) give you access to any open or safeguarded data that you have requested, if you are eligible to use it; and/or (b) let you know if your data sourcing or controlled data service project is within scope to be taken forward to the full proposal stage. Please be aware that final approval of projects will not happen until mid-July 2017 - let us know if you have a grant deadline before then.

Projects that require our services and meet our criteria will be assigned a UBDC proposal support contact and sent a full proposal form to complete (with our help) by 31 May 2017. Full proposals will be assessed by an independent review body to ensure quality, potential for impact, and appropriate use of UBDC resources. We will inform all applicants of the outcome by 28 July 2017. In some cases (e.g. if you only need data and no other support) we can register you as a user and supply you with data once you have signed a UBDC Access Agreement and signed up to any special T&Cs for the data you want. For a summary of these timings, download the Timetable (0.4MB PDF).



Contact us

If you have any questions, please email UBDC Senior Project Manager, Sarah Currier in the first instance at