Controlled data

We work with an established and highly respected provider, electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS), to provide researcher access to controlled data. Please note: this service is only available to UK-based users for UK data sources.

While personal data cannot generally be sold, shared or passed on without permission of the individual concerned, controllers of such data may agree to permit others to have access for specific research purposes where there is a public interest case for them to do so. In these cases, access is limited to approved uses and users, and any risks of disclosure are minimised. The UBDC does not acquire such data, but can help researchers negotiate access to a secure environment to work with controlled data.

In order to gain access to controlled data, researchers' experience and competence for undertaking their proposed research will be assessed, and the following requirements met: 

  • Researchers must gain approval from our Research Approvals Committee (RAC). Projects by postgraduate students will be considered, but supervisors must be listed on the project as lead researchers.
  • Data controllers must provide approval for each project, meaning the data owners may require additional applications.
  • Researchers must be accredited by undergoing approved researcher training so they are aware of their legal responsibilities.

Controlled data are held within a highly secure computing environment where it is possible to closely monitor who works on the data and to ensure no personal data leaves the system. Datasets constructed for each project will be destroyed on completion of the research. For more information, please see: UBDC Controlled Data Service: Guide for researchers (0.7MB PDF).