Levelling up access to data: University of Dundee one of first in Scotland to get a SafePod

University of Dundee SafePod now open

On Friday 25th February, the Dundee SafePod situated within the Main Library was opened by Professor John Rowan, Vice-Principal for Research, Knowledge Exchange & Wider Impact.  The event attendees included researchers, professional services supporting research and external partners including the Manager and the Director of the SafePod Network and colleagues from University of St Andrews Library.

The event was a chance to showcase this new and exciting facility, the University of Dundee is one of the first in Scotland to get a SafePod to enable vital public benefit research (Glasgow Caledonian University being the other available for use in Scotland).  Following the official ribbon cutting, attendees were invited to look at the researcher space and find out more about the facility.

On opening the event, Hannah Whaley, Assistant Director, Research & Resources, Library & Learning Centre, said: “For the LLC, the SafePod project began in 2017, so some considerable time ago. We were delighted to be successful in our application to the ESRC for funds and grateful to partners at the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research for their help and support in getting to this stage. In Dundee, researchers including Alister Geddes clearly outlined the difference such a facility would make to their research, and professional services colleagues across IT, Estates, RIS and the Library have worked to bring this to a reality.”

Professor John Rowan cutting the ribbon attached to the SafePod

About SafePod and The SafePod Network

Strictly secure access to sensitive datasets.
Access project datasets from Data Centres that join the SafePod Network (SPN) including UK Data Service; SAIL Databank; and Office for National Statistics.
Funded by Economic and Social Research Council and run by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research.
Equitable access to data removing travel, cost and time barriers to researchers.
Pass the online training questionnaire on the SPN User Agreement by registering with the SPN before booking (Note that you need a project with a SPN Data Centre to book and use a SafePod).
Obtain access via booking the SafePod

Dundee University one of the first organisations in Scotland to get a SafePod to enable vital public benefit research.

Professor Chris Dibben, SafePod Network Director, said: “Until recently, researchers based in many parts of the UK could not access administrative datasets securely and easily. This probably meant important research for public benefit did not happen. Now, with the SafePods being installed across the UK, no researcher should be far from an access point – transforming the UK research landscape.”
Find out more about the SafePod Network, their objectives, principles and how to register on the SafePod Network website.
Two people looking at the facilities inside a SafePod
Philippa Sterlini explains the safeguards in place for data access and shows Professor John Rowan the facilities available to a researcher inside the SafePod.

The SafePod Network is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and run by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research as part of the ADR UK programme.