Welcome to the safepod network
The SafePod Network (SPN) is a major new innovation providing researchers with standardised safe settings (SafePods) across the UK for data that requires secure access for research.
All SafePods operate under standardised policies and procedures and provide approved researchers with access to their project datasets from Data Centres that join the SPN. So far, this includes:
- Office for National Statistics;
- UK Data Service;
- SAIL Databank; and
- Scottish Government.
The major benefits of the SPN are outlined here.
The SafePod Network is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is part of the Administrative Data Research UK programme.
A SafePod is a standardised safe setting that provides the security and controls for data that requires secure access for research. A SafePod includes a door control access system, CCTV, a researcher area for dataset analysis, secure IT cupboard and a height adjustable desk.
View the go live status for SafePods here.
Read more about SafePods and how datasets are accessed here.
Researchers must register with the SPN (which includes passing an online training questionnaire on the SPN User Agreement) before a SafePod can be booked and used to access project datasets. Further details about the researcher registration process is available here.
The major objectives of the SPN are to:
- Significantly improve the quantity and diversity of public benefit research by providing researchers with equitable and secure access to data through the provision of a network of SafePods across the UK;
- Improve and widen the sharing of data for public benefit research by raising awareness and advocating the work of the SPN with data centres in the UK; and
- Provide clear information and sign posting for researchers to be able to understand how to access data for public benefit research from all safe settings across the UK.
There are four main SPN principles that underpin secure access to data for research from a SafePod. These are:
- SAFE RESEARCHER
A researcher must abide by the SPN User Agreement and pass a training questionnaire before they can book and use SafePods.
- SAFE ACCESS
A local SafePod Coordinator manages their SafePod in line with SPN procedures. SafePod Coordinators are background checked and must pass a training questionnaire.
- SAFE DATA
A hardened IT system stored securely in a SafePod provides connection over a VPN for a researcher to remotely access their project datasets from a SafePod.
- SAFE ANALYSIS
A SafePod provides a dedicated area for a researcher to analyse and work on their project datasets. The area is door access controlled and contains a CCTV system.