SafePod Network

SafePod Network

Welcome to the safepod network

The SafePod Network (SPN) is a major new research innovation to provide and manage a network of 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:

  • UK Data Service;
  • SAIL Databank; and
  • Office for National Statistics.  

The SPN is run by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research and both are part of the Administrative Data Research UK programme. The SPN will be a key resource for providing secure access to datasets made available through the programme.  The SPN is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which is part of UK Research and Innovation

    ABOUT safEpod

    Picture of a SafePod


    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.

    SafePods status
    View the go live status for SafePods here.

    Further information
    Read more about SafePods and how datasets are accessed here.

    Researcher registration

    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

    spn principles

    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.  


      The University of Bristol SafePod is now open for bookings.

      The SPN has developed SafeSpace, which is a new model for creating a safe setting from a room for secure access to datasets for research purposes.

      To celebrate the launch of the SafePod Network, researchers can receive our limited edition gift packs.

      The slides and video for the SafePod webinar organised by the South West Doctoral Training Partnership are now available.