Key developments across the partnership
ADR UK is made up of four national partnerships – ADR England, ADR Northern Ireland, ADR Scotland and ADR Wales – as well as the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and is coordinated by a UK-wide Strategic Hub. This structure allows each UK nation to have a dedicated trusted research environment and research expertise, focusing in on its national policy needs while also enabling UK-wide research.
Each ADR UK partner works closely with expert researchers from academic institutions and other research bodies, as well as government data holders and policymakers, to support research that fills key evidence gaps and informs policy and practice. This helps to connect academia and government, ensuring that insights from administrative data research can be used to improve society.
This year has seen ADR UK realising many ambitions, as work has continued across the partnership to achieve our shared mission. From facilitating access to new datasets, to building research capability around them, we’re working to maximise the value of administrative data for public good research. This effort has been supported by two strategic publications this year: the legal framework for accessing data for research purposes and our interim position statement on synthetic data.
Cross-sector engagement is key to our success
Following the success of last year’s International Population Data Linkage Network Conference, cross-sector engagement has continued to be a priority for ADR UK, with preparations well underway for the ADR UK Conference 2023. In November, we hosted a showcase for ADR UK Ambassadors, to share projects underway and promote advocacy around the need for administrative data linkage and research.
ADR UK Research Fellows also featured in a guest slot in the ONS Research Excellence Series, opening new avenues for engagement and collaboration. And in July, we hosted a symposium for researchers and other stakeholders, featuring research from across the partnership on the theme of health and wellbeing. This highlighted the value of linked administrative data for policy-relevant insights to a new audience.
A new data catalogue makes it easier to find and access data
An important way we have promoted our linked datasets this year is through the launch of the ADR UK Data Catalogue. This provides a directory of datasets available across the partnership for public good research. Users can explore key details such as coverage, size and supporting documentation, to determine whether datasets align with their research priorities and whether comparable datasets are available in other UK nations. As part of promoting our data, we have developed the concept of ADR UK flagship datasets, which all have particularly wide appeal and significant research value, because of the linked (or linkable) data they contain. These are now featured on our website.
Developing the next generation of researchers with PhD studentships
To further increase research uptake of these linked datasets, this year ADR UK has continued to progress our training and capacity building strategy. In December, we announced 20 PhD studentship opportunities for projects using ADR UK flagship datasets. This landmark funding promotes the use of administrative data from post-graduate level, while also developing research capacity in priority areas. To support this expansion, we have carried out roadshow events across the UK in partnership with the UK Statistics Authority, to raise awareness of the wealth of administrative datasets available for public good research.
Finally, the launch of our new online learning hub provides a platform for researchers to find training and resources to support their skills development. In this way, ADR UK has continued to build the capability needed to maximise the use of administrative data for research for the public good.
ADR England is a portfolio of data linking and research projects, which enable policy-relevant insights across England and the UK. This work is delivered by a wide range of partners across academia and government, using data held by UK Government departments and public bodies. ADR England is managed by the ADR UK Strategic Hub, embedded within the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
ADR Northern Ireland
Administrative Data Research Northern Ireland (ADR NI) is a partnership between the Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland (ADRC NI), comprising Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University), and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), which is an accredited processor under the Digital Economy Act 2017.
ADR Scotland combines expertise from the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) and Scottish Government’s Data for Research Unit to transform how public sector data in Scotland is curated, accessed and explored to deliver novel, evidence-based insights for policy and public good.
ADR Wales unites specialists from Swansea University Medical School and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD) at Cardiff University with statisticians, data scientists and social researchers from the Welsh Government.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) plays a crucial role in sourcing, linking, and curating public sector data for ADR UK, ensuring that data is accessed by researchers safely and securely. With the support of ADR UK funding, the ONS continues to expand, improve and increase the range of administrative data available in the ONS Secure Research Service.
ADR England is a portfolio of data linking, research and training and capacity building projects delivered by a range of government and academic partners.
This portfolio is managed by the ADR UK Strategic Hub. Data for ADR England projects is mostly accessed via the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service.