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Application process

If you have a research idea that requires administrative data, the ADRN may be able to help. The research application process has four steps.

It is a long and intensive process, because researchers will be working with potentially sensitive data − so there are important safeguards in place to protect people’s privacy.

If you experience issues with the application form, please contact our Helpdesk via


Step 1: Application development

Contact the Network

If a researcher has an idea for a research project that requires administrative data, they can contact the Network's User Services team with their proposal.

Is the Network right for the proposal?

First, the User Services team will see if the researcher can access the data they need through any other channel, such as the UK Data Service, the Farr Institute or the HMRC Data Lab. If so, the Network cannot help any further.

Discuss ideas and needs

The Network staff want to make sure the researcher can make the best possible application, so they will discuss the project proposal in detail. They want to understand exactly what the researcher needs to make their project successful − and they will explain what the researcher can expect from the ADRN.

Project application

Once the ADRN staff have a clear idea of the project, and the researcher knows exactly what the ADRN expects, the researcher will receive a link to complete a personalised project application form. This will explain the project to the Approvals Panel, who consider the project, and it allows the ADRN staff to start negotiations with data controllers on the researcher's behalf.

Researcher application

The Network needs a list of all the people involved in the project, so they can be scheduled for the required training. ADRN staff will send a link to the online researcher application form along with the project application form.

Page last updated: 19/06/2017