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Application process

With immediate effect the Administrative Data Service (ADS) and the Administrative Data Research Centre for England (ADRC-E) will no longer be putting forward new project proposals to the ADRN Approval Panel.

Proposals which plan to use data already available via the ADRN can contact the relevant Research Centre in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. (See here for details of those datasets.)

Any project proposals already in the system will be progressed until the ADS and ADRC-E close at the end of 31 July 2018.  Researchers will be contacted shortly with information on support for their projects beyond this date.

If you want to apply to use data that only covers one of the devolved nations (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), please contact the local ADRC directly:


Step 2: Approvals Panel

Considering the project

The Approvals Panel is made up of independent experts and lay members. They will check the project proposal against a number of criteria, and decide whether or not the project will progress. They can decide to accept the project, ask for more information and postpone the decision, or reject your proposal. The Approvals Panel meets once every month.

Researchers who apply to the Network have to submit a project proposal which is evaluated by the Approvals Panel against four criteria:

  • Feasibility
  • Academic merit
  • Public benefit
  • Privacy impact

They also check whether appropriate ethical review has been undertaken, you may need to use the National Statistician's Data Ethics Advisory Committee (NSDEC) if you don't have access to another research ethics process.

Read the Panel's Operating Procedures for more details.

More about the Panel

Panel decision

As soon as the Approvals Panel has made its decision, ADRN staff will inform the researcher whether the project can progress, or if it has been put on hold or rejected. If the project is put on hold and the Panel wants more information, they will help the researcher to develop their application further until the Panel decides either to fully accept or reject the project. If the project is rejected, ADRN staff will provide the necessary information about the appeals procedure.

SURE Training

If the project is accepted, all researchers involved in the project will need to complete SURE Training. This will start as close to the project’s start date as possible.

Page last updated: 07/09/2017