The Administrative Data Research Network was an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 to July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, which was launched at the end of 2018.

Visit the Administrative Data Research Partnership for further information. 

This archival website reflects the state of play at the end of the project in July 2018. All content has been frozen and may not be up to date.

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The Approvals Panel made sure the process of granting access to sensitive, linked administrative data was fair, equitable and transparent. It assessed the projects on a number of criteria. Projects had to be be approved before the data custodians made the final decision on whether to share their data. The Panel met monthly to discuss and approve projects. The meeting minutes are published on this website.


The panel consisted of:

  • the chair: Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Aberdeen
  • three representatives of data providers:
    • Jane Naylor, Office for National Statistics
    • Yee-Wan Yau, HM Revenue and Customs
    • Steve Rose, Head of Strategic Research at Birmingham City Council
  • two senior academics (with different primary research areas):
    • Professor Richard Harris, Professor of Economics, Durham University
    • Dr Michelle Morris, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics & Leeds Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Leeds
  • two lay members with a two year tenure:
    • William Mehaffy (2016-2018)
    • Denise Kazmierczak (2016-2018)

The Director of the Administrative Data Service or their nominee served an as ex-officio member of the panel with no voting or decision-making rights.

The Panel also referred specific questions to a group of independent experts who volunteered their knowledge in specialist areas.

Read the Approvals Panel Terms of Reference and the Approvals Panel Operating Procedures for more information.

The Panel met over 40 times in the course of four years and evaluated over 200 projects.


The Approvals Panel vetted the projects against a set of criteria. Projects must be:

  • demonstrate administrative data is essential and the information they need cannot be found elsewhere
  • be feasible
  • have passed formal ethical review
  • demonstrate potential public benefit
  • demonstrate scientific merit
  • have a non-commercial purpose

Page last updated: 27/07/2018