Access to the Secure Lab

How to apply for access to Secure Access (Controlled) data at the UK Data Service.

Controlled data are only available in the Secure Lab to researchers who are able to fulfil the following requirements:

  1. The purpose of the use of the data for your project must provide a public benefit/serve the public good
  2. You must have attended Safe Researcher Training, and be an Accredited Researcher (AR). This status is currently administered by the ONS through their Research Accreditation Service (RAS). Register for an account through the RAS registration system or if you already have one, login to your RAS account. You must have an undergraduate degree (or higher) including a significant proportion of maths or statistics, or be able to demonstrate at least 3 years quantitative research experience 
  3. If you are a postgraduate student you can request access but will need to apply jointly with your supervisor(s). Undergraduates can apply but should be highly experienced data analysts
  4. You must check any specific access restrictions for each study in our Data Catalogue that you wish to use, found in the 'Access' tab
  5. You must only access data from within the UK (SN 6676 can be accessed by German researchers, subject to meeting other conditions)

You can read about our security philosophy and software available at: Secure Lab: How it works and watch our short 5 Safes animation explaining the process.

Apply for access

Apply to use Secure Access data

  1. Register with the UK Data Service. See: Registration
  2. Add the required Secure Access dataset(s) to your account, then to a registered project, or create a new project
  3. Within the project, click 'Request access' to display the actions required
  4. Click 'Complete actions' where details for each action will be shown
  5. Click each action in turn and follow the instructions on the screen
  6. Where instructed, link to or download, and complete and submit applications forms, e.g. for research projects and for researcher accreditations. Only project leads can complete the project application
  7. Download and complete the Secure Lab Account Application, provided in your UK Data Service account. Note that a public IP address (routable static IP address) that is unique to your endpoint device is required to access Secure Lab
  8. Complete the Secure Access User Agreement which must be signed by you and your organisation. Note: if we already have a completed form on record for you, this step will be marked as completed
  9. Apply to attend Safe Researcher Training if you are not already an Accredited Researcher

Team projects

Each team member must be registered with the UK Data Service. Once this is completed, the Project Lead can then add each team member to their project. To do this the Project Lead should:

  1. Log into their UK Data Service account
  2. Expand the 'Data' section and then click on 'Projects'
  3. Click the relevant project title, where a number of tabs will be visible, e.g. Projects, Datasets, Members
  4. Click 'Members', then 'New member'
  5. Enter the UK Data Service registered email address for the team member you want to add
  6. Click 'Add member' and their details will be shown in the 'Project team invitations' section of the screen. An invitation will automatically be sent
  7. Each team member will receive an invitation email to ask whether they wish to be added to the project
  8. Once a team member accepts the invitation to join the project, the Project Lead should check their details are correctly displayed in 'Project team members'

Each project member will be able to see the project and associated datasets within their own account. They should complete any actions required. The Project Lead should collect the Secure Access User Agreements from all team members and email them together to: Additional researchers can be added to teams at a later stage but only on a limited basis.

Note on expected turnaround times

Research Project application: The project application process can take some time, up to three months, before access is granted. Data owners need to approve all projects, through their Data Access Committees. You will be notified when your project application has been approved.

Accredited Researcher (AR) applicationThe AR process can take up to three months, and requires you to attend training, pass a test and submit an application to become an AR.

Complete user agreement
Attend training course
Secure Lab Account setup

Back to top  

We expect to run as normal a service as possible during this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Please visit our COVID-19 page for the latest information.