It’s not unusual for researchers to find that they need to make changes to their project once it’s up and running, whether that may be adding another researcher to help with analysis, realising additional controlled data are required, or that the project will take longer than initially anticipated. Below we have provided some guidance on what Project Leads can do if they need to make these types of changes.

Additional researcher requests

Project Leads can add additional researchers to their project record via their UK Data Service account. The additional researcher(s) will need to be registered with the UK Data Service before they can be added to a project, and the Project Lead must ensure that the email address they use to add the additional researcher matches the email address on the researcher’s account.

If the additional researcher is not registered, or has a different email address on their account to the one the Project Lead is using to add them, then the addition in the system will be unsuccessful.

Once the Project Lead has added the new researcher to the project record, they will then need to go through the relevant approval process for arranging access to the Secure Lab project area. The process varies by dataset, so the Project Lead should email our Helpdesk for specific guidance.

Additional data requests

Similarly, if a Project Lead requires additional safeguarded or controlled data to be added to their Secure Lab project, this will need to be approved by the relevant data owners before we can provide access – adding the datasets to your project record doesn’t kick-start the approval process.

In the case of safeguarded data that are made available under the UK Data Service End User Licence (EUL) conditions, the data will have needed to be specified on the original project application in order for us to add the data straightaway.

If you request the addition of an EUL dataset to your Secure Lab project area that wasn’t mentioned on your original application, then we will need to contact the data owners of the controlled data that you’re using, in order to request permission from them for us to add it to your project.

If you need to request additional controlled data for your project, then this process will vary depending on the additional controlled data you’re requesting, and the controlled data that you’re already using. Please contact our Helpdesk for specific guidance.

Extension requests

We recommend that Project Leads build enough time into their project’s lifespan for completing their analysis and producing outputs, as well as undertaking revision and resubmission to journals.

The normal lifespan of a project in SecureLab is five years – for some projects, such as those accredited under the Digital Economy Act, 2017 (DEA), five years is the maximum period that a project can be active for. Project Leads and their teams are therefore expected to complete their projects in the time-frame set out on their application.

However, we recognise that there may be instances where you cannot conclude your project by its designated expiry date. When we contact you to remind you that the expiry date is approaching, we will offer the Project Lead the opportunity to extend your project, provided that it wasn’t accredited under the DEA.

To request an extension, the Project Lead will need to reply to that email with the following detail:

  • How long an extension is required for (including the end date for access)
  • Why the extension is required (including why the project hasn’t concluded within the timeframe originally set out on the application)
  • What work is still needed on the project (including expected outputs)
  • What work has been completed on the project so far (including detail on outputs that have been created from the project; if no outputs have been produced, an explanation will be required for why this is the case)

We will then assess the request against the project history – for example, checking details of any outputs you have reported to us and how many extension requests you may have had previously – and decide whether we can take the request forward to the relevant data owners.

If we decide that we cannot process the request, or if the data owners refuse your request, then we will communicate this decision to you, with any feedback that we have available.

If the request is approved, then we will confirm the new expiry date to the Project Lead and update our systems.