This role is automatically assigned to the person who creates the project record within their UK Data Service account – if the person creating the project record won’t be the Project Lead (for example, if they are a project administrator), then they must add the person who will be Project Lead to the project and assign the Project Lead role to them.
The Project Lead is ultimately responsible for the whole project and is the only person who should complete and submit the project application form. The Project Lead must be someone in the team who actively works on the data within SecureLab and is able to maintain oversight of the project.
The Project Lead does not necessarily have to be the PI of the entire project – we recognise that sub-threads of work happen within large projects. In addition, they are the only person on the project who can make changes to the project: this includes adding new researchers and additional datasets to the project record and completing the relevant request forms for these, as well as requesting the addition of external data to be added to the project via the import request process and submitting extension requests.
It is the Project Lead’s responsibility to ensure that all members of the team are aware of what is happening on the project and what they can and can’t do, to avoid confusion.
In cases where a PhD student is applying for access for the purposes of completing their PhD, they must be designated as Project Lead and their supervisor(s) should be added as team member(s).
If a researcher is applying for a project by themselves, then they will automatically be Project Lead.
Team members have less autonomy on a project and must direct any requests to change the project to the Project Lead to take forward and action. We are unable to accept project change requests – such as additional researcher or additional data requests, or project extension requests – from a project team member. However, team members are able to work on the project without restriction within the SecureLab environment and request outputs of their work as necessary.
Deputising for a Project Lead
In some cases, you will see on your project application form that it is possible for a team member to be nominated to deputise for the Project Lead. We do not currently have functionality to support this in our administrative system, so if the Project Lead needs to take a leave of absence and hand over temporarily to their deputy, they will need to assign the Project Lead status to them by logging in to their UK Data Service account and amending the project record.