NEWS - Our role supporting the new Covid-19 research data service in Scotland

We want to help in the response to COVID-19 by utilising our connections and expertise to support and encourage collaborative research using administrative data in Scotland. Linking public sector data can help inform our understanding of the consequences of the pandemic on Scotland’s people and ultimately help to improve lives.

The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) and Scottish Government together form ADR Scotland, which is funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), to build better ways to access public sector data securely for research and to produce policy-relevant findings.

In this time of crisis, we hope that administrative data research can provide a crucial wealth of resource and insight.

All those involved in the ADR Scotland partnership have been helping to support the Scottish Government’s response to COVID-19. Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician and ADR Scotland Co-Director, sits on the Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group. This group has set up a Data Taskforce, which is chaired by Roger and includes ADR Scotland and SCADR Director, Professor Chris Dibben, as well as other members of the partnership. The taskforce has overseen the bringing together of key datasets, enabling researchers to carry out studies that can support evidence-based decision-making.

This new COVID-19 research data service, coordinated by Scottish Government and partners, was launched last week. This is now the key mechanism for researchers to access datasets safely and in a secure environment, in order to conduct responsive research and analysis to inform COVID-19 related decision-making. Access will be governed using the established systems to ensure that privacy is maintained and that research is only in the public interest, but projects will be assessed and delivered at an accelerated pace.

If you are a researcher and want to find out what datasets are available and how to work with them, please look at the ‘Guidance for Researchers’ page or for further information, please visit

Here at SCADR, our researchers hope to contribute rich research insights using these datasets and to support partners on the creation of datasets that other researchers can use. We are particularly interested in looking at the social and economic consequences of the pandemic and exploring the impacts on the most vulnerable.

We will be posting our emerging research and developments regarding access and resources for researchers in Scotland with reference to COVID-19 data, online, so please follow us on Twitter: @scadr_data and visit our website.


This article was published on 03 Jun 2020

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