York's SafePod provides a local safe setting for researchers to access sensitive datasets.
The SafePod Network (SPN) provides a major advance to the way that sensitive datasets can be securely accessed for research purposes across the UK.
The SPN is the first service in the world to provide and manage a network of standardised safe settings (SafePods). All SafePods operate under the same policies and procedures and provide accredited researchers with access to project datasets from participating data centres.
What is a SafePod?
A SafePod is a small standardised safe setting that provides the physical security and controls for an accredited researcher to access sensitive datasets. This includes a door control access system, CCTV, a researcher area for the analysis of datasets and a separate secure storage area for IT equipment. A SafePod is also wheelchair accessible and includes a height adjustable desk.
The major advantage of using a SafePod is that a researcher can securely access different data centre datasets from a single location, removing the need for long distance travel to a dedicated safe setting provided by a data centre.
The SafePod at York is one of the first to be installed. A total of 25 SafePods will be part of the SPN, spread geographically across the UK.
A wealth of government datasets, as well as study and survey datasets are available for secure access from a SafePod. This includes datasets from:
- Health and Social Care (HSC) Northern Ireland
- Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service
- SAIL Databank
- Scottish Government
- UK Data Service
- linked datasets created by Administrative Data Research UK projects.
Other data centres are expected to join the SPN to provide access to their datasets once the service is established.
Location and opening times
Raymond Burton Library accessed via the JB Morrell Library
10am-4pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays and University closure days
The University of York's SafePod can be booked through the SPN website. Where needed, priority of access will be given for research that is critical to society and the economy.
To access a dataset within a SafePod, permission must have been granted by the data centre that holds the data. The process of applying for and obtaining approval to use a dataset can take time. We therefore recommend that you start the application process to request access to the data as soon as possible.
Access to our SafePod will be coordinated by trained University of York staff.