Apply

Applying to access data in the UK LLC TRE.

Read our frequently asked questions which aim to provide you with the information you need to understand our application process. Please also refer to our Data Access and Acceptable Use Policy.

When you are ready to make an enquiry go to the UK LLC portal on the HDR UK Innovation Gateway.

FAQ's

Q: Why should I apply to access data held in the UK LLC TRE?

A: The UK LLC can provide access to selections of data from 20+ longitudinal population studies and the study data will be linked with NHS COVID-19 data. The data will be remotely accessible via the UK LLC’s Trusted Research Environment. We use the Five Safe’s application process with linkages updated on a monthly basis. A typical timeline would be six weeks from full application to approval stage.

Q: How much does it cost to apply to access data held in the UK LLC TRE?

A: There is currently no cost. The UK LLC is part of the COVID-19 Longitudinal Health and Wellbeing National Core Study which aims to understand the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by uniting established population cohorts and national anonymised electronic health records to inform policy.

Q: As a national resource for COVID-19 research, is there a time limit on applying to access this data?

A: UKRI funding is in place until March 31 2023. This means that you will need to consider how much time you require to analyse the data, taking into account it typically takes six weeks from full application to approval stage. Should this position change, we will update these FAQs with the latest information.

Q: What kinds of data are in the UK LLC Trusted Research Environment (TRE)?

A: The UK LLC is designed to hold a broad and diverse range of longitudinal population study (LPS) study-collected data and linked health and social data. The UK LLC currently holds data collected from more than 20 of the UK’s well-established longitudinal studies, and linked electronic health records from NHS Digital.

Q: How do I apply to access data held in the UK LLC TRE?

A: Applying to access data in the UK LLC TRE is a three stage process, summarised in this flow diagram:

Apply flow chart

The process starts with an enquiry via the UK LLC portal on the HDR UK Innovation Gateway. Please also see the answers to the questions below about each individual stage of the application process.

Q: Do you accept applications from multi-organisational collaborations?

A: Yes. Details on each organisation must be listed on the application form and all must be UK based.

Please also see the answers to the questions below about each individual stage of the application process.

Q: Typically, how long does it take for an application to be approved? 

A: A typical timeline would be six weeks from full application to approval stage. Obtaining an institutional signature on the Data Access Agreement (DAA) from your contracts department can take several weeks. In order to expedite the process, we recommend sending the Sample version of our DAA to your contracts department for review, ahead of time.

Q: What happens after my application is approved?

A: Once your application is approved, you must complete a DAA, a System Level Security Policy (SLSP) (not required if your University has the NHS Digital DSPT) and a Data User Responsibility Agreement (DURA). Once all the paperwork is complete, you will be sent a YubiKey with instructions detailing how to access your approved data in the UK LLC TRE. More details are provided in the Accessing data in the UK LLC TRE.

Q: What does stage 1 of the application process involve?

A: Incoming expressions of interest (EoIs) through the UK LLC portal at the HDR UK Innovation Gateway. Incomplete or insufficiently justified EoIs are returned to applicants, who have the opportunity to revise and resubmit. Applicants whose EoIs are approved by the UK LLC triage team are invited to submit a full application and are provided with an application pack containing an application form and a data request form, along with guidance as to how to write a lay summary, expectations on public involvement and communication of your outcomes.

Q: What does stage 2 of the application process involve?

A: An initial assessment of full applications is conducted by the UK LLC Application Review Panel against the ‘Five Safes’ framework: Safe projects; Safe people; Safe settings; Safe data; and Safe outputs (What is the Five Safes framework? – UK Data Service). All applications are also reviewed to ensure that the data being requested are appropriate for the research questions; that there are sufficient public involvement plans in place; and that the lay summary meets the documented criteria. Any questions or concerns are sent back to the applicant(s) and resubmitted applications are re-reviewed by the UK LLC Application Review Panel.

Q: What does stage 3 of the application process involve?

A: Applications that include linked health data are reviewed by (i) the individual longitudinal population study (LPS) data access committees (DACs) – each study DAC is responsible for reviewing the application on behalf of their study; (ii) the UK LLC Data Access Public Review Panel; and (iii) the UK LLC Data Linkage Review Panel. The latter two comprise the UK LLC DAC. Applications that only include LPS data are reviewed only by (i) the individual LPS (DACs); and (ii) the UK LLC Public Review Panel.

Q: How should I approach writing my lay summary?

A: A guidance document will be provided with your application pack on writing a lay summary. You will be asked to outline what you aim to achieve, your plan to achieve your aims, how having access to the data is important and what the anticipated public benefits are. There is a 200 word limit and tips on how to write for a lay audience.

Q: How should I approach writing a summary on my public involvement plans?

A: A guidance document will be provided with your application pack on writing a public involvement summary. You will be asked to outline whether you have conducted public involvement on your project to date and how you plan to continue this work throughout the project.

Q: Are members of the public involved in the application process?

A: Yes. The UK LLC Data Access Public Review Panel features several members of the public. Their area of responsibility is to review the lay summary and public involvement strategy for your project. 

Q: What is involved with the UK LLC Data Access Public Review Panel meeting?

A: You will require to attend the monthly UK LLC Data Access Public Review Panel meeting and give a five-minute verbal presentation about your project to the panel, focusing on content from the lay summary and public involvement sections of your application form. This will be followed by a short Q&A to allow our public contributors to ask questions about your project. 

Q: Can I make an amendment to my application?

A: Yes, you can make an amendment(s) to your application, e.g. adding/removing named researchers, requesting further study or linked data. Please contact the Applications Team (access@ukllc.ac.uk)

Q: Why must I be an ONS Accredited Researcher to access data in the UK LLC TRE?

A: Only ONS Accredited Researchers may access data held within the TRE to demonstrate they are trained in safe use of data and understand currently GDPR legislation around data use. If you do not have this accreditation, you will need to complete it before being granted access to the TRE – see here for further details: UK Data Service Safe Researcher Training, Research Accreditation Service : Create your account or Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research. Please note that training courses are held on a monthly basis, so book as early as you can.

Q: I don’t meet the academic qualifications to apply for Accredited Researcher status, what are my options?

A: We will accept applications from researchers granted Provisional Accredited Researcher status, under the DEA. See here for details on how to apply for Provisional Accredited Researcher status.

Q: If my application is declined, can I appeal?

A: Yes, a declined study can go through the appeal process once. You must respond fully to all feedback provided. Your amended application will be re-reviewed at stage 2, moving onto stage 3, if successful.

Q: How do I contact the UK LLC Applications Team?

A: For any queries related to your UK LLC application, please email access@ukllc.ac.uk.