Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Doing your ONS LS research

Once your project has been approved, ONS’ Secure Research Service (SRS) will create a project folder in their online Research Accreditation Service (RAS). A CeLSIUS Support Officer will construct your dataset (which they can amend if necessary as your study proceeds) and add it to the project folder. You will then be provided with account details and guidance on accessing your data securely, which can be done in the following ways.

Accessing your data in a SafePod

SafePods are a way of accessing a standardised safe setting with the necessary security and controls to enable researchers to access and use secure datasets from more locations across the UK than before. They are primarily based at universities across the UK and are available for approved researchers to book and use.

We suggest you register to use a SafePod a week before you plan to use it as you will first be asked to watch a short online presentation and complete a multiple choice test which then has to be marked, and this process can take a few days.

Connecting to the SRS remotely

Remote connection to the SRS is available to organisations that can meet the safe setting criteria and achieve certification under the Assured Organisation Connectivity (AOC) Scheme. Organisations interested in joining the scheme may contact srs.customer.support@ons.gov.uk to discuss certification requirements. Researchers based in organisations that have an AOC agreement in place with ONS can access the SRS from their employers' offices. You may also submit a homeworking request if your organisation has an AOC agreement with ONS and you wish to apply to access your ONS Longitudinal Study project from home.

Accessing your data in an ONS SRS safe room

The dataset can be accessed from an SRS safe room in an ONS office in Hampshire (Titchfield) or Wales (Newport). To analyse your data, you may visit one of these offices, please email srs.customer.support@ons.gov.uk to book a visit (as far in in advance as possible, to ensure there's an available space).

Sending us your code

You may send code in STATA to celsius@ucl.ac.uk for us to run for you, or discuss with us the outputs that you require (perhaps constructing specimen tables or models) and we will write and run code for you.

Your research outputs

When you want interim research outputs to leave the safe room, perhaps to work on them on your computer or to show them to other Accredited Researchers on the same project, they will be referred to as 'pre-publication' outputs. To maintain the security of the LS you will be asked to complete a Request for SRS: Output from ONS LS Project form (Word) and all pre-publication outputs are then checked by two Support Officers and sent to users via a secure file transfer system ('MOVEit'). Please note: researchers cannot share pre-publication outputs with people outside the team of Accredited Researchers on the project - they can only be shown to Accredited Researchers on the same project. If researchers want to share outputs more widely, publication level clearance must be requested: see disseminating your ONS LS research results for further details of this. 

Please also note: when your project is complete, after disseminating your ONS LS research results, you should delete all pre-publication outputs from your computer. You may ask ONS to archive copies of your output files to be retrieved at your request at a later date.