Information Services Division


Data Safe Haven refresh project

Welcome to the Data Safe Haven Refresh project: Helping develop UCL’s sector-leading secure data environment.

Please note: This project is coming to a close in December 2020. If you have any service based enquiries please direct them to dsh-support@ucl.ac.uk

Project vision

Developing UCL’s sector leading secure data environment by deploying the latest state-of-the-art infrastructure and cutting-edge service capabilities. Enabling researchers to plan and undertake more ambitious and impactful research programmes with confidence, ensuring UCL is the preferred partner for research on sensitive NHS, HM Government and commercial datasets.

Project objectives

  • Retain/meet relevant data handling regulations, including GDPR and ISO27001
  • Delivery of state-of-the-art and future-proofed hardware
  • Make the DSH service more attractive to researchers by delivering priority user-led service improvements
  • Ensure the DSH service supports emerging requirements by delivering a range of new capabilities

Delivering in support of

  • Delivering excellent systems in support of UCL’s vision ​(UCL 2034 Key Enabler 4)
  • Provide world-leading research IT capabilities to enable UCL's researchers to find new answers to the hardest questions ​(Digital Masterplan Objective 2)
  • UCL to be the leading institution for data-driven research ​(UCL Research Data Strategy)

Expected benefits

Organisational level

  • Reduced risk associated with the storage and processing of sensitive data
  • Enhanced reputation as a preferred partner for sensitive NHS, HMG and commercial datasets

Department or Institute

  • Reduced cost from not purchasing and maintaining local solutions
  • Improved ability to run collaborative studies
  • Increased confidence to tackle the hardest research questions

Individual user

  • Improved availability to scale solutions to meet researcher requirements
  • Improved service availability and resilience
  • Improved user experience

Find out more...


The DSH Refresh project is delivering several enhanced capabilities and service improvements.

Case studies

Proof of concept case studies for new capabilities.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the Data Safe Haven?

The UCL Data Safe Haven enables researchers to access and use highly confidential information securely, employing a “walled garden” approach where research data stays within a secure environment with carefully controlled access.

Find out more on the Data Safe Haven service web page.

Why refresh the Data Safe Haven?

There are a number of drivers for this change, including:

  • Growing strategic research ambitions at UCL,
  • Evolving data security and privacy laws, regulations and data provider expectations,
  • Growing demand for large-scale analysis, computation & storage,
  • Increase in informatics & other data-intensive research approaches,
  • Growing interest in the application of Machine Learning (MI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI),
  • Old hardware unsupported after 2019,
  • Key required capabilities not currently supported.