Information Services Division


User stories feedback: Marissa Mes, UCL School of Pharmacy

User story feedback on Research Facilitation. "The Data Safe Haven orientation provided was extremely useful."

Summary: Marissa contacted us in 2016 about data protection for her PhD work. From March 2017, I began providing facilitation for her to answer queries on how our services met with providing the relevant support for her. She also received relevant IG guidance and Jack Hindley, Information Governance officer, met up with her too to discuss further about this, supporting her on risk management and ideas on good methods of data handling. Jack also guided her on application for the Data Safe Haven (DSH), and she was provided with account on the Safe Haven in late 2017. This facilitation seems to have taken a long period of time, but I believe it fits with Marissa's research timetable. She said in January 2018 that the DSH orientation provided was extremely useful, and she was up and running in uploading interview audio files to DSH.


July 2018

Q1. Briefly, what were the queries or requirements you contacted us research facilitators about?

I was applying for ethical approval for a research project, which involved collecting sensitive health-related data from people with asthma recruited through an NHS setting. I wanted guidance on how to safely store and handle data in accordance with data protection guidelines, for both UCL and the NHS. 

Q2. What suggestions do you have for Research IT Service facilitators to improve on for a very similar request?

The research facilitators were very helpful and patient, they answered any small queries I had about setting up my study and outlining the data protection plan in my ethics application. There were unfortunately some delays with setting up my Data Safe Haven account, which delayed my data collection period. A swifter application period would be useful for researchers working with a tighter timetable. But the facilitators were very helpful in chasing up my application on my behalf.

Q3. How far do you feel the applications / tools / services / advice we provided you with meet with your requirement?

The guidance and services given were extremely useful at is was my first time working with sensitive health-related data. 

Q4. If you were recommended tools or services (Research Computing, REDCap, Data Safe Haven, Information Governance, Research Data Management, Research Data Services etc.), how effective was our facilitation service in providing you information and getting your accounts?

The facilitation service was helpful in the process of applying for the service, it was the delay at set-up stage (for my DSH account) that made the process more difficult. 

Q5. What differences, if any, do the recommended IT tools / services make to your research work compared to before you used such tools / services?

I sometimes find it difficult to locate updated guidance on data protection and IT via the UCL website. The documents uploaded on the website are sometimes unclear or slightly outdated. Having personal support (face-to-face and e-mail-based) was much more efficient and easier to understand.