For Researchers: Our Services

For Researchers: Our Services

For Researchers: Our Services

The Grampian Data Safe Haven offers bespoke data storage, processing and linkage services based on the individual needs of your research project. The DaSH team works with researchers to provide detailed project planning and data management support whilst ensuring adherence to the highest standards of security and governance and protecting patient confidentiality. Each project is supported by a Research Coordinator and Data Analyst to ensure projects adhere to permissions and outputs meet the project specification and comply with information security regulations. If you require non-DaSH held datasets, we can assist with obtaining the relevant approvals, as well as coordinating the request with the data custodians and linkage between datasets.

The sections below provide further information about the services we offer, though each project will be provided with tailored components depending on your requirements. You can also read more about working with DaSH and your project's lifecycle and how to initiate a project with DaSH. If you have an idea for a data project, contact us at to discuss your requirements.

DaSH Services

Project Planning Support

DaSH provides:

  • assistance with the planning and development of a Data Management Plan (DMP) which defines how the data will be handled, stored, archived and deleted
  • advice and input for funding and permissions applications
  • guidance on meeting Approved Researcher requirements
  • assistance with the planning and design of the study, identification of relevant datasets and development of a data specification for extracting, linking and formatting the research data
  • advice about meeting data sharing requirements and archiving of data
Data Management Services

Services include:

  • assistance with the development of a Data Linkage Plan (DLP) (study specific graphical representation of data linkage). The DLP illustrates where the data is coming from, the order of linkage of the datasets and storage locations of the data. Potentially identifiable variables will be removed from the linked research dataset are listed
  • data extraction from the Grampian Population Research Platform core dataset and support to obtain appropriate data from other datasets held externally to the Safe Have
  • deterministic and probabilistic linkage with documentation of linkage robustness, linkage methodology development
  • data anonymisation, cleaning, manipulation, and preparation of datasets for researcher use
  • dataset enhancement: creating variables, development and application of algorithms
  • generation of metadata and documentation of datasets
  • CHI indexing and Vital Status checking
Software & Costs


As part of our service we have various software packages available to researchers for analysis within the Safe Haven.

  • MS Office
  • SPSS Statistics
  • SAS
  • STATA 13
  • Adobe Acrobat (XI Pro, Distiller XI)
  • R
  • R Studio
  • MLwiN
  • Haskell Platform 2014 2.0.0


The DaSH service operates on a cost recovery basis and this cost should be included in grant applications. We welcome enquiries from researchers as early as possible in their project planning. There are separate access charges for some research datasets.

Costing is based on bespoke project requirements, allowing for duration of project and skills/support required from DaSH including, but not limited to: 

  • defining the requirements of the project
  • assisting with obtaining the necessary project and data permissions
  • preparation of data for linkage, including derivation of variables and flags if required
  • indexing
  • extracting and quality checking all data
  • linkage of specified datasets
  • disclosure risk assessment of research analyses
  • providing access to the Safe Haven for approved researchers to conduct analysis of the data
  • support for the duration of the project
  • IT Administration

Standard costings are based on salary and include the individual project requirement for:

  • Research Coordinator time
  • technical consultancy
  • programming time
  • data management services
  • storage
  • administrator time
DaSH Secure Room

The DaSH Secure Room (1.162 Polwarth Building) is available to book for researchers conducting data linkage research.  Researchers should email for bookings.


The DaSH Secure Room provides high quality facilities including:

  • a safe room environment equipped with a PC (with wall-mounted wide screen monitor) with access to the safe haven virtual desk top
  • videoconferencing equipment 
  • tables and seating for 12


Researchers are able to access their safe haven project folder and display the results of their analyses on screen – this avoids having to ask DaSH to check and release interim output files from the folder.


The room is secured by a swipe card system and will only be made available to eligible users at the time of a pre-booked meeting.



The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) provides accredited researchers with secure access to linked, de-identified administrative data in safe settings from its headquarters based at the Edinburgh Bioquarter.

Aberdeen University is equipped with an ADRN-S Safe Setting (SCADR Room) which consists of a secure room, a dedicated desk and trained staff to support researchers.

Our Safe Setting enables access in the same secure way to research project datasets as those based at the Edinburgh Bioquarter. The key benefit of this for researchers is that it provides the opportunity to access their project data locally, thus reducing the need to travel.