The Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland(ADRC NI) is a partnership between Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast.
The centre is part of the wider ADR UK network, a partnership between universities, government departments and agencies, national statistics authorities, funders and the wider research community.
ADR UK makes it possible for researchers to access information collected by national and local government and other public sector organisations (typically in the delivery of services). Whilst this data is collected for administrative or operational reasons it can be very valuable for research purposes as it contains a wealth of information about our society.
Therefore, by providing a forum for access to safe, secure and unidentifiable government administrative data (both linked and unlinked) such as education, census and health and social care data, researchers can gain an increased understanding of economic and social issues which can in turn lead to improved policy and improved public services.
Benefits of Collaboration
The benefits of this collaboration are a closer working relationship between the generators and custodians of administrative data in governmental and other agencies, those that might use the data, and the policymakers who will benefit from further analysis of this data. Social researchers in particular, can use this data to analyse the impact of government policies, or find new explanations for everyday issues.
The ADRC NI will also contribute to and lead wider public discussions around the use of data for research purposes for the public good. In 2015, ADRC NI partnered with the Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) survey for the study ‘Public attitudes to data sharing in Northern Ireland’, which provided a base line of public opinion towards the sharing and linking of data for research, with an emphasis on health research.
The study found that when public benefit is a focus of data research, the public is more likely to be supportive of their data being used.
Below are some examples of projects undertaken through ADRC NI.
More of our work can be found on the ADR UK website
ADR UK is made up of three national partnerships – ADR Scotland, ADR Wales, and ADR Northern Ireland – coordinated by a UK-wide Strategic Hub, and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which is a key partner in linking and curating data and ensuring data provided by UK Government bodies is accessed by researchers in a safe and secure form.
This structure allows each of the UK nations to have a dedicated centre and team, focusing in on its individual policy needs whilst also enabling UK-wide research.
Staff and collaborators
- Professor Gerard Leavey (Co-investigator, The Bamford Centre)
- Dr Michael Rosato (Senior Research Fellow, Epidemiology and Public Health)
- Dr Maria Loane (Co-investigator, Institute for Nursing and Health Research)
- Elizabeth Nelson Gorman (ADRC-NI Public Engagement and Communications Officer and Institute for Nursing and Health Research)
Queen’s University Belfast
- Professor Dermot O'Reilly: ADRC NI Director (Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, QUB)
Professor Ciaran O’Neill: Co-investigator (Centre for Public Health, QUB)
- Professor Duncan McVicker: Co-investigator (School of Management, QUB)
- Dr Aideen Maguire: Co-investigator (Centre for Public Health, QUB)
- Dr Anne Kouvonen: Co-investigator (Queen’s University Belfast and University of Helsinki)
- Frances Burns: ADRC NI Project Manager (Centre for Public Health, QUB)
Samantha Livingstone: ADRC NI Senior Project Administrator (Centre for Public Health, QUB)