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Administrative Data Research Centre NI (ADRC-NI)

The ADRC-NI is a partnership between Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast, with the support of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Authority (NISRA).

The study is housed at the Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Institute for Nursing and Health Research, which is within Ulster University.

The projects is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland for an initial four-year period.

The ADRC-NI is part of the Administrative Data Research Network a partnership between universities, government departments and agencies, national statistics authorities, funders and the wider research community.

There are four ADRCs within the Network:

  • England - led by the University of Southampton
  • Northern Ireland - led by Queen's University Belfast
  • Scotland - led by the University of Edinburgh
  • Wales -  led by Swansea University

The Network makes it possible to access de-identified administrative data held by government agencies and public bodies for research purposes.

This is information collected by national and local government and other public sector organisations, usually when they are delivering a service. It's collected for administrative or operational reasons, but has the potential to be very valuable for social and economic research.

It contains a wealth of information about our society. Social researchers can use it to analyse the impact of government policies, or find new explanations for what happens in our everyday lives.

The ADRC-NI facilitates access for researchers to secure, de-identified data, making sure the data is safe to use.

Project aims and objectives

The ADRC-NI will enable bona fide researchers to access both linked and unlinked de-identified government administrative data, in order to undertake new approved research into economic and social issues.

Through collaborative working between the two universities and NISRA, the project will ensure that the ADRC-NI and the ADRN quickly become world class facilities for research access to de-identified administrative data by accredited researchers.

This new research will improve knowledge and understanding of the action required to tackle a wide range of complex social, economic, environmental and health issues, and may provide new approaches to the development, implementation and evaluation of policy across government.

The formation of the ADRC-NI should bring together a closer working relationship between the generators and custodians of administrative data in governmental and other agencies, the potential users of these data, and the policymakers who will benefit from further analysis of these data.

The ADRC-NI will also contribute to wider public discussions around the use of data for research purposes for the public good.

Staff and collaborators

Bamford Centre

Professor Brendan Bunting: ADRC-NI Deputy Director (Bamford Centre, Ulster University)
Professor Gerry Leavey: Co-investigator (Bamford Centre, Ulster University)
Professor Siobhan O'Neill: Co-Investigator, (Bamford Centre, Ulster University)
Martina Casey: Research Support Officer (Bamford Centre, Ulster University)
Ronald McDowell: Research Support Officer (Bamford Centre, Ulster University)

Ulster University

Professor Helen Dolk: Co-investigator  (Institute for Nursing and Health Research,Ulster University )
Professor Gillian Robinson: Co-Investigator (INCORE, Ulster University)
Dr Maria Loane: Co-investigator (Institute for Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University)
Professor Gerard Parr: Co-Investigator (School of Computing and Information Engineering, Ulster University)r
Elizabeth Nelson Gorman: ADRC-NI Public Engagement and Communications Officer (Institute for Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University)

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Dermot O'Reilly: ADRC-NI Director (Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, QUB)
Dr Ian Shuttleworth: Co-investigator (Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, QUB)
Professor Frank Kee: Co-investigator (Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science QUB)
Professor Weiru Liu: Co-Investigator (Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, QUB)
Dr Jun Hong: Co-investigator (Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, QUB)
Dr Anne Kouvonen: Co-Investigator (Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, QUB)
Dr Michael Donnelly: Co-Investigator ((Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, QUB)
Professor Allen Thurston: Co-Investigator (Education, QUB)
Frances Burns: ADRC-NI Project Manager (Centre for Public Health, QUB)
Samantha Livingstone: ADRC-NI Project Administrator (Centre for Public Health, QUB)