GCU SafePod for researchers now open on campus

Glasgow Caledonian University is the first organisation in Scotland to host a SafePod giving researchers secure access to confidential data on campus for the very first time.

The SafePod is now open and available for bookings, providing researchers with access to their project datasets from the SAIL Databank, UK Data Service Secure Lab and Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service.

To book the SafePod installed on the ground floor of the Sir Alex Ferguson Library click here and to find out more about how the SafePod works click here.

Designed and developed at the University of St Andrews, a SafePod is designed to replicate a traditional safe setting and includes security features such as a door control access system, CCTV camera and secure storage areas for IT hardware and equipment.

Professor Sebastien Chastin worked closely with former Assistant Vice Principal, Research Excellence Professor Jim Woodburn to secure a SafePod for GCU and Professor Martijn Steultjens, Musculoskeletal Health (MSK) research group lead, is managing the facility.

Professor Steultjens said he was delighted that the new SafePod was now open and urged staff to take advantage of the new facility.

School of Health and Life Sciences data science lead Professor Chastin described getting the SafePod installed at GCU as a “major coup”.

He said: “The new SafePod looks brilliant and this is really a big deal for GCU because we are one of the first testing sites to be equipped with a SafePod. Only 11 throughout the UK are being installed.

“This will give researchers and members of the public secure access to an unprecedented amount of quality data in a safe and secure environment.

“At the moment we have to go through unbelievably complex procedures to access this data and we didn’t have the infrastructure at GCU to view this data.

“It will definitely cut the time staff spend trying to access data. It provides us with the ability to do science that was not possible previously by cross-referencing this big data and brings forward positive change for the Common Good.”

The SafePod Network has been developed by Professor Chris Dibben (University of Edinburgh) and Darren Lightfoot (University of St Andrews), who are both part of the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR). The Network is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation.

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