SafePod Network

The SafePod Network (SPN) is a major research innovation to provide and manage a network of standardised safe settings (SafePods) across the UK for data that requires secure access for research.

All SafePods operate under standardised policies and procedures and provide accredited researchers with access to their project datasets from Data Centres that join the SPN.

The SPN is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and run by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research as part of the ADR UK programme.

What is a SafePod?

A SafePod is a small standardised safe setting that provides the physical security and controls for a researcher to access sensitive datasets. This includes a door control access system, CCTV, a researcher area for the analysis of datasets and a separate secure storage area for IT equipment. A SafePod is also wheelchair accessible and includes a height adjustable desk.

SafePods will be primarily based at universities. The major advantage for a researcher is that they will now be able to securely access different Data Centre datasets from a single local SafePod, removing the geographical, time and cost barriers that have typically been associated with a researcher attending one of the few safe settings across the UK.

A total of 25 SafePods will be part of the SafePod Network and spread geographically across the UK.

Data Centres joining the SPN

A wealth of government datasets, as well as study and survey datasets will be available for secure access from SafePods. This will include datasets from:

Other Data Centres are expected to join the SPN to provide access to their datasets over time.

Accessing the SafePod

The SafePod is open Monday – Friday from 9:30am until 4:30pm.

To access the SafePod at The University of Manchester follow the instructions below:

  • Ensure you are an approved researcher with a project approval in place with a Data Centre that has joined the SPN.
  • Register as a researcher with the SPN. Registration will involve completing a short online questionnaire on SPN user policies.
  • Once your registration is complete, make a booking request for The University of Manchester SafePod from the SafePod Network website.
  • Your SafePod booking request will then be sent to your chosen Data Centre. If approved, a booking confirmation email will then be sent to you.

On the day of the booking, go to Main Library (building number 55), Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PP, and ask for the SafePod Coordinator. Please ensure you bring valid identification with you and follow instructions provided in the booking confirmation email for use of the SafePod.

Where needed, priority of access will be given for research that is critical to society and the economy.

SafePod location

The University of Manchester SafePod is located at the Main Library (building number 55), Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PP

More information

For more information about The University of Manchester SafePod, please contact Further information about the SPN and SafePod locations is available from their website at

SafePod is a registered trademark of the University of St Andrews.