Research IT

Highly Restricted Data Service (HRDS)

The HRDS supports researchers working with restricted and/or highly restricted data, such as commercially sensitive data. The service provides hardened IT platforms for hosting, processing, and collecting highly restricted data.

Service Description

In research, there is an increased focus on the security of restricted and highly restricted data such as personal, health-related, commercial, criminal records and defence information. The University and Research IT recognise the need to support our researchers in keeping their data safe, especially when it is subject to contractual or regulatory requirements. The Highly Restricted Data Service (HRDS) has been created to provide IT platforms and support for projects working with highly restricted data.

This chargeable service will encompass:

  • The existing Data Safe Haven Local (DSH Local), which is based on-site, and the new DSH Cloud. These are suitable for storing and processing highly restricted data, such as patient data, using standard tools such as Stata, R and Python.
  • Secure Web Platforms is a hardened hosting environment for mobile and web applications, which are typically built for collecting patient data during research trials.
  • SafePod, 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.
  • REDCap, a specialist survey tool designed for longitudinal studies.

Charging Model

This is a charged-for service. The HRDS website has full costing details.


If you have any queries about this service please contact the HRDS team.

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