Administrative Data Research UK

Administrative Data Research UK
Administrative Data Research UK provides secure access to important datasets to support the COVID-19 response
Jigsaw puzzle

Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) is a partnership between ADR Scotland, ADR Wales, ADR Northern Ireland and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), coordinated by a UK-wide Strategic Hub.

Through funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), its purpose is to link administrative data – information generated when people interact with public services, such as schools, the NHS, the courts or the benefits system – and make it available to academic researchers and government policymakers.

These datasets contain vast amounts of information, from population data to business surveys, enabling researchers to identify important patterns and trends across the UK. Researchers have been using ADR UK datasets to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across different areas of society.

Across the UK, ADR UK partnership organisations have used these datasets to determine the effects of the pandemic on population health and life events, providing essential information to inform government decision-making.

The ADR UK-funded ONS Secure Research Service (SRS) has also been used to assess the impact of the pandemic on people, households and communities. Information on business turnover, trade and workforce availability has been collected through new ONS survey questions and made available to researchers to provide new insights into the impact of COVID-19 on the UK economy. Additional household survey responses have also been collected and made available by ONS to researchers to help understand the societal impact of COVID-19.  

In addition, the SRS is being used by researchers to carry out analysis for the UK Government’s large-scale virus infection and antibody test study. This long-term study, which is planned to be extended to involve over 300,000 participants, will track the spread of COVID-19 amongst the general population to help understand levels of infection and prevalence.

By supporting the controlled access to these de-identified datasets, ADR UK is enabling critical socioeconomic research to better understand and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on how ADR UK is helping to support the COVID-19 response, please visit