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Cambridge University Library


SafePod Network


University of Cambridge SafePod


The University of Cambridge SafePod, located in the University Library is open for bookings Information on how to book is given below. 


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. 

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. The Cambridge SafePod is one of 25 being established as part of the SafePod Network, primarily based at universities, and spread geographically across the UK.


Data Centres

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

  • Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service;
  • UK Data Service;
  • SAIL Databank; and
  • Linked datasets created by Administrative Data Research UK projects.

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



Accessing the SafePod

To access the SafePod at the University of Cambridge 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 Cambridge 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 please come to the Cambridge University Library Reader Services desk and ask for the SafePod Coordinator.  Please ensure you bring valid identification with you and follow the instructions provided in the booking confirmation email for use of the SafePod. 

You must be registered with the library before you can it and use the SafePod.  All staff and students of the University are already registered with the University Library.  If you are an external SafePod user and not registered please follow the instructions on our library membership web page


Read our News story about the opening of the University of Cambridge SafePod.