Governance and structure

The oversight and organisation behind Data Connect.

An abstract colourised visualisation of a data set in grey

Data Connect internal governance

The Data Connect service is governed by working groups that comprise academics, data providers and controllers, health and social care experts and members of the public. Decisions about what data projects we support and which research groups to approve for data access are decided by these working groups to ensure impartiality and maximise the value of the research to the University and the wider region.

The working groups are: 

Data Connect Board

Made up of senior academic leaders, health and social care data providers and experts from across the Yorkshire and Humber region, and including public representation. This group provides guidance to achieve strategic University goals, shares information about emerging and existing partnerships and developments in the data landscape, and is the point of escalation for the Academic Working Group. 

The Data Connect Board is chaired by Professor Ashley Blom (Vice-President for the Faculty of Health) and reports to the University Executive Board and the Vice-President for Research, Professor Sue Hartley. The Data Connect Board also includes representation for public contributions and input.

Academic Working Group 

Comprising senior academics and professional services staff with specialist knowledge from across the University to provide expert guidance and support to achieve strategic academic ambitions, to review and decide on data requests and suggest suitable data to pursue. 

​The Academic Working Group is chaired by Professor Suzanne Mason (Professor of Emergency Medicine) and reports to the Data Connect Board.

Data Access Committee

This group will include health and social care data provider representatives, internal data governance specialists, and public representation, to review researcher applications for data held and managed by Data Connect (such as the CUREd+ research database). 

The Data Access Committee chair will be formally appointed by the end of the calendar year. They will report to the Academic Working Group who will act as a point of escalation where necessary. The Data Access Committee also includes representation for  public contributions and input.

Secure Data Service

Data Connect uses the University’s Secure Data Service - a cloud computing platform where sensitive data can be securely stored and analysed. The Secure Data Service is the University of Sheffield's Secure Data Environment (SDE).

The platform is accredited to the NHS Data Protection Security Toolkit and is managed in compliance with the ISO27001 international information security standard.

Get in contact for more information about the Secure Data Service