What is Data Connect?


Our vision

To be the trusted partner connecting researchers with health and social care data, enabling research that improves lives regionally, nationally and globally.

Our mission

Be an exemplary support service for any researcher, that simplifies data access, ensures compliance and delivers research-ready data to drive discovery and innovation.

Data access

We provide secure, single point of access to sensitive data held in our accredited, cloud-based, Secure Data Environment. Researchers can request access to data held on research databases managed by Data Connect, or request support to import bespoke health and social care datasets. Our suite of wraparound services support researchers across the research lifecycle.

Read more about the data you can access

Supporting research and population health


I'm Professor Suzanne Mason, and I'm the Academic Director for Data Connect.

Data Connect at the University of Sheffield is our new service that aims to provide better access for health and social care data for researchers and aspiring academics.

What we want to deliver is a secure way of accessing real world data that's normally collected in health and social care anyway, to improve the lives of our population. We want to do this through our Secure Data Service in a way that can be scalable both in the region and beyond - nationally and internationally.

We aspire to work with our collaborators, both within the University and beyond, in the NHS, social care, the public, and the rest of the population, to help them understand the importance of sharing data so that we can use it to improve outcomes and treatments, and also in terms of how we deliver the research.

The important areas that we want to focus on through our community of practise are the ways in which we can support each other and collaborate together to deliver something that's really exciting.

The power of health and social care data is infinite and that currently we are not maximising the use of this. We hope that Data Connect will provide ease of access, a wraparound service from concept right through to delivery of data. As well as empowering each of us to understand how we can use these datasets to improve patient care, detection of illness, improvement of well being, and overall improvement of population outcomes.

I look forward to working with all of you in the future through our data connect service. Please make contact with us. Let's have a conversation and let's really make a difference using data.

Our expertise

Data Connect can support you to:

Plan your research

  • Find appropriate datasets 
  • Data and project management
  • Public and patient involvement and engagement
  • Support with grants and bids

Apply for data

  • Support with information governance processes 
  • Understand legal basis for accessing data 
  • Apply for existing Data Connect data
  • Apply for new datasets and research databases

Access data

  • Technical support to access data via Secure Data Services
  • Data platform management 
  • Support to access data via other Secure Data Environments

Make connections

  • Academics and research groups 
  • Regional public health and social care experts, policy makers and practitioners 
  • Funding agencies 
  • Public and patient contributors

Read more about what we do

Connected support from across the University

Our team has a diverse background of experience in project and data management, and technical skills that can be applied across disciplines. We work closely with regional and national organisations to deliver an excellent service that meets the needs of our researchers and our community.

Other teams who can support researchers through Data Connect

Data Analytics Service

  • Provide Data Analytics and Data Science support to research groups and projects

Research Software Engineering

  • Provide Research Software Engineering support to research groups and projects

Sheffield Bioinformatics Core

  • The application of bioinformatics and computational biology to biological research, biomedical research and public health in Sheffield