Richard Welpton is Head of Data Services Infrastructure. The ESRC’s Data Services Infrastructure includes investments that acquire, archive, curate, and support researchers with accessing data, including the UK Data Service, Consumer Data Research Centre, Urban and Big Data Centre, business and local government, and the Census Longitudinal Study Centres, as well as CLOSER and a small number of other centres.

Richard’s career to date has focused on supporting researchers and analysts accessing data, particularly confidential sources in secure environments. In 2007, Richard joined the Office for National Statistics’ Virtual Microdata Laboratory (now Secure Research Service). Since then, Richard has been involved in setting up and managing a number of data infrastructure projects in the UK and in Europe, including at the UK Data Service and Cancer Research UK. Prior to joining ESRC, Richard supported The Health Foundation with accessing patient data for research. Richard chaired the Safe Data Access Professionals network from 2017 to 2020, and sits on a number of external advisory committees. He also leads a Research Data Alliance project on Data Stewardship.

Richard has written a number of articles about data access and data privacy (including how to ensure research findings do not breach patient data confidentiality).

Richard’s background is in economics, for which he holds an MSc from University of Nottingham.