This call has now closed. The following is for information only.

The SafePod Network (SPN) is a new investment from the Economic and Social Research Council. The main objective of SPN is to improve public benefit research by supporting, strengthening and widening remote access to research datasets through the provision and operation of an independent network of safe setting facilities, known as SafePods®. These facilities will be based at higher education institutions and other UKRI funded organisations across the UK.  

SPN will comprise of the following:   

  • A network of SafePods based across the UK
  • A web application to provide information about the work of SPN and for booking SafePods
  • Policies, procedures and assurances for the operation and management of SPN and SafePods
  • A firewall service to provide the security boundaries for SafePod services
  • A CCTV service to enable Data Centres to view and monitor activity within a SafePod
  • A dedicated User Support Service to assist stakeholders with SPN enquiries
  • An Advisory Board to plan and make decisions on the long-term objectives of SPN.

The major benefit of a SafePod to a researcher is that they will be able to have local access to project datasets, without the need for long distance travel to a dedicated safe setting provided by a Data Centre.  

For a participating Data Centre, SPN provides a low cost secure platform to widen access to their datasets across the UK for research purposes. A SafePod design and their policies and procedures for management and operation are standardised. This means that a single accreditation for use of a SafePod by a Data Centre is all that is required in order for them to accredit the full SafePod Network.  

A SafePod is designed to replicate existing traditional safe settings and security features include door control access, CCTV camera system and a separate secure storage area for necessary IT hardware and equipment.  No datasets are held within a SafePod.  Instead a secure connection is provided from a SafePod to a Data Centre for a researcher to view and analyse their project datasets.


Please download the brochure (PDF, 1.9Mb) for more details about SPN and SafePods.  

Application procedures for a SafePod

The call is now open for eligible organisations to apply for a SafePod and to be part of The SafePod Network.  To request an application pack please email Darren Lightfoot, SPN Manager at marking the subject line ‘Request for SafePod application pack’ to include your full name, contact number and correspondence address.  

For further information and informal enquiries please telephone 01334 463901. The closing date for applications is 7 June 2019.