ESRC appoints new director for Administrative Data Research Partnership Strategic Hub

  • ADRP aims to combine data from across government and UK public bodies for use in research
  • It will provide opportunities to improve healthcare, education and business growth 

Dr Emma Gordon will be joining ESRC as Director of the ADRP (Administrative Data Research Partnership) Strategic Hub on 10 December. Emma is currently a Deputy Director at HM Treasury, leading the team supporting government economists and social researchers across government. As part of this, Emma also led the development of the new Government Economic Service Degree Apprenticeship Programme. 

The Strategic Hub will be based in Swindon, England, and Dr Gordon will work with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the three ADRP hubs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.  The ONS will provide secure access to data for researchers and utilise its existing infrastructure and its expertise in data acquisition, curation and provision to support ADRP. The centres in the devolved administrations have a wealth of knowledge gained from the previous work undertaken on the Administrative Data Research Network. These centres will work with devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and also a range of partner universities, utilising data sets acquired by ONS alongside data from devolved services.

Professor Jennifer Rubin, ESRC Executive Chair said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Emma Gordon to her new role at the ESRC. The Strategic Hub will link existing data across government specifically to catalyse and support high quality research to inform policy, and help address major societal challenges in areas as diverse as housing, education, health and wellbeing. This will be a great asset to the ESRC in delivering social science research that makes an impact at a national level."

Before joining HM Treasury in 2015, Emma was Head of Health Analysis at the ONS. At the start of her career, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children study, identifying the prevalence of developmental impairments in the cohort. 

Dr Emma Gordon said: “I am delighted to be joining ESRC as Director of the ADRP Strategic Hub. With ADRP we have a fantastic opportunity to help realise the research potential of linked administrative data, to deliver on government priorities for analysis and evidence. This is something I care passionately about, having started my career as an academic researcher, linking administrative and survey data to maximise the potential of both. Throughout my time in the Civil Service, I have looked for ways to promote shared understanding with academics, particularly around data sharing and dissemination of research findings. Importantly, ADRP represents an opportunity for government departments to de-risk their data sharing activities, whilst increasing their access to academic expertise. The timing could not be better, because of lessons learned from the Admin Data Research Network (ADRN) and changes to the data sharing landscape as a result of the new Digital Economy Act.

“Policy departments in Government will be more able to access academic expertise in time for it to feed into the policy-making process. ADRP is a way of ensuring the right studies do get done, and that government departments have direct access to the experts. Departments invest huge sums of money into supporting longitudinal studies and linkage to admin data through ADRP will increase the value of these investments greatly. “