The LHA is committed to the core principles of the MRC with regard to data sharing. The LHA actively encourages the sharing of NSHD data with bona fide scientists for high quality research projects, to ensure that the scientific potential of the NSHD is maximised. Data sharing must be within the bounds of consent given previously by study members and meet rigorous MRC data security standards.

All proposals to use NSHD data must support and adhere to the core principles of data sharing with the MRC, namely:

  • Ethical: The privacy of individuals and the dignity of communities must be protected, while simultaneously respecting the imperative to improve public health through the most productive use of data.
  • Equitable: All proposals should recognise and balance the needs of researchers who generate and use data, other analysts who may want to reuse those data, and communities and funders who expect health benefits to arise from research.
  • Efficient: Approaches should be proportionate and build on existing practice and reduce unnecessary duplication and competition.

This website holds electronic versions of all the NSHD questionnaires and topic level guides to the information collected. The repository is accessible to bone fide researchers who may wish to use the NSHD for research purposes. Potential and existing users can use the repository to explore the NSHD metadata (descriptions of the data) to enable them to formulate proposals for data access requests to the NSHD Data Sharing Committee.

Researchers wishing to access the metadata repository or undertake a research project using NSHD data should find most of the information they need on this website and the associated tool Skylark. If you require more information please contact us.


Data sharing is dependent on the project being approved by the NSHD Data Sharing Committee, a data sharing agreement being in place between UCL and the academic institution that employs the researcher, and LHA resources being available to meet the requests for data sharing.

Prior to receipt of data, a Data Security Induction must be successfully completed and a Confidentiality Form must be completed, signed and returned.


Please note that there is a two year time limit for dataset request from project application. i.e. if applicants have not requested any data 24 months after the project was approved, the approval will lapse and a fresh application form will have to be completed to continue the project.

We will always assess the re-identification risk to NSHD study members as part of project consideration. Such risks put a limit on the potential maximum size of dataset that can be supplied. Please be sure to only select the core variables needed for your project.

Large baskets with many hundreds, or thousands, of variables are by their nature more potentially disclosive, and less likely to be acceptable. Baskets containing more than 500 variables may need advanced risk assessment, for which the Director reserves the right to charge a fee.

Applicants are strongly advised to minimise their basket size for these reasons.

Due to workflow issues, if a single project results in multiple data basket requests, there will likely be a delay between the delivery of successive baskets. Depending on the volume of other access requests being processed, this delay may be considerable.

When received data access requests are similar to projects already approved, ongoing, or are similar or complementary to LHA scientific programmes, researchers are encouraged to collaborate on a common project.

The NSHD Data Sharing Committee reserves the right to prioritise applications where necessary. Projects that will incur significant extra work by LHA data management staff may be subject to a charge to cover the additional costs incurred by the LHA. Any such costs will be notified in advance.

  • nshd/data-access-requests.txt
  • Last modified: 18 months ago
  • by nmpo