Accessing data directly from CLS

We make all our cohort study data available via the public data repositories wherever possible. However, access to certain data is governed internally by the CLS Data Access Committee (CLS DAC), either because:

  • the data are not yet available via the UK Data Service or other repositories, or
  • the data access is subject to specialised access arrangements, such as paradata, genetic data and biological samples.

To request data directly from CLS, you will need to apply directly to the CLS DAC.

The CLS DAC manages and evaluates requests according to the data sharing principles and approval criteria set out on the CLS Data Access Framework.

The functioning of the CLS DAC is described in the CLS DAC Terms of Reference.

The CLS DAC welcomes applications to access the following types of data:

  • Existing research data not deposited at a public repository due to their sensitive or disclosive nature, or because they have not been prepared sufficiently for deposit.
  • Paradata (i.e. data about the data collection process), created primarily for administrative purposes and not routinely released for research use.
  • Genetic data linked to survey data: when combined with survey data, CLS genetic data are subject to a separate access arrangement that requires the creation of a bespoke survey dataset identified by a specific ID. See more details here.
  • Biological samples: CLS has a resource of depletable biological samples, including DNA, stored primarily at the University of Bristol. Access can be requested for genotyping or generation of new analytes. See more details here.

To apply for any of the above, please download the document below and read carefully the CLS DAC data access guidelines before submitting your completed application form to

Please allow plenty of time for us to process your request. We suggest you submit your application at least three months before you plan to start your research.

In addition to specific data requests listed above, the CLS DAC also welcomes proposals to:

  • generate new linked data, such as new geographical data
  • conduct data enhancements, such as new data collections or restoration of non-digitised legacy data.

Find more information here:  Proposing data linkages and enhancements.

Deadlines for applications in 2024

The CLS DAC meet monthly (except during the summer break) to assess new and amended applications. The 2024 deadlines for sending us any DAC forms for review are:

  • Tuesday 2 July

Summer Break

  • Thursday 12 September
  • Tuesday 8 October
  • Tuesday 5 November
  • Thursday 28 November
Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL


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