Extension for the Longitudinal Studies Centre Scotland (LSCS) from 2020 to 2025, part of UKCenLS-RSU call

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Geosciences


The LSCS data infrastructure centre the SLS-DSU is responsible for the development of one of the most exciting LS in the UK and our goal is to maintain and enhance this position as an internationally renowned centre for longitudinal data analysis. We will continue to develop the SLS, extending its potential through the addition of new datasets, promoting to expand its research user base by making the data more accessible. We will achieve this through 5 core functions:
1. Creating data for research - enhancing the SLS through linkages to new datasets
We will continue developing new admin data linkages not just the 2021 Census, with Justice Data and to extend the education data holdings in different ways.

2. Providing the SLS-DSU User Support service - maintaining the SLS & SLS Safe Setting
i) Support access & use of the SLS
We will continue our high quality support of users - from PhDs through to Profs - for the whole life-cycle of projects from application, creation of SLS extracts to clearance of outputs. We will focus on widening access to make the use of the SLS easier, build on the success of synthetic bespoke extracts created using the SYNTHPOP R prog. we plan to roll this option out to all new users. Further, we will extend research access to project extracts to the other National Safe Havens.
ii) Maintain the SLS & SLS Safe Setting
We will continue with the core maintenance tasks of the study, updating databases, software, and hardware, and improve the research environment for researchers. We expect to undertake a large number of linkages to NHS data and will explore the possibility of limited health variables within the SLS.

3. Capacity building - promote the research potential of the SLS
We will continue to provide training events per year, including an introductory and survival analysis - and running them at BSPS/UCL. We will host the annual UKcenLS conferences in 2021 and 2024. As SLS extracts will be accessible via to be held in the National Safe Havens, we plan to run roadshows these universities. We publish web-based resources - we will extend these in the next period including webinars and code sharing.

4. Communications, knowledge mobilisation & impact - promote the impact of the SLS
At the SLS we have a track record of directly promoting the impact of its research. During the next phase in conjunction with the other 2 RSUs we will develop more fully formed communications and impact strategies with more efficient way to measure activity. Our main method is the shared CALLS outputs database. We further plan to promote the impact in several ways: continue production of SLS impact case studies on a subset projects and the creation of an umbrella project to enable fast response tables to policy questions. And we plan to increase public engagement work and our social media profile. We will continue working with other 2 RSUs, maintain links other ERSC investments on joint events (to showcase both value and potential of datasets) and more technical topics.

5. Conducting limited methodological development work
We will undertake appropriate substantive research to promote the potential of the SLS and wider LSCS datasets. We will continue to offer an innovative method (eDataSHIELD) which facilitates joint up analysis of more than 1 LS. Additionally, more technical data linkage and development work is planned to improve efficiency (with NRS). We will increase our holding of other historical LS: expanding the SLS Birth Cohort of 1936 (SLS1936BC), creating the SMS47 Cohort Enhancement (100% data) and Digitising Scotland (DS) data. These datasets provide a unique opportunity for the LSCS, and staff will undertake research on these to produce working papers to help potential users and to promote the potential of the new data.

In conclusion, we look to maintain and significantly extend our LS 'offer'. Continuing to do what we do well -the curation and development of the SLS and high quality support


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