Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

News

  • RECENT NEWS

SLS-DSU still open for new applications and Safe Setting bookings

January 2021 – Policy in the event of SLS Safe Setting emergency closure: 

Due to social distancing restrictions we are working with minimal staff in Ladywell House. If we need to close the Safe Setting at short notice due to adverse weather conditions, staff sickness or another emergent situation, then we will aim to contact everyone booked into the safe setting before 8.30am on the day of closure. 

 

Published on 22 January 2021
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Christmas Closure Dates

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful festive break

The 3 LS Research Support Units winter closure details are as follows:

  • CeLSIUS – closes at 5.30pm on Fri 18 Dec, reopening on Mon 4 Jan
  • SLS-DSU –  closes at 4pm on Thur 17 Dec to Safe Setting users and 4pm on Fri 18 Dec for staff.  Staff resume on Tues 5 Jan to check servers etc, reopening to Safe Setting users on Wed 6 Jan
  • NILS-RSU –  please see www.nils-rsu.co.uk/covid-19-update

Published on 17 December 2020
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SLS-DSU & Safe Setting is Open

We are delighted to announce the SLS-DSU and Safe Setting is open. Due to social distancing restrictions we are working with minimal staff in Ladywell House and we are restricted to two researchers in the Safe Setting at any one time.  We are giving priority to projects with imminent deadlines so are not yet able to offer access for new project extracts or extracts for project extensions.  For further advice and booking contact Lynne.Forrest@ed.ac.uk or SLS NRS Project Manager Greg.Blackadder@nrscotland.gov.uk

Published on 28 October 2020
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Come and work for us at the SLS!

Are you interested in helping lead the management and development of a highly innovative research database and supporting its research use? Then you should come and work for us!

The Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) has an exciting job opportunity to work as a Technical Data Support Officer (fixed-term 5 year position). The successful candidate will become a key team member at the Longitudinal Studies Centre Scotland (LSCS – www.lscs.ac.uk) working closely with the Scottish Government and the National Records of Scotland. The LSCS provides a data support service for researchers using the Scottish Longitudinal Study and this post will create and maintain databases, extract and link datasets, and support external researchers. With colleagues it will assist in providing technical support for all aspects of the process of delivering data to researchers and their projects. It will also develop and apply creative solutions to complex problems including ensuring adherence to data privacy guidelines and application of statistical disclosure control rules. The successful candidate will take a leading role in the curation, development and research use of other LSCS longitudinal datasets.

We are looking for someone with excellent problem solving and communications skills, a commitment to improving the SLS user service and ensuring database systems are designed and running efficiently. Self-learning and personal professional development form an essential part of this role, but in-house training will also be provided. This is an excellent opportunity if you are looking to further a career as a database developer and data support officer.

Deadline for application is: 7th October 2020.

For enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews, please contact either Lee Williamson (lee.williamson@ed.ac.uk), Chris Dibben (chris.dibben@ed.ac.uk) or Tom Clemens (tom.clemens@ed.ac.uk).

For more information, please visit: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CBN647/technical-data-support-officer-on-scottish-longitudinal-study-sls

For more details about key criteria and skills required for the position and to apply, please visit: https://www.vacancies.ed.ac.uk/pls/corehrrecruit/erq_jobspec_version_4.jobspec?p_id=053153

Published on 22 September 2020
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Update from the SLS-DSU

It will probably come as no surprise that we are still unable to reopen the SLS-DSU & Safe Setting at Ladywell House. Staff are working from home but do not have remote access to data.

We have been developing methods of working and a data approach in case of a partial lifting of ‘social distancing.’ We will be sending out more details in due course but in essence this will focus on, for those that can, the use of synthetic data with short periods of Safe Setting access. Your individual SLS Support Officers can explain in more detail but this will rely on you setting up your favoured dataset ready for ‘rough and ready’ synthetic data production. The synthetic data can then be analysed away from the Safe Setting, with a finalisation of models run in the Safe Setting.

Please do contact us to discuss existing projects and to develop new SLS project ideas. We are also taking this opportunity to work on extensions to the SLS, including regional remote access, so that when we are fully up and running, we will be able to offer more to our users.

We continue to monitor the situation and take advice from the University of Edinburgh and NRS.  We will email our researchers when we know more.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Published on 21 May 2020
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Temporary Closure of SLS-DSU & Safe Setting

Unfortunately there will be a disruption to the service provided by the SLS-DSU due to COVID-19.  Following the most recent announcement from the UK Government and advice from our employing organisations, we unfortunately will have to close the Safe Setting for an initial period of two weeks.   This will be reviewed during this period and a decision made whether this period of closure will have to be extended.

From 18th March the Safe Setting will be closed and the SLS team will be working from home.  The team and your Support Officers will still be contactable via email so please do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep researchers up to date by email as and when guidance changes, taking advice from the University of Edinburgh and NRS. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Published on 17 March 2020
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SLS-DSU Office Relocation & Temporary Safe Setting Closure

We hope you are having a great start to 2020.

The SLS-DSU has some exciting news to share…

We are moving to a new office space in Ladywell House with a larger Safe Setting!  The downside is that unfortunately the Safe Setting will be closed to allow the move to take place, for a period of 2 weeks from 30th January, re-opening on 17th February.  As such, the last day for booking the Safe Setting will be Wednesday 29th January.

The SLS-DSU will remain on the ground floor of Ladywell House but as of 17th February, we will be co-located with the Centre for Population Change in 1/G/11.  The new Safe Setting will be larger accommodating 8 pcs and adjoining the SLS-DSU.  There will also be an IT upgrade with new equipment.  This will require a different logon process that we will take you through on your first visit but otherwise everything should be business as usual.

We plan to support all of the current main software packages on the new system (Microsoft Office, SPSS, Stata, R etc) however if you use a specialist piece of software please contact your SLS Support Officer ahead of your next Safe Setting visit to ensure it will still be offered as standard.

We apologise for any inconvenience.  We had hoped to provide more notice but the timescale is outwith our control.  We look forward to welcoming you into the new SLS-DSU on 17th February.

 

Published on 15 January 2020
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Webinar: Investigating religion in the UK – what data can I use?

Tuesday 26th November 15:00 – 16:00

This free webinar, jointly organised by Understanding Society, CeLSIUS, the SLS-DSU is designed for anyone who would like to know more about sources of survey data available for investigating religion in the UK.

Dr Yassine Khoudja, Goethe University Frankfurt, will talk about the data on religion that is available via Understanding Society and other useful data sources such as survey data for exploring religion in the UK.

This will be followed by talks about the decennial censuses which have included optional questions on religion since 2001 (and for a longer period in Northern Ireland). Dr Aly Sizer, UCL, and Dr Lee Williamson, University of Edinburgh, will present on the ONS Longitudinal Study and the Scottish Longitudinal Study respectively, explaining:

  • what questions were asked, and what data they have produced
  • how researchers can use and access the data
  • how religion changes over time for individuals, and other areas that researchers have studied

The webinar will consist of 45 minutes of presentations and 15 minutes for questions.

The webinar is suitable for both new and experienced researchers but please note that the census data discussed in the second part of the webinar are accessed via a safe room and are only available to researchers based in the UK.

If you have any queries or require further information about this event, please contact Dr Aly Sizer a.sizer.11@ucl.ac.uk

BOOKING

Or access via the CLOSER website

Other webinars in the series

This webinar is one of a series of webinars about data available for research: “ESRC data resources: Discovering data and how to use them”. Each webinar focuses on a different research topic:

Recordings from the webinar series run in March and April 2019 about data for research on Journey to work; Ethnicity and migration; Obesity; and Education can be found on the UK Data Service and CLS web pages.

ESRC data resources collaboration

The webinar series is the result of a collaboration between a number of ESRC-funded resource centres working together to promote the value and use of social science data.

The collaboration is made up of several organisations, including: CeLSIUS, NILS_RSU, SLS-DSU, CLOSER, Understanding Society, the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), AQMeN, the UK Data Service, the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM), and the three ESRC-funded big data centres; the Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC), ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLG) and Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC).

Published on 14 November 2019
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Training: introduction to using administrative data for social and health research

Edinburgh, Monday 2 December – Thursday 5 December (with optional ONS Safe Researcher training on Friday 6 December)

Interested in using linked administrative data in your research but don’t know what data is out there, how to access it, or if you have the skills needed? If you are a social or health researcher with experience of analysing survey data, or if you already work with administrative data but want to analyse multiple datasets linked together, this course is for you.

The course (run jointly by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research and the Scottish Longitudinal Study Development and Support Unit) will give an introduction to administrative data, describing what it is, as well as some of the particular problems in working with this type of data and how to deal with them. Theoretical sessions will be backed up by hands-on practical sessions: using R or Stata to write syntax to tidy, clean and recode data; link datasets; manipulate data; conduct data visualisation; identify data quality issues; and fit regression models. Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) synthetic data will be used in the practical exercise.

Course participants who expect to access data shortly can also elect to attend free ONS Safe Researcher Training on 6th December.

 

·         Cost: £350 for students, £500 for others.

·         Apply: To apply to attend, complete the application form by 6 November.

 

Further information and booking:

Visit the course page for details and to apply, or email scadr@ed.ac.uk with any queries.

https://www.scadr.ac.uk/

Published on 15 October 2019
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Population fact or fake news: You Decide!

4th November 2019, New Register House (The Dome), 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT

In an age of fake news, can you tell population fact from fiction? What is the average age of the population? What proportion are immigrants? How many people live with an illness or disability?

Join social science experts from the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) and the Usher Institute and test yourself with an interactive smartphone and tablet based quiz featuring real-time live results and interactive discussion.

Showcasing the importance of accurate and rigorous statistical data this event will highlight our own mis-perceptions and biases and help you figure out fact from fiction!

Note: audience members will need to bring an internet enabled device (e.g. smartphone/ tablet/ laptop) in order to participate in the interactive elements of the event.

The event is open to the public.

Entry is FREE.

Event time:  14:00 – 16:00

Booking via Eventbrite

Email: sls@lscs.ac.uk

Published on 15 October 2019
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