Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit



SLS-DSU closed on Monday 20th September 2021

Ladywell House will be closed on 20/09/21 for one day.  SLS-DSU staff are still contactable by email.  Safe Setting will reopen on Tuesday 21st September for pre-booked researchers.  Apologies for the inconvenience.

Published on 13 September 2021
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New Blogs & Podcast

See 3 new blogs around ONS LS and the 2021 Census.

Listen to the CeLSIUS podcast about research using the ONS LS –  Stronger Towns: have the funds been allocated fairly?

Published on 11 May 2021
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Easter Closure Dates

Happy Easter to all our service users.  The SLS-DSU & Safe Setting will be closed on Good Friday (02/04/21) and Easter Monday (05/04/21).

Published on 31 March 2021
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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

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 or SLS NRS Project Manager

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 – 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 (, Chris Dibben ( or Tom Clemens (

For more information, please visit:

For more details about key criteria and skills required for the position and to apply, please visit:

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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