Research Data Service

What is Data Safe Haven?

Overview of features and access requirements

Data Safe Haven (DSH) is a controlled and secured service environment for undertaking research using sensitive data (personal, sensitive-personal, or confidential).

The service provides robust controls and safeguards to enable the secure transfer of sensitive data into a highly secure environment where it can be stored, manipulated and analysed by approved members of a research team.

Why should I use it?

  • To access, and work with sensitive data that requires a high degree of security
  • To allow researchers to work together on a project involving sensitive data
  • To meet your data provider requirements to use a secure platform

The service provides:

  • A virtual desktop environment built to your project-specific needs

  • Technical and operational procedures to safeguard the security of sensitive data

  • Access restricted to authorised team members

  • 2-factor authentication

  • End to end encryption

  • Up to 5 Terabytes of data storage

  • 1 CPU 8Gb RAM virtual computer environment

  • Key data analysis tools and packages (e.g. SPSS, MatLab)

Who can use the service?

  • University of Edinburgh staff
  • University of Edinburgh postgraduate students associated with a research project
  • Visitors associated with a University research project with an Ease login
  • Collaborators associated with a University research project with an Ease login 
  • All users must be located on the University network


  • There is flat rate for building a standard DSH environment
  • Additional costs will be added for anything not included in the standard build
  • DSH operates on a cost recovery basis and you should include the cost in your grant applications
  • Contact the DSH team as early as possible for your project cost estimates

We can set up a demo environment for researchers on request to explore the use of the DSH for their projects. If you need further information, please contact the RDS Team via

Further information

Please see our Overview for Users document for detailed information on the DSH