Integrated Research Campus

Integrated Research Campus

LIDA is underpinned by an enabling technology platform, the Integrated Research Campus (IRC). The IRC is an advanced computational infrastructure that is highly secure and scalable, to meet the needs of data-intensive research using personal and sensitive data securely.  Following a process of external independent assessment, the IRC has attained accredited certification to the international standard for information security management, ISO/IEC 27001:2013.  Alongside its work to align to the ISO standard, the IRC has worked towards compliance with information governance requirements set by NHS Digital and the Department of Health.  This process is better known as the NHS IG Toolkit.  The IRC’s information security management system has been reviewed up to the minimum ‘level 2’ and is deemed satisfactory.  This  means that the IRC meets the requirements to store health data shared by NHS Digital, Public Health England and other NHS or social care organisations.

IRC Data Services Team

The IRC platform is supported by an IT team of data-focussed analysts and developers, the IRC Data Services Team. Managed in collaboration with University IT Services, but firmly embedded in LIDA, this team is a key part of our collaborative vision for LIDA, providing shared services and working with partners across the institution and the city.

The IRC Data Services Team has a mix of skills in systems and database administration, data management, software engineering, data analysis and “data science” and supports researchers in all stages of the data-intensive research lifecycle.

The team also have information governance expertise, and are responsible for information security and classification, risk assessment and ensuring compliance with policy.

The IRC Data Services Team are members of the Farr-ADRN-MBC Infrastructure and NHS-HE Information Governance working groups.

IRC Platform

The IRC platform provides a secure Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for each research project. Each VRE is a private cloud with some shared underpinning services. A key design feature of the platform is the separation of each VRE to prevent data from leaking between projects.

The IRC platform is an isolated “walled-garden” environment, with data entering and leaving via an “airlock” where disclosure control and information classification can take place in a controlled manner by the IRC Data Services Team.

Each VRE is loaded with the software tools preferred by the researcher and has access to the data for that project. The researcher is able to log onto this virtual desktop and carry out their analytics using the tools familiar to them, safe in the knowledge that the data never leave the data centre and are safely backed up.

High Performance Computing Facilities

When the VRE doesn’t provide enough power, suitably anonymised data can be transferred to one of the many high performance compute (HPC) clusters available in Leeds – Arc1, Arc2, Arc3, N8 Polaris, Farr SGI or the dedicated MBC HPC.

IRC Information Security Management System (ISMS)

The IRC Information Security Management System (ISMS) sets the procedures for protection in line with the University of Leeds  Information Protection Policy. Through the IRC ISMS the University of Leeds commits to protect the security of information and information systems handled by the IRC.

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