Call for Applicants - DataSHIELD Advisory Board


DataSHIELD provides open-source software and infrastructure for the remote or distributed analysis of biomedical, health and social-science data. Its automated disclosure controls facilitate the privacy preserving analysis of individual-level data when their sharing would otherwise be constrained or prohibited due to e.g. data size, commercial sensitivity, ethical-legal concerns, governance, intellectual property or other concerns.

Since 2013, DataSHIELD has grown from a standalone software package, focused on tabular health data, to a multi-faceted framework enabling analysis of disparate data types across international boundaries. The transition from small software project (researchers supporting other researchers), to a larger community introduced the need to convene a DataSHIELD Advisory Board (DAB) which helped steer the evolution and governance of the project: in 2022, a new constitution was agreed by the community and a Steering Committee and more formalised organisational structure was introduced. After a period of hiatus, we are resuming the work of the DAB and would like to bring in new members who can contribute to the DataSHIELD Project.


The DataSHIELD Advisory Board occupies a key role within the new governance structure of the DataSHIELD project, by providing guidance, feedback, and expert input into the work of the Steering Committee. The DAB has contributed extensively to the development of the governance structure of DataSHIELD including developing the Constitution for the project and initial drafts of other core documents such as the Code of Conduct.

In addition, the wider remit of the DAB could include bridging disciplines and promoting our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.


The board will act in an advisory capacity to help steer the future direction of the DataSHIELD project both strategically and operationally.

We plan to convene a meeting once every 3 months (with ‘extraordinary meetings’ if and when required), with the majority of meetings being on-line.

Who we are looking for

We welcome interest from all sectors of the DataSHIELD community (including those who are not directly using DataSHIELD but who have expertise in the domain of federated analytic software), regardless of expertise or experience. We value enthusiasm and ideas, envisaging a board with a diverse pan-disciplinary membership, all willing to listen, challenge, and share ideas and knowledge.

Benefits to you as a member of the DAB

Early sight of and input into the future development of DataSHIELD.

Opportunity to help guide your own project needs.

Experience of co-ordinating an international project collaboration.


The chair of the DAB will be Dr. Simon Parker, who is based at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). His background is in data protection, the disclosure control of research outputs, and the implications of data protection law in a research context. Simon has been involved in the DAB from its inception.

How to express your interest

This is an exciting time in the evolution of the DataSHIELD project and we look forward to hearing from you. Please email expressions of interest including a short (half to one page) summary of why you are interested in being involved and an indication of what you might bring to the Board to by February 16th 2024. We would like to hold the first meeting of the new board in March 2024.