DataSHIELD Advisory Board invitation (closing date 30th September 2020)

Dear DataSHIELD colleagues,

Re: Expressions of Interest sought for membership of the 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, ethico-legal, 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 has introduced the need to convene a DataSHIELD Advisory Board (DAB) to help steer the future evolution and governance of the project.


The adoption of this new governance model will empower the broader DataSHIELD community and will help strengthen the project’s strategic planning, decision making, development and user support functions, as well as ensuring that the governance structure is scalable as the numbers of DataSHIELD adopters grow. With DataSHIELD’s move from small research project to an open-source community, achieving funding sustainability will be a key area of consideration for the DAB.

In addition, its wider remit would 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.

With regard to time commitment, we would not expect this to be onerous. At the outset, 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, 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.


We are extremely fortunate to have secured Dr Andrei Morgan in place as Chair to the Board. Andrei is a practising medical doctor: paediatrician/neonatologist and an epidemiologist. He has extensive experience of collaborating with the DataSHIELD project through his research at INSERM, Paris. Andrei is both incisive and insightful, and we are delighted to have his leadership on the Board.

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 to by the end of September.

Best wishes,

Elaine Smith, on behalf of

The DataSHIELD Team

14th September 2020