Submit a data request online form

How to apply for data

To apply for data you must submit the data application form

Please make sure that you have read and understood the requirements below before submitting the request, otherwise your request will not be considered and will be returned to you.

You will be required to upload some or all supporting documentation as outlined below depending on the organisation you are working for, so please make sure that you have read the relevant sections below before starting your application:

  1. Protocol, clearly outlining the purpose of the data and how it will be used. The purpose of the requested data must be clearly defined, to make sure that your protocol is fit for purpose, please use the protocol checklist. You can see a protocol example here.
  2. Proof of ethical approval - if Ethical approval is not required, please run the study through the Health Research Authority (HRA) Medical Research Council (MRC) decision tool: and upload a pdf document of the result as a proof
  3. Clearly defined list of variables please do not use any abbreviations of the medical terms and be as specific as possible (do not say “respiratory conditions”, but specify which respiratory conditions you are interested in). See an example here

Collaborative applications

Academics and other researchers not experienced in working with RCGP RSC data are recommended to make their initial application a collaborative one, including one or more Oxford/RCGP RSC team members as co-applicants. RCGP RSC is looking to create long term collaborations with other academic institutions. Over time a cadre of researchers will become familiar with RCGP RSC data, how to process it effectively, and will work largely independently of RCGP RSC.  Information governance process must be followed.

Applications from Public Health England (PHE)

For any projects outside the existing contract between PHE and RCGP RSC, a protocol needs to be submitted together with well-defined purpose of the request (Research, QI or Surveillance) and a list of the variables required.

Applications from academic researchers with competitive peer-review funding

It is compulsory to submit a protocol, clearly defined dataset requirements and proof of Ethical approval.

The data extraction will be completed by the RCGP RSC data team to meet research needs. As data is pseudonymised patient level data, all the research would need to be conducted within the University of Surrey secure network.

Commercial and any other applications

For an other applications, the protocol and purpose of the data would need to be well defined and Ethics approval in place. If unsure, please run through the HRA decision tool and provide a pdf documents with the decision:

Where funding for a project is not obtained through competitive peer review, the full protocol needs to be published in an open access Medline-listed journal

We anticipate that the University of Surrey researchers will be included in the authorship and in the acknowledgments. Please note that it is possible that the researcher included in the protocol may not be the same one producing the data.

Reporting of the findings

  1. Applicants should submit a copy of all peer-reviewed publications based on RCGP RSC data to RCGP RSC prior to final publication.
  2. Researchers should not conduct studies beyond the purpose for which permission was obtained. The RCGP RSC reserves the right to audit the concordance between approved study protocols and published research.

Approval process

All RCGP RSC data requests are approved in line with RCGP policies. New requests are assigned a reference number and reviewed at the monthly RCGP RSC Operational meeting, which takes place the fourth Wednesday of each month.

Researchers are informed of the outcome within 2 weeks after the RCGP RSC Operational meeting.


Applicants will be responsible for any costs associated with data extraction and other aspects of collaboration. Costs are kept to a minimum and are covering the following:

  1. RCGP RSC Staff time – to extract and clean the data and to complete the request.

    Depending on the research needs, these may also include support with building the required code lists and time to recruit and train and manage general practices as needed.

  2. RCGP RSC Practice Development Fund - contribution is included to develop benefits and data quality in member practices. Broadly 10% of the value of contracts is reinvested into member practices.
  3. Practice payments - for studies requiring active participation of General Practices, a contribution to cover practice staff members’ time and expenses will be expected.This is set broadly in line with National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) levels of charges for practice time.
  4. Costs are calculated based on the complexity of the individual requests and estimates cannot be provided until sufficient information is submitted.


All publications using RSC data must

  • Include the standard method and use the data source (RCGP RSC) in the abstract
  • Include the following standard acknowledgement:


Patients for allowing their data to be used for surveillance and research. Practices who have agreed to be part of the Oxford RCGP RSC and allow us to extract and used health data for surveillance and research. [named person / people] from RCGP and [named person / people] from University of Surrey. Apollo Medical Systems for data extraction. Collaboration with EMIS, TPP, In-Practice and Micro-test CMR supplier for facilitating data extraction. Colleagues at Public Health England.

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