UK TRE Community meeting - March 2024#


Thursday 14th March 2024


09:30 - 13:00





​​The UK TRE Community is a community of over 200 people that has grown organically over the last year for anyone interested in TREs, including researchers, operators, information governors, managers and more, from all sectors and disciplines.

​​The core aims of fostering collaboration and sharing of innovative ideas to support the delivery of groundbreaking research with sensitive data have resonated across the UK and beyond.

​​The community has a website, an active mailing list and Slack channel, and working groups tackling shared problems. We also run quarterly events like this for the community to come together, discuss ideas and problems within the TRE space and work collaboratively together on possible solutions and ways forward!



Agenda Item

09:30 - 09:45

Welcome and intro

09:45 - 10:30

Keynote + discussion

10:30 - 10:45

Community updates

10:45 - 10:55


10:55 - 11:00

Intro to breakout session 1

11:00 - 11:45

Breakout session 1 (see below)

11:45 - 11:55


11:55 - 12:00

Intro to breakout session 2

12:00 - 12:45

Breakout session 2 (see below)

12:45 - 13:00

Wrap up


Dr Chris Russell, Head of NHS Research SDE Network: Data for R&D. Please see here for a recording of this session.

Community updates#

Launch of the Researcher Access Service at Research Data Scotland in Spring 2024#

Katie Oldfield

The service is a streamlined pathway for data professionals. It digitises the process for the first time, making it simpler to apply to access Scottish Public Sector data for research.

Initially launching with 9 datasets

Scottish Safe Haven Charter Refresh#

Katie Oldfield

Scottish Safe Haves are refreshing the charter to reflect advances in Scotland and across the UK

Public Engagement Fund Completed#

Katie Oldfield

We funded eight projects across Scotland to carry out public engagement activities around data. Their findings, summaries and contact details are available online for more info

DARE federated architecture blueprint v. 2.0 out soon#

Rob Baxter

The DARE UK federated architecture blueprint 2.0 incorporates some new architectural elements identified and developed through the 2023 Driver Project programme

Working Groups#

Citizen Agency Working group#

Pete Barnsley

The UK TRE Working Group on Citizen Agency has recently developed a draft scope and output report framework available here.

It was recognised that citizens could have much more involvement in research and this would be a good thing. How it relates to Information Governance and data release processes is a key area.

It would be very useful if everyone read the initial reports from January.
Input to the proposed Discussion Document is particularly welcome - ideas on services that both citizen and researcher may want and views on the Information Governance implications and impacts on federation approaches.

Extending control Working Group#

Pete Barnsley

The UK TRE Working Group on Extending Control has recently developed a draft scope and output report framework available here.

It was generally recognised this is a key area, how Information Governance can be extended by technology, but views on how and the extent to which they differ are varied.

It would be very useful if everyone read the initial reports from January, and shared views on issuing a “Request for Input”.

This process would collect solutions, or components to one, and ideas on how extending control can be implemented.
Also it would be helpful to have thought about the constituencies that should be approached and how to do that.

SATRE Working group#

Chris Cole

We had a successful meeting on 27th Feb where several topics around implementation, evaluation and accreditation were discussed which we’re in the process of bringing together and reporting on.

Breakout sessions#

Breakout rooms were a mixture of workshops (more structured sessions designed around a particular problem area, focused on moving towards an output), demos (e.g. of commercial TRE tools/solutions), discussions (less structured sessions to explore general areas of interest within the UK TRE space), as well as open rooms to have general discussions.

There were two sessions on the day of 45 minutes each.

Summaries of the discussion held as well as the raw notes taken on the day are available on the links below.

Session 1#

Session 2#

Breakout Session 1, Room 2: Glossary working group scoping#

Breakout Session 1, Room 3: Recognising, and implementing, the GDPR and Data Protection Act provisions for scientific research in Scotland’s Research Access Service#

Breakout Session 1, Room 4: UK TRE Community Governance and progress#

Complete notes taken during the session: Room 4UK TRE Community Governance and progress - Discussion

Next steps

Breakout Session 2, Room 2: Researcher verification in line with Safe People principle#

Summary The discussion revolved around work being led out of HDR UK on a Researcher Registry/”passport” system aimed at facilitating access to Safe Data Environments (SDEs) and Trusted Research Environments (TREs) by verifying researchers. Key points touched upon the registry’s validity period, the importance of a digital identifier aligned with existing digital identity frameworks (like DSIT’s digital identities work), and the registry serving as a “living ledger” of a researcher’s identity, credentials, experience, and affiliations. The potential use of blockchain technology was discussed for maintaining a balance between immutable and mutable information to provide a comprehensive view of researchers’ accreditations.

Challenges and considerations included aligning accreditation meanings across different organizations, integrating information from external systems like ORCHID and IRAS for ethics verification, and the responsibility of TREs to make final access decisions based on registry data. The registry aims to streamline the vetting process by compiling information from various systems into a common model, thereby assisting TREs in making informed decisions regarding data access. The conversation also highlighted the necessity of including project ethics and permissions in the vetting criteria and discussed the logistics of maintaining the registry’s accuracy and currency, emphasizing the collaborative role of researchers and organizations in keeping their information up to date.

Next steps

  • Slides and break out notes to be circulated following the meeting.

  • Interested in working with us to provide requirements and/or test a researcher passport solution? Please contact

Breakout Session 2, Room 3: TRE at King’s: Deployment & Egress Simulation#

Breakout Session 2, Room 4: Trenity demo - an in house tool for managing users, projects and file transfers in TREs#

Breakout Session 2, Room 5: UK TRE Community Governance and progress#

Summary The DARE UK grant for the Community Management group (concluding end March 2024) included development of a more user-friendly resource hub to replace the existing ReadTheDocs website, using Hugo for cost-effective, low-maintenance web development. This hub will feature sections for governance documents, resources, working groups (with a requirement for at least one open meeting), a comprehensive events calendar, and opportunities for community involvement. Additionally, the governance documentation of the community is now developed and open for review and input through an open project board on GitHub. Concerns have been raised about ensuring broader community engagement beyond GitHub for (final) community group output endorsement, highlighting the need for transparent objection handling and decision-making, as well as logging conflicts of interest during any community voting processes.

Next steps

  • Generate 1-pager, with instructions on how to submit an event, instructions on how to submit a community resoruce etc. Could be useful to share with comms teams from different orgs (comms people don’t generally come to UK TRE meetings but will be better across events/resources that might be of interest)

  • Add submission link (Google form) to