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Hot Desk Facility

TILDA Hotdesk Application Form

Visual Guide for the Hotdesk Application Process

Application Process - TILDA Hotdesk:

  1. Complete the Hotdesk application form and return it to Please ensure the form is fully completed or it will have to be returned to you. If you have any queries on completing the form, please email us.
  2. Applications are reviewed once every two weeks by the TILDA Data Access Committee. The review outcomes are:.
  3. The TILDA data access committee meet once every two weeks and will review the application to consider if the TILDA has the data required for the project or if any additional detail is required.
    • Return for review: Where the committee finds the project is requesting data that is not available through the hotdesk, the applicant will be informed and an alternative option suggested (e.g. collaboration on project, or adjust the research question). The project may be approved once conditions are agreed to with an updated application rather than a new submission.
    • Rejected: Where the committee has concerns over the feasibility of the project, the application will be rejected. Reasons will be relayed to the applicant who may opt to submit a new application.
    • Approved: The applicant will be informed that their application has been successful and what the next steps to access the hotdesk are.
  4. To note: All persons who wish to use the hotdesk system must be named on the application and complete the steps listed once an application is approved. This includes supervisors, statisticians, collaborators etc.

Application Process – Data Access Fees

  1. Where data access fees are available to the applicant:
  2. Where an applicant is planning a grant application, or has budget available, we ask to include a data access fee. This charge is at €10,000 per annum pro rata. The fee enables TILDA to offset the cost of operating the hotdesk to support continued access to the data including data processing, linkage, end user training, usage monitoring, and output file review.

  3. Where data access fees are not available:
  4. Applicants who do not have available budget, or wish to submit a grant application to use the hotdesks but do not have budget within that funding envelope, the applicant is permitted to access the hotdesks without any barriers or delays.

Application Approved – TILDA Hotdesk

  1. The applicant will be informed that their application was approved and they can access TILDA data using the hotdesk system.
  2. The applicant must submit proof of GDPR training from their own Institution.
  3. The applicant must complete TILDA data training with TILDA data team.
  4. The applicant must review and sign the TILDA hotdesk handbook which state the terms and conditions of using the hotdesk.
  5. When these steps are completed, a hotdesk account will be set up for the user and details of the online hotdesk booking system will be shared
  6. Applicants should be aware that TILDA do not provide statistical training for using the hotdesk. Hotdesk users should be have competency before accessing and any queries about the data itself can be relayed to their TILDA collaborator.
  7. The applicant can now book a hotdesk computer twice a week for the duration of their hotdesk approval time (6 months). If more time for the project is needed, an extension request can be submitted.
  8. If the applicant is already working with someone who is familiar with TILDA, they can be named as their TILDA collaborator. If not, TILDA will suggest a collaborator who is familiar with the area of research or data being used. The collaborator is there to advise the applicant however the collaborator is not a supervisory or training role.
  9. Applicant and collaborator should make themselves familiar with the collaborator responsibilities as per the Hotdesk Manual.
  10. Applicants should be aware that TILDA do not provide statistical training for using the hotdesk. Hotdesk users should be have competency before accessing and any queries about the data itself can be relayed to their TILDA collaborator.

What is available on the hotdesk?

  • Pseudonymised TILDA Waves 1 – 5 and the TILDA COVID-SCQ are available as part of the standard application for the TILDA hotdesk system. This includes CAPI, SCQ and health assessment data (Waves 1 / 3 only at present). Applicants must state which waves and which modules within these waves they want to access. Wave 6 will be processed and available in 2025.
  • Any additional TILDA data not listed on the standard application that is required such as MRI data, biomarkers, spatial data, can be requested and should be detailed on the application form.
  • The datasets made available are constructed to meet the requirements set out in your application form. Each TILDA Hotdesk dataset is bespoke to meet the project requirements while adhering to data minimisation. You should be sure to only request the data you need for your project. If you have not clearly requested specific data, you will not have access to this. Please ensure your application is as complete as possible to avoid any delays as adding any additional data will take time.
  • Any request for additional data requires submission of a hotdesk project amendment form.

The hotdesk system

The hotdesks are heavily restricted desktop PCs running Windows 10. These are physically located in the TILDA offices in Trinity Central and can currently only be accessed in person.

The hotdesks will have a user account set up for you with the dataset(s) you requested and a pre-approved software suite, including Word, Excel, Stata, SPSS, R and QGis. All other software is restricted on the computer.

If you need access to other software (e.g. SAS), this can be installed but licences must be provided by the user. Software will be tested in advance by the IT Data Manager to ensure it creates no system vulnerabilities.

Access to allow external transfers are restricted. You cannot use any internet browser, email software, cloud storage, or external media such as USB keys. If you need files transferred to the hotdesk (such as code files), these should be sent to to review and add to your account in advance of your session.

You cannot transfer any files outside of the system. Any files you need sent to you, such as output, code, documents, must be left in your results folder. These are reviewed at the end of each week and emailed to you once confirmed no identifiable data is included.

Files that can be sent include output with aggregated descriptives, model results, graphs, write ups, and code.

Files that will not be sent include disaggregated results, datasets, results referring to single data points, results which are sensitive and potentially identifiable (be conscious of low cell counts coupled with demographic information), and any file that contains a TILDA serial (the unique TILDA ID number).

If a file is included in your results folder that cannot be sent, it will be flagged with you and excluded from the output. The file will not be edited by the TILDA team to make it acceptable for sending so please be careful with what you include as you may be delayed in getting results you need.

If any file contains data that is not approved for release, considered to be too sensitive, or restricted files are repeatedly included in your results folder, you will need to undergo training again and access may be withdrawn if the user continues to save inappropriate files. If you are unsure about data included in your output files, contact the email and we can check in advance.

User accounts / Project accounts

Most accounts are limited to one user and access is restricted to that user only. You cannot view other hotdesk user accounts.

If you are working on a collaboration with another hotdesk user, there are two options for collaboration:

  • The application form can include multiple applicants, all can undergo the required training, and the account can be set up as a project account where multiple applicants can use the same user account and access the same bespoke dataset(s).
  • If you are working with others who have their own user account and need to share files, you can contact with the request that these be added to each respective account, once reviewed.

If the requirements of the TILDA hotdesk do not meet your research needs, please email to discuss