Press release

Researchers to work with people who use drugs on data use film

Published on 17 March 2023

University of Dundee researchers will work with people who use drugs to create a short film that aims to inform their peers about how their data is used in research

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‘My Data – an animated film’ is one of nine projects to receive funding from Research Data Scotland (RDS) to support public engagement in data research. 

The project team will carry out focus groups with people who use drugs to explore perceptions of the use of administrative data in research. Follow-up workshops will be carried out to produce a stop-motion animation and resources to be shared through the wider community. 

The funding of almost £10,000 comes from RDS’s Public Engagement Fund, which supports projects in Scotland that engage with people on data research, empowering them to discover how their data is used and to have a voice in data science. 

Dr Louise Marryat, Project co-lead from Dundee’s School of Health Sciences, said, "As researchers we are increasingly using administrative data on the service usage and outcomes of people who use drugs. This helps us understand more about how we can better support people and improve outcomes, including reducing drug-related deaths.  

“However, we know little about how people who use drugs feel about us using their data. This project will work with people who use drugs to find out more about their views about their administrative data being used. We will also work together to create a short animated film to inform others about the use of these data for research purposes.” 

Announced in January 2023, the Public Engagement fund aims to: 

  • Promote the public understanding of data research in Scotland 
  • Provide balanced information on data research 
  • Widen participation by involving and engaging members of the public who may not usually interact with science to take an interest and have a voice in data science 
  • Achieve clear and measurable impact 

Katie Oldfield, RDS Public Engagement Manager, said: “We were delighted with the response to our Public Engagement Fund and are excited to be funding these nine projects. Innovative public engagement is key to empowering the public to have a voice in how their data is used, and each of these projects will reach audiences across Scotland and engage the public in varied and creative ways.” 


Hannah Adams

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 385131