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Privacy for research – Bath Spa University

How we process your data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation and associated data protection legislation.

Privacy statement

The Bath Spa University Research Support Office is committed to making sure that our communications with you are secure, considered and welcome. We take the privacy and data security of our staff, students and other individuals and organisations engaging in collaborative projects and activities with the University very seriously. We promise to respect any personal data you share with us, to keep it safe and not do anything with it that you would not reasonably expect.

Read more Privacy information.

The purpose of this notice is to give you a clear explanation about how RSO collects and uses the personal information we hold. This policy was developed in May 2018 to ensure that transparency is at the core of what we do. This policy will be regularly reviewed. All personal data is held and processed in-line with the General Data Protection Regulation and associated data protection law, as amended.

Who we are and what we do

The Research Support Office works across the University to support research activities and research development that support the University’s research strategy. This includes: 

  • Providing administrative support for the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Identifying and accessing funding sources for the University's research activities
  • Supporting the bidding process (including all budgeting and financial elements)
  • Post-award administration
  • Supporting the University's Knowledge Transfer and Knowledge Exchange activities (including consultancy on behalf of the University) and the KEF
  • Academic Research Staff Development
  • Policies and procedures relating to Research Ethics and Integrity.

What information we collect

Personal information may include:

  • For REF - biographical information consisting of your HESA number, ORCID number, title, name, gender, date of birth and employment dates at Bath Spa University.
  • For external bids and awards - biographical information consisting of your title, name and employment dates at Bath Spa University. Some funders may also require Equality and Diversity information to be submitted as part of the application process.
  • For Knowledge Transfer/ Exchange and consultancy activities - biographical information consisting of your title, name and employment dates at Bath Spa University. Some tender agencies may also require Equality and Diversity information to be submitted as part of the application process.
  • For Academic Research Staff development - biographical information consisting of your title, name, gender, date of birth and employment dates and department/ field at Bath Spa University.
  • For Research Ethics and Integrity - biographical information consisting of your title, name and department/ field at Bath Spa University.
  • We may also collect your contact details, including work email addresses, telephone numbers, web addresses and social media links related to your research and enterprise activities, plus education history from your time at Bath Spa University and from other institutions you have attended.
  • Details collected for Research and Consultancy bids may also include your employment details, employment history, and your professional activities and biographies.
  • For REF purposes we may also collect media articles about you and other metric and altmetrics data relating to the impact of your research.

The Research Support Office also collects the following kinds of personal data:

  • Contact details for key contacts of external research collaborators
  • Contact details for key contacts at other relevant cultural and creative partners
  • Notes of meetings relating to Research Strategy across the university
  • Records of email correspondence and other communications between individuals and the RSO team
  • Records of attendance at RSO events
  • Photographs and audio/video recordings from RSO activities or events
  • We may also collect support information, if disclosed to us (e.g. relating to health conditions or nutritional requirements) which will only be held if it has been provided by you for a specific purpose (e.g. to participate in a summer school activity or to attend a catered event)

Please note that we do not collect or store:

  • Credit/debit card details
  • "Special Category" data as defined under the terms of GDPR, such as racial/ ethnic origin, political beliefs, religious/ similar beliefs, Trade Union membership, sexual orientation, commission or alleged commission of an offence and any proceedings such as a court sentence. The only exceptions to this relate to support information relating to health conditions or nutritional requirements that may be disclosed to us for a specific purpose or for equality and diversity information required as part of a research grant application.

Any personal data stored in our database is held on a secure network drive, with access restricted to authorised personnel only.

How we collect information

We update our records when you contact Research Support Office, register for RSO events or activities, apply for RSO support through the Project Proposal Form, or other opportunities managed by the RSO. As such, most of the information that we hold will have been obtained directly from you.

Specific ways we collect data: 

  • When you:
    • Contact us to enquire about research and enterprise support, a Research Development or other RSO managed activity or event, or a RSO funding opportunity
    • Register for an RSO event (e.g. as part of the Researcher development Programme)
    • Apply for financial support from Bath Spa’s HEQR funds managed through the RSO
    • Complete an anonymised feedback form following a RSO activity, event, or award
    • Follow us on Twitter or Instagram.
  • When we:
    • Ask you as part of the application for funding whether you consent to the promotion and public notification of your award, if successful.

In addition: 

  • External research partners may provide us with details about visiting staff and students so that we can make arrangements regarding accommodation, meetings, presentations, and social events

How we process the information 

Project proposal forms and research and consultancy applications

We'll use the information provided in this form to support you with the development of your funding application.

Personal data may be used in relation to the:

  • Registration of your proposal
  • Operation of grants processing and management information systems
  • Acquisition of internal peer reviewer comments on proposals and reports
  • Preparation of material for use by referees. 

Under a data sharing agreement, we'll share information with external collaborators who are leading an application of which you are included as a collaborator, in order to support the application process. This may include personal information such as your title, name, contact details and employment and salary information as per the requirements of the funder.

We'll share information with funding bodies in order to support the application process, this may include personal information such as your title, name, contact details and employment and salary information as per the requirements of the funder. Some funders may also require submission of equality and diversity data. We'll retain this data only if required to do so by the funding body.

The information in the project proposal form and any subsequent funding application materials will be retained in order to comply with funder reporting and monitoring requirements. If your application is unsuccessful we will retain your application materials for up to five years in order to inform future funding applications that you make.

If you do not wish us to retain copies of unsuccessful funding applications, please notify us at 

We'll store your personal information on a secure database, and only share it with those directly associated with the management of the REF selection and submission process in your discipline area at the University.

If you're identified as a member of staff with "Significant Responsibility for Research", your title, name, gender, employment dates, HESA and ORCID IDs, and Unit of Assessment affiliation will be shared with Research England as part of the submission process.

We will retain all information for audit purposes until the results of the REF exercise are published.

We use personal data internally to:

  • With your consent, publish accounts of your experience of a research, impact or public engagement activity or event on our website or social media feeds.
  • Register individuals for RSO activities and events (e.g. Researcher Development Programme), track attendance and evaluate our activities. We will retain this data for two years after the event or series of events have been completed.
  • Assess and manages funding applications for RSO support.
  • Record submitted applications.
  • Monitor successful applications from initial award to completion of the activity.
  • Track attendance at RSO event.
  • Track costs for RSO awards.
  • Keep staff and students at Bath Spa informed about RSO activities, events, and other opportunities. This includes information about funding opportunities, delegate information for events and meetings, and other research-related activities.
  • Identify the successful recipients of awards in newsletters.
  • Compile regular reports about research, impact and public engagement activities at Bath Spa University.
  • Inform future decisions about strategic priorities of RSO and the development of the University’s Research Strategy.

We'll communicate with you via email unless a preferred alternative communication method is requested i.e. telephone or face-to-face.

For further information on on how your information is used, how we maintain the security of your information, and your rights to access information we hold on you, please contact

Disclosing information to service providers 

We do not disclose data to external organisations other than those acting as agents for the University and with whom the University has data sharing agreements. We always make sure the data is exchanged in a secure manner and that it is not used for purposes other than those agreed by the University. We never sell or exchange any of your personal information to a third party.

Examples of external providers whose services we use or may use:

  • E-Prints for the storage of research outputs in our repository ResearchSPAce
  • PLUM X for the tracking of metrics and altmetrics data linked to research outputs that have been deposited by academic staff in our repository - ResearchSPAce
  • Figshare for the storage of data deposited by staff in out data repository - BathSPAdata and Datacite for the generation of DoIs
  • Vertigo Ventures for the storage and collation of data related to the evidencing of research impact provided by academic staff
  • Epigeum in relation to our Research Integrity and Research Supervision on-line training materials
  • Other external providers who we may engage with to provide online training materials.

We may need to disclose your information if required by funding bodies who gave sponsored research or enterprise awards, or consultancy activities.

We may also need to disclose your information if required by law (for example, to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).

We will not share your details with any individuals looking to contact you, in a personal or professional capacity. All correspondence will be conducted through us unless you give us explicit permission to share your contact details.

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