Data protection, privacy and cookie use

The Research Design Service (RDS) is funded by the NIHR to provide research design advice in health and social care research.

The RDS complies fully with the Data Protection Act 1998.

When you contact us we will ask you for your contact details, which include your name and a method of contact such as your address. This personally identifiable information is stored securely by RDS and only members of RDS staff are able to access this information. No personally identifiable information provided to RDS will be passed on or otherwise distributed to any third party (any organisation or person outside the RDS by RDS staff except where individual consent has been sought and granted, to enable us to promote the service.

Your contact details and information regarding your proposal are collected to facilitate our advice provision. All information that you provide us with will be treated in the strictest confidence.

RDS staff may also ask you for other details which may include, for example, your occupation and the organisation at which you are employed. These details will be used for various analyses of the service and in reports to other organisations. The information presented from the analyses will be anonymous and will not be linked to any personally identifiable information.

If you wish to contact us to ensure that your contact details are correct and up-to-date or to ask for your contact information to be removed from our records, please contact us.

Whilst your proposal is ‘active’ within the Research Design Service process we will regularly check your contact details are up-to-date and maintain records of your most recent details in our secure database.

Once your proposal is no longer receiving RDS support and is deemed ‘closed’ your last known contact details are kept as a historical record of the proposal at the time and these details will not be shared or updated.

This Data protection and Privacy statement is subject to review and development any changes will only be notified on our website.

Cookie use

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. Some of them are sent to other sites on the web that you visit, to find out more about the ones that we use, and why we use them, please keep reading

Cookies set by our site

Google Analytics

Google Analytics sets cookies named _utma, _utmb, _utmc and _utmz. These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. Very many websites will set these cookies.

Social Network Site Cookies

Facebook, Twitter, G+ etc. These are used for buttons such as like, tweet, bookmark etc. These are set by your social network upon login and are required to allow such services to interact with other websites. These cookies mean that the social sites will be able to tell that you visited our site.

Session cookies etc.

These cookies are used only for the functioning of the site – they are not sent to other sites.

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit