Data protection, privacy and cookie use

Who we are

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

The RDS SE complies fully with the EU General Data Protection Regulations which comes into effect on 25th May 2018 and replaces the Data Protection Act 1998.

How we use your information

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 the RDS SE and only members of RDS SE staff are able to access this information. No personally identifiable information provided to RDS SE will be passed on or otherwise distributed to any third party (any organisation or person outside the RDS SE) by RDS SE staff except where individual consent has been sought and granted, or there is an overriding statutory obligation to do so.).

Your contact details and information regarding your research proposal, including draft and final applications, are collected to facilitate our advice provision. All information that you provide us with will be treated in the strictest confidence, and only used for internal RDS SE purposes unless explicitly stated.

If you have agreed to join our mailing list, we will send you our monthly e-bulletin, annual newsletter and occasional information about local RDS SE events.

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.

You will be asked to let us know about outcomes of your research application(s). All publically funded projects, funding minutes and decisions are made publically available and all successful applications are made available via the Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC). If we are unable to obtain an outcome from you then we will use publically available sources, such as Europe PMC or information gained from funders to determine an application’s outcome. We use this information to help improve our service and to help inform our advice in the future as well as to report how are service is performing to our funders, the NIHR.


We consider some of our key stakeholders to be ‘partners’ as we work closely with them and provide a free of charge service to them. They help to cascade relevant information to anyone within their organisations who may find it useful. Partner organisations are listed on our website:

We send relevant information about events and funding streams to our partner organisations to promote and cascade, and they will do the same to us.

How to contact us

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.

RSD SE’s Data Protection Officer is Anya Lux and she can be contacted at the above email address.

Should you have any complaint about the way that RDS SE processes your personal information you can make a compliant to the Information Commissioner by visiting: or by writing to the Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner, Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.


How long will we keep your data?

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.

Your contact information and data in our database will be removed from our records one year after the end of the RDS SE contract period (currently 01/10/2023), unless the information relates to a financial transaction when we are obliged to retain it for up to seven years for auditing purposes.

This Data protection and Privacy statement is subject to review and development and any changes will be  posted on our website. This will help ensure that you are always aware of what personal information we collect, how we use it, how long we will retain it and under what circumstance, if any, we share it with other parties.

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. To provide website visitors more choice about how their data is collected by Google Analytics, Google have developed the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. Installing the Add-on allows users to stop the browser sending information about their visit to Google Analytics. Further detail here.

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

IP address

When you visit our web pages we will collect your IP address for the purpose of both the prevention and detection of fraudulent access and misuse.