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Data Privacy and Confidentiality Statements

Privacy statement

The purpose of this privacy document is to set out what data we collect, why we collect it and how long we will keep it for. Please consult our confidentiality statement for information on how we handle the content of your project applications and associated intellectual property.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service (RDS) complies fully with the General Data Protection Regulations.

Project development support
As a recipient of support from the RDS we will collect and securely store project information relating to your application in order to facilitate our advice giving. We will retain that data until one year after the end of our successive RDS contracts.

We additionally categorise our support by category and time spent. This information will be shared annually, along with details pertaining to the project’s principal investigator, with the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) to evaluate the management and delivery of the RDS. The CCF is part of the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) NIHR. All information will be held securely and treated in the strictest confidence by the RDS, CCF and NIHR.

The NIHR privacy policy includes further information including ways NIHR may use your data, contact details and details of your individual rights in relation to how your data will be used. This includes details of the information collected by NIHR, why it is collected, how long it will be retained and how the information will be used.

From time to time the RDS will ask you, anonymously, to evaluate the service that you have received, whether it is project support or, for example, event attendance. The feedback we receive is used to improve our service and quotes may be used as feedback to our funders. Collated data will be kept until one year after the end of successive RDS contracts, individual data will be kept for one year.

CCF asks us to circulate their RDS evaluation survey each year, to those who we have provided application support to in the latest annual reporting period. Please consult the NIHR privacy policy for the handling of that data.

Mailing list subscriptions
If you’ve signed up to an RDS news alert, newsletter, bulletin or other similar publication then your name and email may be stored in a MailChimp account which some RDS use to distribute all of our ebulletins and updates. MailChimp are fully GDPR compliant (privacy policy) and you can unsubscribe at any time with the link on the bottom of a mailing. Neither RDS nor MailChimp will share your details with a third party. Your data will be kept until one year after the end of successive RDS contracts or until you unsubscribe.

Event bookings
By signing up to attend an RDS event you consent to the collection and storage of your booking data. This data will be used to facilitate the administration of the event and the evaluation of our effectiveness to reach and engage with researchers throughout our region. Collated data will be kept until one year after the end of successive RDS contracts, individual data will be kept for one year unless it relates to photo permissions in which case it will be held until the end of the RDS contract plus one year.

Some RDS regions use Eventbrite to manage their bookings. Information on how Eventbrite manage booking data can be found here: privacy policy

Website analytics
The RDS collates only data regarding unique page views and time spent on the site. This information is used to improve our websites, tailor our information to user need and monitor interest in certain areas such as our RDSblog. Although IP-address data may be available our analytics do not include the data at that level of detail.

Data retention
Your contact information will be removed from our records, one year after the end of successive RDS contracts, unless the information relates to a financial transaction when we are obliged to retain it for up to seven years for auditing purposes.

How to contact us
If you wish to contact the RDS NENC 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 at:

Address: Research Design Service North East and North Cumbria, Newcastle University, Baddiley-Clark Building, Richardson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AX

Phone:   (0191) 208 7000


Should you have any complaint about the way that the RDS NENC processes your personal information you can make a complaint 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.

If we decide to change our Privacy Statement, we will post details of any changes on the Privacy Statement section of the RDS NENC 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 for and under what circumstances, if any, we share it with other parties.

Confidentiality statement

This document provides you with the information about how we deal with the intellectual property that we are privy to whilst supporting your application development. Please consult the privacy statement for what information we collect and store about your project and how long we’ll hold it for.

As a recipient of support from the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) we will have sight of your application and will be party to discussions regarding direction, scope and intellectual property (IP) within your project.

All information that you provide us will be treated in the strictest confidence and only used to help us to give the best possible advice giving in the development of your application. Apart from RDS members of staff, we will only share your ideas and/or application, where appropriate, with our public contributors. All public contributors have been trained by the RDS and have signed a confidentiality statement prior to taking up the role.

On occasion, in order to provide you with the best support, we may need to consult an expert outside of the RDS. If this situation arises, we will seek your consent before approaching them.

As part of the working agreement with the RDS you will be asked to share your final application with us before it is submitted for funding. This is for our own internal evaluation; it’s helpful to see whether our suggestions have been useful enough for you to use in your bid and whether the bid is eventually funded.

Please note that the RDS will take appropriate steps to ensure confidentiality of any information sent to us via our website, although we cannot accept any liability for the loss or disclosure of data sent to us in this way.