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Data Protection and Research

Personal data used for research purposes must be used in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016 and Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.

The above legislation sets out specific obligations for:

- informing participants about how their data will be used, shared and retained, as well as their rights

- Minimising the use of personally identifiable data wherever possible

- Having in place safeguards to protect the data of research participants

All research using human subjects, human samples (however obtained) or human personal data to be undertaken in the University, or under the auspices of the University, however funded, cannot be carried out without the approval of the University's Research Ethics Committee.

Heads of School are responsible for having procedures in place within their School that identify and review all projects that might fall within the Research Ethics Committee's terms of reference, as described in Research ethics. However, the Research Ethics Committee will not consider the data protection aspects of a project so the following data protection guidance notes have been prepared to help researchers to deal with data protection issues. These should be read in conjunction with the University's guidance on Research ethics and the Quality Assurance in Research website.

Supervisors of student research are responsible for the personal data that is processed as part of that research.


Data Protection for researchers

Detailed information on Data Protection law and requirements for research activities

Data Protection Checklist for researchers

A step by step guide for ensuring your research meets data protection requirements

Sample Consent Form

An example consent form for researchers to ensure data protection requirements are met

Data protection information for Participant Information Sheets

Information that we are required by law to provide to research participants under Article 13/14 of the GDPR. This can be added into sheets or included as an extra page.

Data protection impact assessments DPIA

Find out if you need to complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment before starting a new research project.

Data Management Plan (DMP)

In addition to the above resources, researchers should familiarise themselves with data management planning information.

This will help researchers to plan for the management and sharing of participant-based research data in compliance with University research ethics and data protection requirements.

Data management planning

Things to do now

Contact IMPS