Privacy Statement and Confidentiality Agreement

RDS East of England; Privacy Statement and Confidentiality Agreement

Privacy Statement

The purpose of this privacy statement 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.

Google Analytics and cookie use

Our website uses Google Analytics to allow the RDS EoE to understand how visitors interact with the website in order to improve and tailor the website to its audience. No personal data is collected.

Google Analytics uses traffic log cookies to gain information about the use that is made of pages on our website. We use the information from cookies to generate reports on the usage of our website which are used for evaluation and analysis. The purpose is to improve our website by tailoring it to the needs of users. No data specific to any identifiable user is retained. For more detail on the information collected by Google Analytics, including its use of cookies, please visit Safeguarding your data. More information about cookies used by Google Analytics can be found on the Google Analytics Website.

To provide website visitors more choice on 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 can be found here. 

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. You should be aware that this may prevent you from taking full advantage of this website. If you wish to restrict or block cookies set by this or any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The Help function within your browser should tell you how or contact your local IT support for advice.

Please also see further details regarding our host the University of Essex.

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 EoE 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:

Central Co-ordinator
Research Design Service East of England
School of Health and Human Sciences
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park

Tel: 01206 874856


Should you have any complaint about the way that the RDS EoE 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 email clients and update this document. 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 Agreement

This agreement provides you with the information about how we deal with the intellectual property that we are privy to whilst supporting of 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.

(Updated December 2020)