Privacy Policy


We value all personal information for which we are responsible, and are grateful for all personal information that is voluntarily supplied to us. We will not ask you for it unless we are legally entitled to do so and it is absolutely necessary, we will not use it for purposes other than those for which it was originally collected, and we will dispose of it securely when we are done. We will be open with you about the information we are collecting and why.

We respect your privacy, and will ensure any information you may provide is held securely and in confidence, and in full compliance with all relevant legislation. We may contact you occasionally in order to verify information that you have supplied.

How we use your information

This Policy, also called a Privacy Notice, tells you what to expect when we collect personal information. It applies to information we collect about:

  • visitors to our websites
  • people who use our services, e.g. who subscribe to our newsletter or request a publication from us
  • people who book and/or attend our conferences, events or training courses
  • job applicants, our current and former employees, students, research associates and visitors
  • personal data supplied as part of ongoing research initiatives across ISER

Application-specific Privacy Notices will be published for key studies, and will comply with the requirements for GDPR-compliant Privacy Notices. For example, the Understanding Society Survey Participants Privacy Notice may be found at

Our websites

We are responsible for a number of public web sites:

Most pages on our public web sites are open to any visitor, but some are restricted to registered individuals who must login in order to access them.

Where a visitor subscribes to specific services ( newsletters, publications, events etc. ) we will only use their contact information to distribute the information that the visitor has asked to receive. Visitors may of course subscribe to multiple services, and all visitors have the absolute right to opt in to such contacts at the point of subscription, and to opt out of any service at any point in the future. Contact information will be managed as described in the Disclosing personal information section below.

We also own and manage websites that may only be accessed by ISER members and members of partner organisations (the ISER ‘extranet’), and others that may only be accessed by ISER members (the ISER ‘intranet’)

When someone visits one of our websites, we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting any of our websites. We will not associate any data gathered from the site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, this is asked for explicitly. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

How we use cookies

Cookies are small text files stored on your computer. They relate to a specific site, and can be used to enhance that site’s functionality and your interaction with it; they may also be used for usage tracking, research, targeting, etc.

For the most part, we only use cookies to help you to navigate our web pages or to collect anonymous statistics to help us improve it.

Our websites do not use cookies for advertising or commercial purposes.

Some ISER pages may, with your consent, offer the ability to support us by ‘liking’ us on Facebook or ‘tweeting’ about us using Twitter. If you do support us in this way, a Twitter or Facebook cookie will also be saved on your computer.

For more information about cookies and how we use them, please see ISER cookies.

To change your preferences regarding Facebook or Twitter, please see My Facebook and Twittter Preferences.

This Privacy Policy does not cover other web sites that may be linked from any of our pages. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Job applicants, current and former ISER employees

Individuals who apply to work at ISER do so through the University of Essex Human Resources (HR) section (, which manages all aspects of the process on our behalf. Information about candidates for interviewing purposes is supplied by the HR section and includes:

  • Application form
  • Covering letter
  • CV
  • A shortlisting grid for equal opportunities purposes.
  • Employment references for shortlisted academic candidates and appointed professional services candidates

We destroy all information about unsuccessful candidates after a post has been filled. We do not store any electronic copies of this information, which we use only for the purposes of shortlisting and interviewing candidates. We do not disclose this information to anyone other than those involved in the recruitment process.

Once a person has taken up employment with ISER, we will compile a file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept secure and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment. Once their employment with ISER has ended, we will retain the file in accordance with the requirements of the University retention schedule and then delete it.


Student applications are the responsibility of the ISER Graduate Director and the University Graduate Office. All personal details remain confidential and applications are only available for review by other authorised staff outside ISER in the context of awarding funding scholarships. All unsuccessful applications are destroyed after decisions have been made on funding awards and the award of places at the University.

Research associates and visitors

Personal details of Research Associates and Visitors are held by ISER for contact purposes only. These associates and visitors have no formal link with the University and no records about them are held by the University.

Survey Participants

We hold personal details of our Survey participants only for the purposes of conducting the survey. Participant information remains strictly confidential at all times and may only be accessed by a small number of authorised staff conducting the survey.

Complaints or queries

We try to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

This Privacy Notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of our collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below.

Access to personal information

We try to be as open as we can, in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information about them by making a ‘subject access request’ under the General Data Protection Regulations. If we do hold information about you, we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To ask us for any personal information we may hold you need to address the request in writing to the ISER Director.

If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by writing to the ISER Director.

Disclosure of personal information

We do not disclose personal information to third parties without consent unless legally obliged to do so. Information about our staff, students and research associates or visitors may be shared with other sections of the University of Essex as required for administrative purposes.

Where data is passed to third parties, it is done so in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations.

Anonymised usage data may be provided in publicly-available web statistics; any such data cannot be traced to individual users.

GDPR-specific Information

The General Data Protection Regulations require us to provide certain legal information as part of this Privacy Notice;

The vast majority of our research will use Public Task as the Lawful Basis for Processing. Ethically we will still obtain your consent and you will still retain the absolute right to withdraw from our studies at any time should you so wish. However, should you decide to withdraw from a study it may be necessary to retain a basic level of information for administrative purposes within our systems to ensure that you are not contacted in the future. Additionally, any data that you have previously provided as part of the study that has been aggregated, anonymised or pseudonymised may not be deleted. Separate Privacy Notices will provide more detailed explanations either during the consent process or through links to publicly available web pages.

For newsletters, event notifications, training courses and other communications we will use Consent as the Lawful Basis for Processing, and we will process personal data in accordance with the practices previously described within this Privacy Notice.

Contact details for subscription services will be deleted as soon as practicable after you notify us that you wish to be removed from that service. Personal data relating to training courses, conferences and events will be deleted six months after the activity has completed. Longer term studies will have an indefinite data retention period, but we will review the continued need to retain your personal data every five years and delete that data if we no longer require it.

How to contact us

Please write to:

ISER Director
Institute for Social and Economic Research
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
United Kingdom
C04 3SQ

If you wish to contact the University of Essex’s Data Protection Officer, you should write to:

Data Protection Officer
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
United Kingdom
C04 3SQ

If you wish to lodge a complaint regarding the handling of your personal data you should write to either of the above in the first instance. However, you have the right to raise the complaint directly with the regulatory authority. You can do this through the Information Commissioners Office online service at

Changes to this privacy policy

We keep our Privacy Policy under regular review. This Privacy Policy was last updated on 2022-11-30