How we handle peer review and assessors data

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will use your personal information in the way stated on this page when you’re an expert reviewer in the assessment and decision-making process for UKRI research and innovation funding. This includes:

  • peer reviewers
  • assessors
  • Peer Review College members
  • external selectors
  • board and panel members

If we have contracted you to fulfil a role outside of what we have outlined above, such as a Monitoring Officer, read  how we handle UKRI employee data.

What information we need

We use a number of systems to process applications to the competitive funding opportunities we deliver. The system used often depends on which part of UKRI is managing the opportunity or programme. As a result, the information collected may vary depending on the funding opportunity.

In some cases, your personal information will be passed to us by a third party, such as another reviewer, funding partners and applicants.

Personal information we are likely to ask for includes:

  • name
  • job title or role
  • organisations that you are affiliated to
  • contact information such as email address and your telephone number
  • skills and areas of expertise
  • legal working status
  • criminal conviction history
  • date of birth
  • educational background
  • ORCID iD, if applicable
  • conflicts of interest, some of the information you provide relating to conflicts may also relate to other people, for example family members
  • caring responsibilities
  • equality, diversity and inclusion information, such as:
    • religion
    • ethnic group
    • sex
    • gender identity
    • sexual orientation

Further details about the systems we use can be found in their terms of use:

When you review an application for research and innovation funding, we collect information from you relating to the individual merit of an application against an agreed criteria, this may include:

  • feedback, against specified criteria
  • scores, against a specified scale
  • views or expert opinion
  • comments

Where this information includes opinions and references to others these may be considered as both your personal information and the personal information of the subject of your opinion.

Why we need your information

We need this information so that we can:

  • set up an account for you within our digital application systems
  • ensure that information can be passed to and from you securely
  • evaluate our funding initiatives to ensure that we are supporting an inclusive research and innovation environment
  • evaluate our research and innovation application systems to ensure that they are accessible to all potential users
  • make decisions regarding which proposals we fund

What we do with your information

We will use your information for purposes relating to the research and innovation funding assessment and decision-making process. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • managing your accounts on our digital platform
  • managing the request and receipt of your views on research and innovation funding applications
  • sending invitations and facilitate participation in training and other events
  • contacting you and supporting engagement with us evaluating the effectiveness of the assessment process
  • supporting and carrying out policy and strategy studies
  • operating the assessment and decision-making process for research and innovation funding proposals

There is some use of artificial intelligence to match the skills and knowledge of the expert reviewers to applications for research and innovation funding.

Who we share your information with

UKRI keep the information of those who participate in expert review confidential as much as is possible. If you are a member of one of UKRI’s decision-making boards or panels then limited information will be published on the UKRI website.

Although we endeavour to keep expert reviewers’ information confidential, we may share limited information with:

  • funding partners as part of their involvement in the decision-making process
  • third parties contracted by UKRI to undertake policy and strategy studies

If you have consented, credit for participating in expert review can be sent to your ORCID account. These credits will recognise your involvement in the process and will not identify which applications you have reviewed.

How long we keep your information

We will keep your personal information for as long it is needed to fulfil the purpose for which it was collected. It will be kept in accordance with our information management policy and retention schedule.

The lawful basis we process your information under

The funding of research and innovation is a key role of UKRI. Therefore, when your personal data is used to support research and innovation funding assessment and decision-making the lawful basis for processing would be public task. Our public task is laid out in the Higher Education and Research Act (2017).

We process special category data under UKRI’s Public Sector Equality Duty, as laid out in the Equality Act (2010).

Where information is passed to ORCID to allocate credits for participating in expert review, the lawful basis is consent. Consent preferences are managed through UKRI’s funding systems.

In some circumstances UKRI may also process your personal data under other lawful bases including:

  • performance of a contract
  • legal obligation

The rights you have

The rights you have will depend on which lawful basis is used to collect and process your personal data.

The rights that apply regardless of what lawful basis is used are:

  • the right of access
  • the right to rectification
  • the right to be informed
  • rights related to automated decision-making including profiling

To find out information on your rights under UK data protection legislation, read your data protection rights.

Last updated: 16 January 2023

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