REF2021 Impact Case Studies – Non-Staff

Your personal information

The University of Lincoln collects personal information about you when you provide testimonials or other evidence to corroborate our impact claims for the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF 2021) review of publicly funded research activities. We will use this information as part of our submission to REF2021.

The purpose of REF 2021 is to assess the quality of UK research and to inform the selective distribution of public funds for research by the four UK higher education funding bodies. The REF outcomes are used to calculate about £2 billion per year of public funding for universities’ research, and affect their international reputations. The results also inform strategic decisions about national research priorities. The next REF will be undertaken in 2021.

The REF was first carried out in 2014, replacing the previous Research Assessment Exercise. It included for the first time an assessment of the broader impact of universities’ research beyond academia: on the economy, society, culture, public policy and services, health, the environment and quality of life – within the UK and internationally.

Impact is assessed through the submission of case studies, which describe the changes or benefits brought about by research undertaken by researchers at the institution. Impressive impacts were found across all disciplines, with 44 per cent of submissions judged to be outstanding. A database of case studies submitted in 2014 can be found here: https://impact.ref.ac.uk/.

This notice explains more about how we use your personal information.

What information we collect about you

We collect information about you when we ask for evidence or testimonials to support our claims of impact in Impact Case Studies.

The REF is managed by the REF team, based at Research England (RE), on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies. RE is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and under this arrangement UKRI has the role of ‘data controller’ for personal data submitted by us to the REF.

You may have provided information for one or more impact case studies or environment statements as part of our submission to the REF 2021. In 2020 we will send information about impact case studies and environment statements to UKRI for the purpose of the REF 2021. The information will not be in coded form and your name – and details such as your job title and organisational affiliation – may be provided in these narrative statements. We refer to this information about you as ‘your data’.

You can find further information about what data are being collected on the REF website, at www.ref.ac.uk in particular publication 2019/01, ‘Guidance on submissions’. Annex G of that document sets out the data that we will be required to share with UKRI.

Within the University of Lincoln, your data will be managed by the University’s REF team. Keep your details up to date by contacting the team you have worked with at the University of Lincoln, or failing that you can contact REF@lincoln.ac.uk

How we use your information

We collect information about you to substantiate our claims of societal impact resulting from research carried out at the University of Lincoln. We process this information on the lawful basis of public task, as we are carrying out our statutory power to carry out research and our responsibility to report back to the public authorities that fund our research.

Publishing information about your part in our submission

The results of the assessment exercise will be published by UKRI, on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies, in December 2021.

Those parts of submissions that contain factual data and textual information about research activity will also be published by UKRI, on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies, and will be made available online. Published information is likely to include textual information including impact case studies in which you may be referenced. Your name and job title may be included in this textual information. Other personal details will normally be removed.

The University occasionally uses cookies and other technologies on its website that collect data about you when you use them. Where this occurs further information will be available in a cookies policy. The cookies policy for the University website can be found here: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/termsconditions.

Information we may share with other organisations

We may share the following information with Research England, who oversee the REF review on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for

Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).

UKRI and the organisations listed above will use the information to analyse and monitor the REF 2021. This may result in information being released to other users including academic researchers or consultants (commissioned by the funding bodies), to carry out research or analysis, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679). Where information not previously published is released to third parties, this will be anonymised where practicable.

UKRI will require that anyone who has access to your data, held in UKRI’s records, paper or electronic, will respect its confidentiality and will only process it in accordance with instructions issued for the purposes specified by UKRI.

Parts of your data will be passed to the REF expert panels and the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (whose members are independent of UKRI) for the purpose of conducting a systematic evaluation of submissions, in accordance with predetermined criteria and methods. All panel members are bound by confidentiality arrangements.

Contact details

This would normally include name, title, role, work address, telephone number, email address. This information is shared to allow the review panels to contact you to audit our claims of impact and to check that you have supplied evidence as we claim. This information will not be made public and will only be accessed by review panels if they want to verify our claims. We are obliged to provide this information, but if you object to its use, we will not use your evidence as we would not be able to corroborate it. If you have concerns about any members of the review panel accessing this information due to conflicted interests, we can register this with the panels and prevent those individuals from having access.

Testimonials or other documentation provided by you.

We are required to submit evidence packs consisting of testimonials or other documentation which have been provided by you, and may therefore include personal information about you, your employees or other individuals, which may be used by the review panels to corroborate our impact claims. These will not be made public and will be viewed only by the review panels if they want to verify our claims. If you have concerns about any members of the review panel accessing this information due to conflicted interests, we can register this with the panels and prevent those individuals from having access.

Personal information within the body of the case study narrative

If there is any personal information about you or other individuals as provided by you, we can redact this information from the case study before it is published publicly. However, we are obliged to provide an unredacted version for review, which will not be published. If you have concerns about any members of the review panel accessing this information due to conflicted interests, we can register this with the panels and prevent those individuals from having access.

We use a number of suppliers who process personal information on our behalf. These include suppliers of software services. These act strictly on our instructions and must not use the information for their own purposes.

In exceptional circumstances we may be asked to share your information with police or other investigators if it would prevent or detect crime or safeguard a person’s wellbeing. Each instance will be judged on its own merit and any sharing of information will be done within the law.

Information processed abroad

Your information will not be shared abroad. Some of the suppliers who process personal information on our behalf, including software service providers, will process abroad, but this processing will be carried out with protection as required by the relevant Data Protection legislation, including the use of Standard Contractual Clauses and Privacy Shield where relevant.

How long we keep your information

We will keep your contact details and corroborating evidence for no longer than one year after the results of REF2021 are published (scheduled to be April 2022, but may be subject to adjustment). Should you wish us to have your contact details or personal information within the corroborating evidence removed sooner, please contact us at REF@lincoln.ac.uk

If you access additional University services these may keep a record of your contact and will provide you with details of how long they keep your information.

Accessing your information and other rights

You have a number of rights relating to your personal information. These include:

Access

You have the right to request a copy of any personal information we hold about you. If you would like a copy of any of your information please contact the Information Compliance team on the details below. The team will process your request within a month.

Portability

If you have provided information on the basis of your consent or for a contract then you can request a digital copy so you can send it to another organisation. To request a copy please contact the Information Compliance team on the details below. The team will process your request within a month.

Correction

If any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or incomplete then please let us know. You have the right to have your information corrected so that we hold accurate records about you.

Erasure

This is also known as the right to be forgotten. You can request that your personal information is erased if it is no longer necessary for the University to keep it, or you withdraw consent that you have previously provided, or you object and there is no overriding grounds to keep it or if it is unlawful to continue to keep it.

Restriction

You can request that the use of your personal information is limited to storage only and that we use it for no other purpose. This applies where you contest the accuracy of the personal information we hold, or our use of the information is unlawful, or we no longer need the information except in relation to legal claims, or you object to the use of your data and we need to verify whether or not our purpose for keeping it overrides the grounds of your objection.

The Information Compliance team can be contacted by email on compliance@lincoln.ac.uk or by post at: Information Compliance, Secretariat, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS.

How to object or withdraw consent

If you object to our use of your personal information then we must stop unless we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for continuing. Please contact the REF team using REF@lincoln.ac.uk and explain your objection.

If you have provided your consent for the use of your personal information then you can withdraw this consent at any time. To do this, contact the REF team using REF@lincoln.ac.uk.

How to contact us

For general enquiries please call 01522 88 2000 or write to University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS.

You can find contact details for individual teams and staff by visiting http://staff.lincoln.ac.uk.

If you have a query about your personal information rights then please contact the Information Compliance team by email on compliance@lincoln.ac.uk or by post at Information Compliance, Secretariat, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS.

How to complain

If you feel that, we have let you down in relation to your information rights then please contact the Information Compliance team by email on compliance@lincoln.ac.uk or by post at Information Compliance, Secretariat, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS.

You can also make complaints directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the independent authority upholding information rights for the UK. Their website is ico.org.uk and their telephone helpline number is 0303 123 1113.