Visiting international fellowship (VIF) scheme privacy notice

We are registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (our notification number is Z6346945) and are committed to ensuring that the personal data we process is handled in accordance with data protection legislation. We have a named Data Protection Officer, Suzie Mereweather, who can be contacted via

One of our responsibilities is to tell you about the different ways we collect and use your personal data. This statement provides details about these uses. In addition to this statement, you may be given further information about the uses of your personal data when you use certain services offered by the University of Surrey.

The Department of Sociology holds and processes personal data about you when you apply for the visiting international fellowship (VIF) scheme. The personal data we hold about you includes:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Postal address
  • Contact details
  • CV
  • Personal data about you from third parties, such as referees.

The University collects only the data we need, and we keep the data up to date and only for as long as it is needed.

We collect your personal data in order to:

  • Administer the application process and keep you updated on progress.
  • Assess your suitability for the fellowship programme and make a decision on your application. The decision is made by the our selection committee.
  • Contact you to inform you of the decision and make subsequent arrangements.

We take our obligations for data handling very seriously and it is therefore important for you to know the lawful basis for us processing your information.

Public role

We process data to ensure that we can carry out our public role as an educational and research establishment, meeting legal, moral and contractual obligations as laid out in the University of Surrey Charter (PDF).

Legitimate interest

We also process data in our legitimate interests in relation to the business of running the VIF scheme.

These legitimate interests are determined through an assessment made by weighing our requirements against the impact of the processing on you. Our legitimate interests will never override your right to privacy and the freedoms that require the protection of your personal data. If you are interested in learning more about this legitimate interest assessment, please contact

The University processes personal data and special category data in accordance with data protection legislation and its own Data Protection Policy (PDF).

If your application is unsuccessful, we will hold your information for 6 months at which point your data will be destroyed. However, if your application is successful, we will hold your information for two years. At the end of this period, your data will be destroyed.


Internally, we share your personal data with:

  • Members of the VIF selection committee.
  • Finance staff in the case of expense claims.

We do this in order to:

  • Help us process your application.
  • Ensure the smooth processing of payments.


We share your name and current institution on our website. We do this in order to market the VIF scheme to the public.

If you do not wish for your details to be published on our website, please let us know by contacting Louise Jones:

Your personal data will not be shared externally with any third parties.

As an individual whose data we process (a data subject), you have certain rights in relation to the processing. Find detailed information about your rights as a data subject.

You have the right to:

  • Withdraw your consent in circumstances where we have relied on your consent as our basis for processing your personal data.
  • Ask us to confirm that your personal data is being processed and to access (i.e. have a copy) of that data as well as to be provided with supplemental information about the processing.
  • Request that we rectify any inaccuracies where the data we hold on you is inaccurate or incomplete.
  • Have your data erased by us, although in certain circumstances we may not be able to do this. The circumstances where this applies can be found in the guide to data subject rights information.
  • Restrict the processing of your personal data in certain ways.
  • Obtain your personal data for reuse.
  • Object to certain processing of your personal data.

If you would like to exercise any of your rights please visit our make a privacy request section.

Make a complaint

If you have any concerns about the way that we have handled your personal data please email the Data Protection team as we would like to have the opportunity to resolve your concerns.

If you’re still unhappy, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (an independent body set up to advise on information rights for the UK) about the way in which we process your personal data.