Privacy Notice

We are committed to protecting your privacy and keeping you informed of how your information is used.

About us

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) is a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) funded by the Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

The SGSSS works from The University of Edinburgh. The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body registered in Scotland (registration number SC005336), incorporated under the Universities (Scotland) Acts.

  • The SGSSS funds social science PhD researchers in 12 universities and works with four further universities in Scotland. The full list of universities in the partnership can be found here.
  • The SGSSS exists to support social science doctoral researchers with their funding, training and professional development. We are creating the SGSSS Alumni Community to continue supporting the career development of researchers once they graduate, and to champion mutually beneficial opportunities for our alumni and current students.

Developing an understanding of our alumni (“you”) through your personal data enables us to make better decisions about training for our current researchers. It also enables us to report to the ESRC about the career path of social science students so that we can share understanding or the career trajectories for doctoral researchers.  

For data collected under this privacy notice, the University of Edinburgh is the Data Controller (as that term is defined in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679). The University of Edinburgh is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, Registration Number Z6426984.

About you

+ This privacy notice uses “you” to mean alumni. We consider SGSSS alumni to be anyone who was funded by the SGSSS for their doctoral studies and has now completed their doctorate.


+ The SGSSS holds two databases about alumni. The Alumni Reporting Database is used to monitor the career progression of researchers formerly funded by the SGSSS. We also have the SGSSS Alumni Community Database, which is a record of the alumni who have opted to join the alumni network.

Accessing your personal information

+ If you wish to request access to any of your personal data held by the SGSSS, please use the University of Edinburgh’s subject access request procedure.

Full link:

Changes to this privacy notice

+ We regularly review the terms of this privacy notice, which we may amend from time to time. If we make any substantial changes we will notify you by posting a prominent notice on our website.

How we use the information we hold

+ We process personal data on the Alumni Reporting Database in order to report to the ESRC on career destinations of PhD researchers that have completed their ESRC-funded doctorates.

Understanding the career destinations of SGSSS-funded students can also help us to better understand the training opportunities that would be relevant for our PhD researchers.

If you have opted in to the SGSSS Alumni Community Database, we will process your personal data so that we can contact you about relevant opportunities.

Alumni Reporting Database

+ Some of the personal data the SGSSS holds in the Alumni Reporting Database is transferred from your student record. This will include:

  • Your name
  • Your PhD institution
  • Your PhD cohort
  • Your PhD end date

Additionally, we collect additional information to enable us to report more effectively to the ESRC. This will derive from research on publically available online sources, such as your Linked In profile. The information will include:

  • Your current organisation
  • Your current organisation’s sector
  • Your current city
  • Your current role
  • Your contact email address (if accessible)
  • Your social media profile

SGSSS Alumni Community Database

+ If you decide to opt-in, the data the SGSSS holds in the SGSSS Alumni Community Database derives from the contact information that you provided when signing up. We will also use the SGSSS Alumni Community Database to monitor which SGSSS opportunities you have participated in so that we can tailor communications to you effectively.

Who we share information with

+ We will never sell your personal data to third parties and will only pass your data to those third parties providing a service for the SGSSS, as set out in this privacy notice, or where under a duty to do so in order to comply with any legal obligation.

Personal data will not be shared with service providers other than those acting on the instructions of the SGSSS. Where this is the case, a written contract will be put in place between the SGSSS and the provider to set out the purposes for which the information can be used and the security measures that must be in place. This contract will ensure that the service provider agrees never to use your data for any additional purpose not set out in the agreement with the SGSSS.

How we store and protect your information

+ Your personal data is held securely on the SGSSS’ Alumni Reporting Database within the EEA and in accordance with Data Protection Law, and is subject to appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing, and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage.

If you opt in to the SGSSS Alumni Community, your data will be held securely on the SGSSS Alumni Community Database within the EEA and in accordance with Data Protection Law. As with all data held by the SGSSS, your data is subject to appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing, and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage.

We take appropriate steps to ensure that we only record and store personal data which is relevant, that we keep it securely, that it is accurate and up-to-date and kept for an appropriate length of time. All University employees, volunteers and contractors with access to your personal data have a responsibility to maintain confidentiality to ensure that it is only used for the benefit of the University and its members, and we ensure relevant training or agreements are in place where appropriate

Our website may, from time to time, contain links to and from websites of third parties. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

Further information about the University’s Data Protection and Information Security policies can be found by clicking on the links below.

How long we hold your information

+ The SGSSS considers its relationship with alumni to be lifelong. We will maintain data in order to comply with our reporting requirements to the ESRC.

If you inform us that you no longer wish to stay in touch, we will maintain enough data to comply with your wishes and ensure that we do not inadvertently re-create a new record for you.

Dietary or accessibility requirements that you consent to provide when you plan to attend an event will be deleted following the event.

The legal basis for collecting and processing your information

+ The legal basis for which we hold your data on the Alumni Reporting Database is legitimate interest. We use this basis to:

  • Maintain a record of your career profession
  • Ensure the information we have about your career destination is up to date

If you opt in to the SGSSS Alumni Community, the legal basis for which we hold your data is consent.

If you would like further information on the legal basis we use, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer as detailed under ‘Queries, concerns or complaints’. You can object to us processing your data for the above purposes at any time.

Your choices and keeping us up to date

+ The SGSSS will only contact members of the Alumni Reporting Database to let you know that we are holding your data where we have a means to get in touch, and to give you the chance to opt-in to the SGSSS Alumni Community.

To request that your data is deleted from the Alumni Reporting Database, you can email the SGSSS team on any time. Please put “Alumni Reporting Database: Request to be Deleted” in the subject line.

To opt out of the SGSSS Alumni Community once you have opted in, please email the team on and put “SGSSS Alumni Community – unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Queries, concerns or complaints

+ If you have any queries, concerns or complaints about this privacy notice, or about how we hold and process your personal data, please contact us: