Surveys, focus groups and GDPR
General GDPR Guidance
When using equalities and staff and student survey data it is important to keep in mind privacy and identifiability - you want your staff and students to be able to give your essential feedback safely and build trust with your communities.
Typically before you share any data you should consider:
- Who is your audience, what is the minimum they need to know? Do not over-collect or share data
- The chances that any individual could be identified by a reader either by demographic combinations, or direct quotes
- What were the conditions of the data being shared? How do you state you would use the data when you collected it via your Data Protection Screening/Data Protection Assessment?
Always restrict access to data to only those who have a legitimate need to access it, and ensure you are thinking about setting minimum group sixes for demographic cuts (usually 5) to ensure individual privacy.
To read more on Privacy by Design you can find a digest of resources here: Useful links on Privacy by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments.
Running a Survey
If you wish to run a survey to collect staff or student opinions on a subject you are able to do so, however it is essential that you interrogate the reasons for a survey, and the questions you are asking thoroughly to ensure that they are essential, and that you are protecting your staff and student body from identification.
You can find comprehensive guidance including a short webinar here: Survey Guidance (Medical Sciences Division).
If you would like to take a look at some example Privacy by Design examples, you can find these here:
Example Data Protection Screening
Example Data Protection Assessment
Example Privacy Notice
JISC Surveys is the preferred survey system in the University as we have an institutional agreement with them which satisfies institutional privacy and data handling requirements. To request a JISC Online Survey Institutional account you can do so here: JISC Surveys (IT Services).
If you would like divisional support in setting up a survey please contact the divisional facilitator to discuss.
GDPR, events and feedback
It is important when you run events and actions that you have monitoring and evaluation baked into the process, and that you follow up or collect feedback from participants.
For events management, including setting up a GDPR compliant event, including photography etc. please see the resources here:
For arranging diverse events see the fantastic guide put together by The School of Geography: Developing Inclusive Conferences.
Research Services has a fantastic suite of resources on:
Comprehensive guides on Public Engagement with Research can be found here: Support for public engagement with sections on funding, training, strategy, evaluation, champions and a host of useful toolkits including:
- Public Engagement with Research
- Citizen science / public involvement
- Working with young people
- REF & impact
- Working with the media
Running a Focus Group
Running focus groups can be a powerful way of identifying the needs of a particular group in your department, and identifying specific actions to support a discrete group in your department.
MPLS has created some specific guidance on how to run an effective focus group which you can access here:
Wellcome Trust Cafe Culture
Café Culture is an opportunity for you and your colleagues to talk about the challenges you face in research culture, reflect on what a better culture would look like, and propose solutions. The format of these discussions are highly praised by the EDU's expert on Monitoring and Evaluation, and can be downloaded here: