× Medicines Discovery Catapult

This privacy notice tells you what to expect us to do with your personal information when you make contact with us or use one of our services.

We’ll tell you:

  • Why we are able to process your information
  • What purpose we are processing it for
  • Whether you have to provide it to us
  • How long we store it for
  • Whether there are other recipients of your personal information
  • Whether we intend to transfer it to another country
  • Whether we do automated decision-making or profiling

Contact details

Medicines Discovery Catapult is the controller for the personal information we process, unless otherwise stated.

Our Data Protection Officer is Dr Marcus Harrison.

There are many ways you can contact us, including by phone, email, and post.

Phone number: 01625 238734

Compliance email address: compliance@md.catapult.org.uk

Postal address:
Medicines Discovery Catapult
Block 35, Mereside,
Alderley Park,
Alderley Edge,
SK10 4TG

For general and partnership enquiries please use our Get in touch page.

What information do we collect?

The personal information we process is provided to us directly by you for one of the following reasons:

You have made an enquiry to us

We use a WordPress plugin called Contact Forms 7 to collect the data of people who want to register a business enquiry. We collect this data to help us understand more about the people contacting us or requesting access to our resources. We use this data to manage, provide an audit trail, and monitor the success of our relationships with individuals, organisations, and the wider industry.

Our website and the plugin are administrated by Affinity Digital on behalf of our parent organisation, Innovate UK. Neither of these organisations has direct access to the data we collect.

All enquiries are logged on our CRM system – Sage CRM. This is to allow us to manage enquiries effectively and report on our performance for ourselves, and for our parent organisations. If we have had no contact with a company or person for more than 2 years the data will be removed. You can also send us a request to remove your company or personal data.

Tissue sample enquiries

We partner with other organisations to fulfil requests for tissue samples. In the first instance, we’ll share the details you submit with Tissue Solutions, you can read their Privacy Statement on their website. In order to source the correct samples, they forward your request to other organisations, however this is done anonymously. If they are unable to help, we will then send your request to our partner biobanks for fulfilment – these enquiries will be anonymised by us.

You wish to attend, or have attended, an event

Event registrations are handled by Eventbrite. The data is shared via API calls sent by a platform called Zapier. Zapier allows the different platforms to share data in a secure way.

Read Eventbrite’s Privacy Policy

Read Zapier’s Privacy Policy

You wish to attend, or have attended, a webinar (online event)

Webinar signup forms use Force24 to collect the data and then share it with our webinar platform, Zoom. The data is shared via API calls sent by a platform called Zapier. Zapier allows the different platforms to share data in a secure way.

Read more about Zoom’s compliance with GDPR

Read Zapier’s Privacy Policy

You subscribe to our email newsletter

We use a third-party service, Force24, to collect the data of people wanting to join our email list. We collect this data so we can keep interested people up to date with our work and partnership opportunities. We send subscribers our monthly newsletter, and occasional alerts when we have major announcements and collaboration opportunities. Every email we send will include a link to unsubscribe, and after 12 months we’ll ask if they want to stay opted-in.

We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help us monitor and improve our communications.

Read more about Force24’s compliance with GDPR

You complete an online survey

We use a platform called SmartSurvey to collect survey data. All data collected for the purpose of research is used only for the reasons given and deleted once it has been used for analysis. If we do collect personal data on a survey we are clear about what it is used for.

Read SmartSurvey’s Privacy Policy and Notice

You are a journalist or media contact

We hold lists of journalists we believe will be interested in hearing from us in order to distribute press releases, briefings, features, statements, invitations, reports and information about our work. The personal information we collect might include name, email address, postal address, telephone numbers, social media handle, job title, publication name and records of engagement, collaborations and media coverage.

Media lists are built and managed using the Meltwater database and journalists have the option to be removed if they wish.

You can read the Meltwater Privacy Policy on their website

We may on occasion use a third party, such as a PR agency, who will approach media contacts on behalf of Medicines Discovery Catapult.

You have applied for a job or secondment with us

What will we do with the information you provide to us?

    • All of the information you provide to the Medicines Discovery Catapult during the process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application.
    • The information you provide will be held securely by us whether the information is in electronic or physical format. We will use the contact details you provide to us to contact you to progress your application. We will use the other information you provide to assess your suitability for the role you have applied for.

What information do we ask for, and why?

    • We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary.
    • The information we ask for is used to assess your suitability for employment.

Application stage

On submission of your CV, via the ‘apply for this job’ tab, this will include your personal details including name and contact details. We will also look at previous experience and education to assess suitability for shortlisting for interview. The hiring managers and HR shortlist applications for interview. Electronic job applications will be retained within the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) of the HR system.

HR will have access to all of this information held within the ATS.


We might ask you to complete a personality profile questionnaire through a third party Thomas International and to attend an interview. Information will be generated by you and by us. For example, you might complete an online behavioural questionnaire or we might take interview notes. This former will be held by Thomas International and Medicines Discovery Catapult and the latter held by the Medicines Discovery Catapult.

If you are unsuccessful following assessment for the position you have applied for, your details will be retained on file for a period of 12 months following the end of the recruitment campaign.

Offer of Employment

If we make a conditional offer of employment we will ask you for information so that we can carry out pre-employment checks. You must successfully complete pre-employment checks to progress to a final offer. We are required to confirm the identity of our staff, their right to work in the UK and seek references.

You will therefore be required to provide:

    • Proof of your identity – you will be asked to attend our office with original documents, we will take copies.
    • Proof of your qualifications – you will be asked to attend our office with original documents, we will take copies.
    • References – contact details of 2 references.

If we make a final offer, we will also ask you for the following:

    • Bank details – to process salary payments
    • Emergency contact details – so we know who to contact in case you have an emergency at work

Recruitment Agencies

For some vacancies, we may advertise through a number of recruitment agencies. Information collected by a recruitment agency and will be retained for an agreed period of time following the end of our agreement.

You should read the privacy policies of any recruitment agency you intend to apply with before you engage with them.

How long is the information retained for?

    • If you are successful after applying for a specific vacancy, the information you provide during the application process will be retained by us as part of your employee file for the duration of your employment plus the recommended time following the end of your employment. This includes your fitness to work, records of any security checks and references.
    • If you are unsuccessful at any stage of the process, the information you have provided until that point will be retained for 12 months in the ATS from the closure of the recruitment campaign.
    • Information generated throughout the assessment process, for example interview notes, is retained by us for 12 months in the ATS following the closure of the recruitment campaign.

Speculative Applications

    • If you send in a speculative application, we will retain your CV in the ATS for a period of 6 months.

How we make decisions about recruitment?

    • Final recruitment decisions are made by hiring managers and HR. All of the information gathered during the application process is taken into account.
    • You are able to ask about decisions made about your application by speaking to your contact within our recruitment team or by emailing recruitment@md.catapult.org.uk.

If you have any queries about the process or how we handle your information please contact us at recruitment@md.catapult.org.uk.

Thomas International

Thomas International provide online behavioural testing for us. If we ask you to complete one of these tests, you will receive a link to the test. Your answers will be provided to Medicines Discovery Catapult and held by both parties.

Read Thomas International’s privacy policy

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights we need to make you aware of. The rights available to you depend on our reason for processing your information.

Your right of access

You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. This right always applies. There are some exemptions, which means you may not always receive all the information we process.

Your right to rectification

You have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete. This right always applies.

Your right to erasure

You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to restriction of processing

You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances.

Your right to object to processing

You have the right to object to processing if we are able to process your information because the process forms part of our public tasks, or is in our legitimate interests.

Your right to data portability

This only applies to information you have given us. You have the right to ask that we transfer the information you gave us from one organisation to another, or give it to you. The right only applies if we are processing information based on your consent or under, or in talks about entering into a contract and the processing is automated.

You can read more about your rights on the ICO website.

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. We have one month to respond to you.

Sharing your information

We will not share your information with any third parties for the purposes of direct marketing.

We use data processors who are third parties who provide elements of services for us. We have contracts in place with our data processors. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do it. They will not share your personal information with any organisation apart from us. They will hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct.

Our parent organisation, Innovate UK, has appointed independent organisations Kantar and Frontier Economics to gather feedback on our impact on the sector. They do this through phone interviews with key contacts from organisations who have engaged with us. We share the details of companies and individuals with Kantar and Frontier Economics for this purpose.

Read Kantar’s Privacy Policy

Read Frontier Economic’s Privacy Policy

Links to other websites

Where we provide links to websites of other organisations, this privacy notice does not cover how that organisation processes personal information. We encourage you to read the privacy notices on the other websites you visit.

Your right to complain

We work to high standards when it comes to processing your personal information. If you have any questions or concerns please email compliance@md.catapult.org.uk.

If you remain dissatisfied, you can make a complaint about the way we process your personal information to the ICO.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We keep our privacy notice under regular review to make sure it is up to date and accurate. The last update was in June 2019.

Contacting us


When you call our main phone number we collect Calling Line Identification (CLI) information. We use the information to improve the efficiency and effectiveness our how we handle your calls.

Social media

We use a third-party provider, Hootsuite to manage our social media interactions. Hootsuite is provided to us and administrated by our parent organisation, Innovate UK. They don’t have access to our account directly.

If you send us a private or direct message via social media the message will be stored by Hootsuite for three months. It will not be shared with a third-party.


We use Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt and protect email traffic in line with government. If your email service does not support TLS, you should be aware that any emails we send or receive may not be protected in transit.

We will also monitor any emails sent to us, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send is within the bounds of the law.

Visitors to our website

Anonymous visitor tracking

When someone visits md.catapult.org.uk a third-party service, Google Analytics, places a cookie on their computer and collects standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

Read more about Google’s approach to complying with data protection laws

Identifiable visitor tracking

When someone visits md.catapult.org.uk a third-party service called Force24 places a cookie on their computer to track their use of our site. If this person then goes on to complete a form, Force24 can connect those details with the cookie and their IP address. We use this information to personalise the experience of the visitor on the website and via email (if they consent to receive them). Only MDC have access to this data, and we don’t share or make it available to any third-party.

Read more about Force24’s compliance with GDPR

Use of cookies

You can read more about how we use cookies in our Cookie Policy.

Purpose and legal basis for processing

The purpose for implementing all of the above is to maintain and monitor the performance of our website and to constantly look to improve the site and the services it offers to our users. The legal basis we rely on to process your personal data is article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR, which allows us to process personal data when its necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests.

What are your rights?

As we are processing your personal data for our legitimate interests as stated above, you have the right to object to our processing of your personal data. There are legitimate reasons why we may refuse your objection, which depend on why we are processing it.

Visitors to our office and laboratories

We use a third-party service, ProxyClick, to collect the personally identifiable data of people who want to visit our office and laboratories. We collect this data in order to fulfil our health and safety and security obligations. We use this data so our office management team know who is visiting us, and so we have a record of who visited us and the times and dates they did so.

Read ProxyClick’s Privacy statement

If you agree to signup for our email newsletter, the data is shared via API calls sent by a platform called Zapier. Zapier allows the different platforms to share data in a secure way.

Read Zapier’s Privacy Policy