× Medicines Discovery Catapult

About Medicines Discovery Catapult and how to contact us

Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) is one of several Catapult centres in the UK. We were setup by the UK government and run as a not-for-profit to support and improve innovation in the UK drug discovery industry. We are overseen by Innovate UK.

This privacy policy covers the collection and use of personal data by the MDC only. The other Catapult centres, and affiliated and partner organisations will have their own policies explaining how they use personal data, and we encourage you to read them.

If you have any questions, or want to ask about our privacy policy, you can email us at compliance@md.catapult.org.uk or write to our head office address:

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

How we use your information

This privacy policy explains how and why the MDC collects and uses personal information. It applies to information we collect about:

  • Visitors to our website
  • People who complete an enquiry or other form on our website or landing pages
  • People who agree to receive our marketing emails
  • People who contact us via social media
  • People who call us
  • People who email us
  • People who visit our office and laboratories
  • Third parties who may act on our behalf
  • Journalists and media contacts
  • Job applicants, current and former Medicines Discovery Catapult employees

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.

People who complete an enquiry or other form on our website or landing pages

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.

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

Form submissions

We use 2 methods to collect personally identifiable data you provide via forms on md.catapult.org.uk.

Firstly, 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.

Secondly, 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. Access to Force24 is strictly access controlled by us.

Read more about Force24’s compliance with GDPR

Some of our forms allow you to signup for a webinar. These forms use Force24 to collect the data and then share it with our webinar platform, GoToWebinar, a product of LogMeIn. 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 LogMeIn’s compliance with GDPR

Read Zapier’s Privacy Policy

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.

People who agree to receive our marketing emails

When you complete a form on our site, you will also be asked to opt-in to receive our marketing emails. These are also sent by Force24. If you don’t opt-in, we won’t send you any marketing emails. And if you do, you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in our emails or contacting us.

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

People who contact us via 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.

People who call 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.

People who email us

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.

People who visit 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

Third parties who may act on our behalf

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

Journalists and media contacts

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.

Job applicants, speculative applicants, and current and former Medicines Discovery Catapult employees

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.


If you apply for a job or become an employee of Medicines Discovery Catapult, your data will be stored in our HR system – People.

Read People’s Privacy Policy


If you are employed by the Medicines Discovery Catapult, relevant details about you will be provided to Hazelwoods who provide payroll services to the Medicines Discovery Catapult. This will include your name, bank details, address, date of birth, National Insurance Number and salary.

Read Hazelwoods privacy policy

Scottish Widows

Likewise, your details will be provided to Scottish Widows who are the administrators of the Pension Scheme, of which the Medicines Discovery Catapult is a member organisation. You will be auto-enrolled into the pension scheme and details provided to Scottish Widows will be your name, address, marital status, date of birth, National Insurance number and salary. Your bank details will not be passed to Scottish Widows at this time.

Read Scottish Widow’s privacy and legal information

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 rights

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have rights as an individual which you can exercise in relation to the information we hold about you.

You can read more about these rights on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

Complaints or queries

We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.

If you would like to make a complaint, or have any questions, you can email us at compliance@md.catapult.org.uk or write to us at the address above.

If you feel we are not dealing with your complaint or query satisfactorily, you can contact the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

Access to personal information

If you want to know exactly what personal information we have about you, you can find out by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to the Medicines Discovery Catapult for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing to our address above, or email us at compliance@md.catapult.org.uk.

Links to other websites

This Privacy Policy does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 24th January 2019.