We take the privacy of your information seriously. ESRC is the data controller (under the Data Protection Act) of any of your personal details that we may hold. 

Information we may collect from you

We may collect and process the following information: 

  • information that you provide by filling in forms or surveys 
  • information in correspondence that you send us
  • details of your visits to our website including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data, and the resources that you access

How we use your personal data

We may use personal data we collect to:

  • ensure that content from our website is presented in the most effective way for you 
  • provide you with information, products or services that you request from us or which we feel may interest you, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes
  • allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so
  • notify you about changes to our website or services.

Information we provide to third parties

We do not generally provide any personal information about users of our website to third parties or other users. However, we may disclose your personal information to third parties if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use and other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of ESRC, or others.


When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. This sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

Cookies are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information during one task
  • recognising that you have already given a username and password so you don't need to enter it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and that there is enough capacity to ensure they are fast.

You can manage cookies yourself and learn more about them on the All About Cookies website.

Cookies used on our website

We use the following cookies. 

First-party cookies

These cookies are used to remember selections or preferences that you've already made when using our website.


  • Purpose: Used to maintain an anonymous user session by the server.
  • Expires: At the end of a session (when you close your browser).


  • Purpose: Used to determine whether or not to show the mobile format of the website.
  • Expires: At the end of a session (when you close your browser).


  • Purpose: Used to anonymously track sessions within the website.
  • Expires: Never


  • Purpose: Used in conjunction with cftoken this cookie helps to uniquely identify a client device (browser) to enable the site to maintain user session variables.
  • Expires: Never


  • Purpose: Used in conjunction with cfid this cookie helps to uniquely identify a client device (browser) to enable the site to maintain user session variables.
  • Expires: Never

Third-party cookies

Our website also uses Google Analytics and SiteImprove. They install cookies to help us identify errors and accurately estimate visitor numbers. These cookies do not collect personal data about visitors to our website.


  • Purpose: Used to distinguish between users and sessions.
  • Expires: Two years


  • Purpose: Used to determine new sessions and visits.
  • Expires: 30 minutes


  • Purpose: Used in combination with the __utmb to identify new sessions / visits for returning visitors.
  • Expires: At the end of a session (when you close your browser).


  • Purpose: Used to throttle the request rate for the service - limiting the collection of data on high traffic sites.
  • Expires: 10 minutes


  • Purpose: Used to identify the source of traffic to the site - so Google Analytics can tell site owners where visitors came from when arriving on the site.
  • Expires: Six months


  • Purpose: Used to register whether or not you are a return visitor.
  • Expires: 1,001 days after your last visit to our website.