GDPR Acceptance

This Data Protection Notice is issued by Science Foundation Ireland, of Three Park Place, Hatch Street Upper, Dublin 2 ("Science Foundation Ireland", "SFI" or "we"). The purpose of this notice is to inform you of the data relating to you that we may collect and use in connection with our Grants and Awards Management System (SESAME) and the uses we may make of such data (including disclosures to third parties).

Data Protection Notice


SESAME is Science Foundation Ireland’s online grants and awards management system. All grant applications are made via SESAME and the system is used for all purposes reasonably connected with grants and awards including processing applications, administering the award and following conclusion of the award (e.g. processing research output information, etc.). In particular, SESAME enables researchers to apply online to SFI’s calls for proposals and to keep a record of research outputs in their contact profile. SESAME also provides a way for research body representatives to review and authorise all applications from their research body, to track the status of applications and to provide financial reporting. SESAME may also be used by researchers and research body representatives for the requesting and approval of budget reallocations and no cost extensions. SESAME is also used by reviewers who perform international peer review of applications for SFI funding and SFI awards.

What data do we collect?

For the purpose of processing applications and administering awards, SFI collects personal data relating to the principal investigator leading the research team and all other members of the research team including name, address, contact details (e.g. phone/e-mail), biographical details (e.g. CVs, details of education, work history) and researcher profiles (e.g. name, date of birth, gender, title in research team). SFI also collects personal data relating to research outputs such as such as details of academic collaborator name, organisation and location and team member details (e.g. name, contact details and/or photograph (where provided voluntarily), dates worked with the team, gender, nationality, qualifications, where they went following completion of the research, etc). For further details of data processed in connection with research outputs please see the SFI Research Outputs Data Protection Notice. SFI also collects the contact details of reviewers (including bank details where relevant), research body contacts and research centre contacts.

Who is the data provided by?

The data is provided via SESAME by the award holder leading the research team rather than by the individual members of the research team. In the case of large scale awards, the data is provided by the authorised award administrator on behalf of the Principal Investigator, Lead Investigator or Centre Director (as appropriate). The person submitting the information shall ensure that the Principal Investigator, Lead Investigator or Centre Director (where relevant) and all other members of the research team, are fully informed of the uses and disclosures that will be made of their data as set out in this Data Protection Notice.

How do we use your information?

The information is used for the following purposes:

      1. For all purposes reasonably connected with processing applications for funding, administering grants and awards, managing SFI’s relationship with award holders and analysing research outputs;

      2. To contact you in connection with the following purposes:

        1. administering your applications and/or awards;

        2. regarding meetings / collaborations that may be relevant to your research.

        3. conducting the Research Outputs Survey as further described in the SFI Research Outputs Data Protection Notice.

        4. to current and former SFI researchers for information regarding other research related activities and to ask departing members of research teams if they wish to join a list of SFI alumni (optional).

      1. To demonstrate to stakeholders that investment in research is justified and delivering a return to Ireland;

      2. To inform SFI and national policy / strategy with regard to investment in STEM research;

      3. To evaluate SFI programmes, awards and initiatives;

      4. Benchmarking against other bodies including international agencies;

      5. To facilitate the roles and information requirements of other enterprise agencies such as Enterprise Ireland and the IDA as well as government departments such as the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Foreign Affairs;

      6. To provide SFI with data to enable improved planning;

      7. To showcase the impacts and achievements of SFI researchers; and

      8. To provide information used in the compilation of the SFI Annual Report and other publications (in aggregated form)

SFI may also link the data that you provide to us in the context of SESAME with national, bibliographic or external research funding data which is available through public subscription based databases (e.g. Scopus, Web of Science, etc.) or other national / open datasets. The combined data may be disclosed to third party policy researchers / programme evaluators.

Legal Basis for Processing

The forms of processing referred to in this Data Protection Notice are necessary for the performance by Science Foundation Ireland of its statutory functions. This provides the legal basis for processing your personal data as referred to in this Data Protection Notice.

Who will your data be shared with?

Science Foundation Ireland may share your data with third parties as reasonably necessary in connection with the activities referred to above, including:
(a) our agents or other third party service providers (e.g. IT service providers, etc.);
(b) paid / unpaid advisers / consultants / programme evaluators, including our auditors;
(c) competent regulatory authorities and bodies as requested or required by law;
(d) other government agencies such as Enterprise Ireland and the IDA;
(e) the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation or other relevant government departments including in connection with Ministerial briefings;
(f) to third party researchers [to enable them to conduct focused research in science funding policy (subject to legal requirements);]
(g) research bodies and academics including funding agencies in other countries in relation to partnership arrangements;
(h) peer reviewers/panellists, including those who may be based outside the EEA; and
(i) in the case of the Researcher Snapshot, persons accessing the SFI Researcher Database via the SFI website;
(j) the outputs by researchers associated with research centres may be shared with that research centre if requested by the researcher; and
(k) interested industry parties.

Transfers Abroad

Data that Science Foundation Ireland collects from you may be transferred to a destination outside the European Economic Area ("EEA"), including to a jurisdiction where the level of protection afforded to personal data is not as high as that in the European Union. This may include, for example, transfers to partner agencies, IT service providers, peer reviewers, expert groups, programme evaluators etc. where such third parties are based outside the EEA. If we transfer personal data to such jurisdictions, we will ensure that appropriate measures are in place to comply with our obligations under applicable law governing such transfers. Such measures may include entering into 'standard contractual clauses' in the form approved by the European Commission or, in respect of transfers to the USA, ensuring that the transfer is covered by the EU-US Privacy Shield framework. If you would like to receive further details of the measures that we have taken in this regard, please contact us at

How long do we keep your information?

Science Foundation Ireland will only keep your data for such period of time as may be reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes set out in this Data Protection Notice or to comply with our obligations under applicable law and, if relevant, to deal with any claim or dispute that might arise in connection with your grant applications and awards.

Security of your information

We have adopted appropriate technical and organisational security measures to protect your information from unauthorised access and against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage. We will also ensure that our agents or third party service providers who process your data are required to keep your data safe and secure to at least an equivalent standard.

Your rights

You have the right, subject to certain exceptions, to obtain a copy of your personal data and to have any inaccuracies corrected. You also have the right to have your personal data erased and to restrict or object to processing of your personal data, though these rights may be limited in some situations and are subject to certain exceptions.

In order to exercise any of the rights set out above, please write to us at: Science Foundation Ireland, Three Park Place, Hatch Street Upper, Dublin 2. In order to protect your privacy, you may also be asked to provide suitable proof of identification.

Contact / Complaints

Questions, comments and requests regarding this data protection notice or the exercise of your rights are welcomed and should be addressed to Science Foundation Ireland, Three Park Place, Hatch Street Upper, Dublin 2 or If you are not happy with the way we have used your information or addressed your rights, you have the right to make a complaint to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner by emailing