Data, privacy and cookies

By visiting or using this website and/or other SEPnet services, you consent to the collection and use by SEPnet of information about you in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Statement.

How and why we collect data

We collect data directly (e.g. your name and other personal information if you choose to sign up to a SEPnet event) and indirectly (e.g. analytic information on website visits) to enable us to carry out SEPnet’s mission efficiently and effectively, and to improve how we do that. SEPnet collects data on individuals for the purpose of contacting them to share information about SEPnet placements, events and activities related to outreach, employer engagement, training, equality, diversity and inclusion of relevance to the physics community.  

What data we collect and what we use it for

When data are collected directly, it will be obvious to you what data are being collected because you will enter it explicitly into online forms or provide it over email. This will commonly include your name, the name of your university or employer, and your email address, so we can contact you and know how you are associated with SEPnet. Often we will also ask you to provide demographic data, most commonly gender and ethnicity, to help ensure that our events are attracting the full breadth of diversity from amongst SEPnet’s members, but you will not be required to provide either of these. Where we collect data relating to events, we may also ask for information on your dietary requirements. This list of data is not exhaustive, and we may occasionally request other information. SEPnet retains such information in a user database.

All enquiries to SEPnet, whether by email, telephone, facsimile or otherwise may be recorded for the purposes of efficient service delivery and quality control.  SEPnet will use such information as provided by you to answer enquiries and otherwise communicate with you. All communications from you and subsequent correspondence from SEPnet will be recorded and securely retained by SEPnet. . Contact details including your email address may be retained for the purposes of generally improving the services offered by SEPnet. This includes evaluation of the services provided by SEPnet.

Where you have provided your email address, SEPnet may occasionally send you, via email, information which SEPnet considers would be of use or interest to you. Such information may include details of changes or updates to the services provided by SEPnet. In any such email SEPnet will provide instructions on how to discontinue this service if you would prefer not to receive any future information from SEPnet.

When data are collected indirectly, it may be less obvious what data we are collecting, and for this reason, further information is provided below on the collection of cookies and analytic data.

How we share data

SEPnet is a network of nine universities in the South-East of England working together to deliver excellence in physics; SEPnet does not have a corporate status of its own. Each person working for the network is employed by one of the member universities, and depending on where they work, the data we collect may be received at one or more of the member universities. Data may need to be passed from one member university to another for processing, e.g. to enable you to participate in a SEPnet-run event. In particular, data may be shared with SEPnet staff including the Director of Outreach and Public Engagement, Outreach Officers, Employer Liaison Director, Employability Advisors, GRADnet Manager and Executive Director. Data may also have to be passed to non-member bodies providing services to SEPnet, such as an organisation that is providing a course, venue, accommodation or catering. This list of data sharing is not exhaustive, but whenever we share data, we will share the minimum required to meet the purpose for which the data were collected.

The sharing of data by people working for SEPnet is governed by the SEPnet Collaboration Agreement, which in turn recognises the requirements placed on the member universities by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Each member university has a data protection officer who oversees data protection by that university, and each person working for SEPnet is responsible to their employer and data protection officer for how they handle data in carrying out their work. Any queries relating to the sharing of data within SEPnet should be referred to the Executive Director in the first instance.

How long we will hold data

SEPnet shall not retain the contents of any communications from you and subsequent correspondence for longer than is necessary having regard to the content and purpose of such communications and correspondence. As most PhD and PDRA time cycles are 3-4 years, SEPnet will usually retain data for 4 years.

Access to Information

SEPnet will provide you with a copy of all information SEPnet maintains about you upon request the Executive Director. Any user who requires information about them to be removed from the SEPnet records should email the above. SEPnet will also correct any inaccuracies in such information as soon as practicable.

Images and videos

People attending SEPnet events, including SEPnet staff, may take photographic images which are subsequently posted on the SEPnet website or on SEPnet’s social media channels. Less commonly, videos may be recorded, sometimes by the subject as a video selfie, and similarly published. Participants will be given the opportunity to opt out of photographs and videos taken by SEPnet staff, while principal subjects are deemed to have given permission to be recorded and for the media to be posted. Nevertheless, anyone recorded (intentionally or otherwise) in visual material posted on the SEPnet website or on its social media channels may ask to have their image removed by emailing the ExecutiveDirector.

General Undertaking

SEPnet will:

  • Respect your privacy and confidentiality
  • Only record your personal details in the manner and for the purposes set out in this Privacy Statement
  • Keep your personal details secure from unauthorised access, use or disclosure; and
  • Not sell, rent, trade or otherwise knowingly share or provide your personal information to any third party except insofar as legally obliged to do so
  • Only use your information in accordance with the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Indirect data collection and Cookies

For more information on our responsibilities regarding the “Cookie” Legislation please see the Jisc service JISC Legal.
If you would like to clear your cookies from your browser this can normally be done through your browser’s Privacy Settings administration screen.

What are Cookies?
Cookies are small electronic files which a website can transfer to a user’s hard drive to identify a user and personalise their use of that website. The SEPnet web server automatically collects standard information such as a user’s IP address, browser type, operating system, access times. SEPnet does not use cookies to customise web page content.

Google Analytics Cookies
SEPnet uses Google Analytics software which places cookies on a user’s device to provide us with aggregated usage data of the SEPnet website.
Google Analytics uses first-party cookies to track visitor interactions. These cookies are used to store information, such as what time the current visit occurred, whether the visitor has been to the site before, and what site referred the visitor to the web page. These cookies do not collect information that identifies a visitor. Browsers do not share first-party cookies across domains.
Analytical cookies allow us to count the number of visitors to our website, and to see how users move around the site when they are using it. This helps us to improve the quality of the delivery of our web materials. No personal information is collected or retained by means of the cookies used to generate this statistical information.

Cookies Set By Google Analytics
Analytical cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website, and to see how visitors move around the site when they are using it. This helps us to improve your website experience and the services we provide. No personal information is collected about you or about your computer.
Information on the cookies used by the default configuration and use of Google Analytics is available here –

Any information collected indirectly will be used by SEPnet only to:

  • Monitor the volume, type and pattern of traffic using this website
  • Develop the design and layout of the website and
  • For other administrative and planning purposes.

How to Control How Others use Cookies on your Computer
The cookies for Google Analytics are created automatically unless the user’s browser is set to refuse them. Users can set their browsers to accept or reject all, or certain, cookies. All recent versions of popular browsers give users a level of control over cookies. Further detail on how to control how webservers use cookies on your computer (including Google Analytics cookies) is available on the website, which contains a guide to deleting and controlling cookies. The information there is provided by OUT-LAW, part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on
As a user you can prevent Google Analytics collecting traffic log data. To provide website visitors with more choice on how their data is collected Google Analytics has developed the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. The add-on communicates with the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js) to indicate that information about the website visit should not be sent to Google Analytics.

If you want to opt out, download and install the add-on for your current web browser. To do so please visit the following site which provides a browser add-on that enables a user to opt out. The Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on is available for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Opera.

Below is a list of cookies our web server sets, either through google analytics or our CMS.

Name Purpose

Third party cookies

We use a number of third party services, typically to embed or share content. Each of these services may use cookies. Please note that we are not responsible for the privacy policies of these services/websites.

Below is a list of the third party services we use:

  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

If you have any comments or queries regarding the SEPnet Policy Statement please contact us at

Hypertext links

This website contains hypertext links. SEPnet is not responsible for the privacy policies operated by the owners of non-SEPnet sites and does not accept responsibility for any information obtained by third parties as a result of use by you of such hypertext links.

Privacy Statement Updates

SEPnet reserves the right periodically to update or modify this privacy policy. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted on this website so that users are always aware of the information collected, the reasons for such collection and the purposes, if any, to which SEPnet may put such information. SEPnet encourages users who may have specific concerns about the gathering or use of any such information to view this Privacy Statement regularly, and to contact the Executive Director about any specific concerns.