Diversity monitoring and protecting your data

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science (the ‘CDT’) is committed to furthering issues of equality, diversity and inclusion and we are keen to attract individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds. We ask all applicants to provide us with demographic information for two main reasons:

Firstly we recognise the benefits of recruiting a diverse group of students to the CDT, and strive to avoid any conscious or unconscious bias in our recruitment. The monitoring of aggregated application data by our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) committee allows us to assess the effectiveness and fairness of all stages of our recruitment procedures. You will see that the survey asks you to fill in your name. We appreciate that this may make some people feel uncomfortable, and so would therefore like to explain our reasoning for this. In the unfortunate instance of multiple applicants being unsuccessful in the recruitment process, or multiple students deciding to leave the CDT before the end of their PhD programme, we would like to be able to identify the (aggregated) ED&I data for these students to ensure that there are no commonalities in their details that we need to work to redress.

Secondly our funding agency, the UKRI, requires us to report annually on the diversity of the group of people applying to the CDT. Many of the questions included in the online survey align with their data collection requirements. The UKRI gathers aggregated data of recruitment rounds/cohorts, not as individual data. This data is being collected so that UKRI has a better understanding of the students its training provision attracts and supports. 

For each question there is a ‘prefer not to say’ option. If you are not happy sharing your personal information, we would ask that you still please consider completing the survey but selecting ‘prefer not to say’. This is then a valid response we can report to the UKRI. 

The information you provide through this survey will only ever be seen in an identifiable form by the CDT Administrator; all further use of the data will be in a strictly anonymised and aggregated form. At no stage will identifiable data be seen by anyone involved in recruitment, academic progression or assessment. It will be stored in accord with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provisions on a University of Bristol encrypted device.


Under the GDPR, you have a general right of access to your data, a right to rectification, erasure, restriction, objection or portability. You also have a right to withdrawal. If you are unhappy with the way in which your personal data has been handled, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. For information on reporting a concern to the Information Commissioner’s Office, see www.ico.org.uk/concerns.

If you have any questions about this questionnaire or how your data will be handled, please contact the CDT Administrator via aerosol-science@bristol.ac.uk, or Professor Andrew Orr-Ewing, Chair of the ED&I committee of the CDT: a.orr-ewing@bristol.ac.uk