Data Protection Policy


The UK Polar Network (UKPN) collects the personal data of its committee members, primarily. At times, the UKPN also collects the personal data of early career researchers (ECRs) participating in surveys, individuals who volunteer at events with the Network, and other members of the general public who otherwise engage with the UKPN via competitions etc.

The committee has some turnover each year, while surveys and other interactions with members of the public are generally one-off and ad hoc. Consequently, a lot of personal data is held at some point or another for a large number of people. Much of it is not needed beyond one year as most of the projects it is associated with do not last 12 months, or have new iterations each year. Exceptions to this are committee members who typically remain on the committee in some capacity for more than a year and schools who often participate in our projects for multiple years.

Therefore, it is necessary to both keep track of personal data held, deleting it when it is no longer needed or used, and to securely store personal data.

The UKPN is committed to safeguarding the privacy of our committee members, volunteers, website visitors, project participants, and other members of the public; this privacy statement sets out how we will treat personal information.

Types of Data

The following outlines the types of personal data held by the UKPN:

  • Full names
  • Email addresses
  • Institutional affiliations and employment status
  • Addresses
  • Pronouns
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Career stage and educational qualifications
  • Salary details
  • Clothing sizes
  • Bank account details
  • information about your computer and about your visits to and use of this website (which may include your IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, referral source, entry page, exit page, length of visit, number of page views, the route taken through this website, and similar information);
  • information that you provide to us for the purpose of registering with us;
  •  information that you provide to us for the purpose of subscribing to our website services, email notifications and/or newsletters; and
  • any other information that you choose to send to us.

These data are held in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:

  • Google Sheets files
  • Google Forms files
  • Google Doc files
  • Google Slides files
  • Slack
  • Siteground
  • WordPress

We may use personal data to:

  • Share to relevant committee members convening projects where necessary
  • Stay in contact with committee members
  • Communicate with project participants
  • Notify individuals about opportunities for ECRs and with the UKPN
  • Liaise with volunteers and ensure they have appropriate equipment
  • Reimburse expenses
  • Report on member demographics
  • Research ECR experiences
  • Distribute competition prizes
  • administer the website
  • improve browsing experience
  • enable use of the services available on the website
  • send email notifications which have specifically been requested
  • send the UKPN newsletter and other marketing communications relating to UKPN business or the businesses of carefully-selected third parties which may be of interest by post or, where an agreement has been made, by email
  • deal with enquiries and complaints made by or about individuals relating to the website.

The above lists are not exhaustive.

Mitigation Measures

The UKPN may disclose personal data to committee members insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes as set out in this Data Protection Policy.

Personal information disclosures may also be made in the following scenarios:

  • to the extent that the UKPN are required to do so by law;
  • in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings;
  • in order to establish, exercise or defend the UKPN’s legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk); and
  • to any person who the UKPN reasonably believe may apply to a court or other competent authority for disclosure of that personal information where, in the UKPN’s reasonable opinion, such court or authority would be reasonably likely to order disclosure of that personal information.

Except as provided in this data protection policy, the UKPN will not provide personal information to third parties.

Data Storage Limitations:

Personal data for committee members, including full name, email address, pronouns, institutional affiliation, and home address, shall be held no more than 12 months following the end of the year in which they served on the committee, or following the last communication. The later date will be observed by default.

Personal data collected via surveys shall be held for no more than 12 months following the conclusion of any analyses conducted. Aggregated data may be held indefinitely.

Personal data collected for other individuals – via the Antarctic Flags project for example – will be held for up to 12 months following the last exchange with the individual.

Data Control:

Committee members are not permitted to share personal data to individuals outside of the UKPN Committee except when it is in line with this policy. In order to ensure the best security for data held in Google Drive and Slack, committee member access is limited to only current committee members.

Any personal data collected on behalf of UKPN activities should be stored in the UKPN Google Drive. The UKPN will delete any personal data held if an individual reaches out and requests that it be removed. Individuals can contact the UKPN for this purpose by emailing .

External Parties:

The UKPN relies on the Data Protection policies of Google, WordPress, and Siteground to ensure that data stored on those sites is protected adequately.

The WordPress site provides visitors with a privacy policy statement outlining the relevant clauses of this policy.

The website contains links to other websites that are not under the control of and are not maintained by the UKPN. We are not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites. The UKPN provides these links for your convenience only but does not endorse the material on these sites.

Expenses paid to committee members and volunteers are managed by the Challenger Society. Personal data passed on to the Challenger Society for the purposes of reimbursement are covered by the Challenger Society privacy policy.

Information that the UKPN collects may be stored and processed in and transferred between any of the countries in which we operate to enable the use of the information in accordance with this Data Protection Policy.

In addition, personal information submitted for publication on the website will be published on the internet and may be available around the world.

Subject Access Requests

  1. Any individual who would like a copy of their personal data, would like their data removed from the UKPN sites and files, or would like to update their marketing preferences should email
  2. They may instruct the UKPN to provide them with any personal information the UKPN holds about them. Provision of such information will be subject to:
    1. the supply of appropriate evidence of their identity.
  3. The UKPN may withhold such personal information to the extent permitted by law.