Privacy Notice

Plant Health Centre - Privacy notice

Who we are

The Plant Health Centre (“PHC”, “us” or “we”) is a virtual centre of expertise funded by Scottish Government through RESAS (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Sciences Division) and made up of collaborators from The James Hutton Institute (“Hutton”), Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (“RGBE”), Scotland’s Rural College (“SRUC”) and Forest Research (“FR”). 

Hutton primarily manages PHC’s daily operations and is the Data Controller over any personal data processed about you for the purposes relating to the operation of this website, or as otherwise stated in this privacy notice.

However, in some cases, Hutton requires to share your personal data with above PHC collaborators (e.g., for project application purposes). Where this is the case, these collaborators shall also be Data Controllers.

This privacy notice outlines what personal data the PHC collects from you and how we use your personal data collected (i) through your interaction with this website and its sub-domains (the “websites”), including when you submit online enquiries, surveys or questionnaires; (ii) when you communicate with us other than via the website e.g. using post, email or the telephone; (iii) when you enquire, register and/or attend any events that we may host or organise; (iv) when we send you information about PHC related events and projects; (v) when you submit a project application to us and (vi) any other interaction you have with us and during which we process your personal data.   

If you have any concerns about PHC’s processing of your personal data or you have a general enquiry in relation to data protection please contact the Data Protection Officer at The James Hutton Institute on or by telephone 01382 346814.

Data protection principles

PHC is committed to protecting your personal data and adheres to the principles of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when processing your personal data.  This says that the personal data we hold about you must be:

  1. Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  2. Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  3. Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  4. Accurate and kept up to date.
  5. Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  6. Kept securely.

What is personal data?

Personal Data: means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

Special Category Datameans personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

When we use the term ‘personal data’ we mean both personal data and special category of data.  The above definitions do not include anonymised data.

How the Plant Health Centre uses your personal data



Personal Data

Where do we get it from?

Legal Basis


To respond to enquiries you submit on our website, to provide a response when you contact us via, to send you our newsletters and to process your survey responses

Name, email address, telephone number


Legitimate Interest – it is in both of our interests to respond to such enquiry.


To send marketing communications and inform you about our events, activities and projects

All personal data listed in Row 1 plus job title, company email address and marketing and communication preferences.


Legitimate Interests - we only send marketing communications to businesses or organisations. It is in our legitimate interest to market our events to encourage people to attend and make the event a success.


Consent - when we are sending marketing communications because you have signed up to our newsletter, we will rely on your consent.


To organise events and communicate with you about these events

All personal data listed in Row 1. Plus dietary requirements.


Consent – by registering for an event, you consent to us using your personal data for the purposes of organising the event to the extent necessary, including catering for any dietary requirements. We will seek separate consent for anything not strictly necessary for the organisation of the event e.g., to include your name in conference delegate packs.


To improve our website

Information collected from Cookies


How you use our website


We may collect information, where available, about your IP address, operating system and browser type.


Legitimate Interests – any essential cookies are used on the basis that it is in our legitimate interest to use these for the proper functioning of our website.


Consent – we will seek consent for non-essential cookies.


To run our Integrated Pest Management Plant for Scottish Growers:


We collect information as part of a consultation questionnaire which farmers or land owners can take voluntarily. The aggregated data from this plan will be collated and used to demonstrate the implementation of Integrated Pest Management practices in the farming industry as a whole.

Names, email addresses, farms/company names and postal addresses


Consent – the consultation questionnaire is voluntary and we will seek your consent to process your personal data in relation to this project. Please see the IPM privacy policy for further details.


To process your project application - PHC processes your personal data for assessing your eligibility and sustainability for PHC funding, reviewing and processing proposals and project applications for corresponding with you to advise on your submitted applications.

All personal data listed in Row 1. Plus position, telephone number of Lead Applicant, Project Manager, Contract Manager, Finance Contract Details, Sub-contractor (if applicable) and details of your proposal. We may also collect information about topic expertise on staff members proposed to be involved in the project.


This processing is necessary for the performance of our research tasks which we carry out in the public interest.


When you are a PHC grant holder or participant on an awarded grant, we use your information for:


  • administering and managing your awarded project and related contracts;
  • to notifying you about changes to our funding schemes, conditions, policies or privacy terms;
  • to monitor the progress of your awarded project;
  • to manage our project management system;
  • to keep in touch with you about your awarded project. This includes sending you update emails and inviting you to attend meetings or other events run by PHC and its partners which are of relevance to your awarded project;
  • to contact you for feedback and suggestions for improvements on how we do things;
  • to publish information on PHC projects on our website or social media;
  • for metrics, evaluation, learning and reporting purposes. 

All personal data listed in Rows 1 and 6. Plus name of grant holder researcher, project research team and their organisation, project outputs, how PHC funds or reach and impact of PHC projects etc.


This processing is necessary for the performance of our research tasks which we carry out in the public interest.


Does Plant Health Centre use Cookies?

Yes. Further information on how the Plant Health Centre uses cookies is available in our Cookies Policy.

Where will Plant Health Centre keep my data? 

Your personal data will be stored on a secure server at The James Hutton Institute located in the UK.

Is Plant Health Centre processing particularly sensitive information? 

"Special category" or particularly sensitive personal information (see section “What is Personal Data?”) that we hold about you require higher levels of protection under data protection law. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal information.

Where we need to collect “special category” data (such as information about your ethnicity, race and disability), for example for diversity monitoring purposes, we will do this with your explicit consent, which can be withdrawn at any time by emailing

Will my personal data be shared with any other organisation/third parties and if so, why?

The Plant Health Centre will not share your personal data with any other organisation or third parties out with the collaboration without seeking your prior consent. Exceptions to this would be:

  1. Where you are the lead applicant or a participant on a PHC project application we may need to share your personal data with our funding partners such as Scottish Government and RESAS.  We may also need to share some personal data with external reviewers, advisors and referees in order to evaluate/validate your application . 
  2. Where we are hosting an event with other parties e.g. the Scottish Government, in which case we may share your personal data where necessary for the specific purpose;
  3. Where we are required to share your personal data in accordance with law or any regulatory requirement to which the Plant Health Centre is subject or where we are undergoing a corporate restructure;
  4. Where we use third party suppliers to provide us with a service and that involves processing personal data on our behalf.  This includes, for example:
  • Survey providers;
  • Event organisers;
  • Marketing automation platforms and email marketing service.

Will my personal data be shared outside of the UK?

We will share your information with individuals and organisations outside PHC who are connected to or provide services on behalf of PHC, some of whom may be based outside of the UK. Where personal data is required to be shared outside the UK, PHC will adhere to the requirements of data protection legislation (i.e. ensure that adequate technical and organisational controls are in place). PHC will ensure that appropriate agreements with regard to data sharing are in place with parties outside the UK. 

Two of the most common jurisdictions we may transfer data to are the EU and the US.  The EU is deemed adequate by the UK in terms of providing adequate levels of security for your personal data.  The US is not viewed in the same way therefore we typically put in place Standard Contractual Clauses (or an International Data Transfer Agreement) when transferring to the US with a view to ensuring that your personal data is protected adequately.  This may change over time however we will ensure that appropriate transfer mechanisms are in place.

Is my personal data safe?

The Plant Health Centre works hard to protect your personal data and have adopted appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep it safe from unauthorised disclosure, alteration or destruction.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal data transmitted to the Plant Health Centre via the internet; any transmission is at your own risk.

How can I stop Plant Health Centre using my personal data for marketing purposes if I no longer wish to receive communications from Plant Health Centre?

If you no longer wish to receive communication from PHC and would like your personal data removed from our database, please e-mail and request to be removed from our mailing list.

How long will Plant Health Centre retain my personal data?

The Plant Health Centre will keep your personal data for no longer than is necessary for the purpose we obtained it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or reporting requirements or until such time that you withdraw your consent and/or exercise your right to request that PHC stops processing your personal data. 

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements. We may retain your Personal Data for a longer period in the event of a complaint or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation in respect to our relationship with you. 

Does Plant Health Centre make any automated decisions about me or profile my personal data?

PHC does not make automated decisions about you and also does not profile your personal data.

What are my rights in relation to the personal data Plant Health Centre holds about me?

We have summarised your rights below.  More information can be found on the ICO's website. Please contact our Data Protection Officer at to exercise these. Please note that some of these rights are not absolute rights and there are instances where we can refuse to comply with your request.  Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data.
  • You have the right to access personal data held by us about you.
  • You have the right to request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • You have the right to request that we restrict the processing of your personal data.
  • You have the right to object to us processing your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest or where we are using it for marketing purposes.
  • In certain circumstances you have the right to ask us to erase the personal data we hold about you. We will consider any such request in line with UK GDPR. Please note this is not an absolute right and there may be circumstances where we choose not to delete the data we hold about you.
  • In certain circumstances, you have the right to receive your personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. You also have the right to request us to transmit your personal data directly to another controller.
  • If we are relying on your consent, you can withdraw your consent at any time, at which point we shall stop processing your personal data in that way.  Please note this does not affect the legality of our processing up to the date of your withdrawal of consent.  If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain services to you e.g. have you at events. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent. To withdraw consent, please contact the Data Protection Officer at The James Hutton Institute at
  • You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if you think that we have infringed your rights. You can find more information about reporting a matter on the ICO’s website.

Third Party Links

Plant Health Centre's website may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of third parties. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites and any services that may be accessible through them have their own privacy notices and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these notices or for any personal data that may be collected through these websites or services, such as contact and location data. Please check these notices before you submit any personal data to these websites or use these services.

Changes to Privacy Notice

We reserve the right to amend this privacy notice. However, any changes we may make to our privacy notice in the future will be communicated to you in some manner. 

This Privacy Notice was last updated in May 2024.


Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy notice are welcomed and should be addressed to: