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.

What personal data is Plant Health Centre processing?

  • Personal details (such as your name, e-mail address and telephone number) which you provide by submitting an enquiry via the website, contacting us via, when signing up for our newsletter or when you complete any online survey/questionnaire or when you communicate about or register for an event.
  • Dietary information you give us for events.
  • How you use the website and any other information you post, e-mail or otherwise send to us.
  • IP addresses - we may collect information where available about your IP (internet protocol) address, operating system and browser type.  This data provides us with information about users’ browsing actions and patterns.  It is used to inform improvements to the website and for internal system administration.
  • Personal data such as name, telephone number, job title and company email address in order for us to carry out business to business marketing of our services, and promote our ideals or aims to your organisation, including sending to you our e-newsletter. 
  • Personal data you provide to us when submitting a project application.  This may include for example your name, position, email address, 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.
  • Once a project  application has been successful, we collect additional information for the ongoing management of your awarded project and related contract.

Where did Plant Health Centre obtain my personal data from?

The personal data is gathered directly from you when you correspond or communicate with us or use our website. We also gather information such as emails  from our collaborators for the purpose of inviting you to events.

Does Plant Health Centre use Cookies?

Yes. Further information on how the Plant Health Centre uses cookies is available in Hutton’s 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.

Why is Plant Health Centre processing my personal data?

The Plant Health Centre is processing your personal data for the following purposes:

  1. When you submit a project application. PHC processes your personal data for assessing your eligibility and suitability for PHC funding, reviewing and processing proposals and project applications and corresponding with you to advise on your submitted applications.
  1. 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.
  • Notifying you about changes to our funding schemes, conditions, policies or privacy terms.
  • Monitoring the progress of your awarded project.
  • Managing our project management system.
  • Keeping 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.
  • Contacting you for feedback and suggestions for improvements on how we do things.
  • Publishing information on PHC projects on our website or social media. This will include the name of grant holder researcher and project research team and their organisation, project title and summary, project outputs.
  • Metrics, evaluation, learning and reporting purposes, e.g. on how PHC funds or reach and impact of PHC projects etc.

Our lawful basis for processing personal data under sections 1) and 2) above is that this is necessary for the performance of our research tasks which we carry out in the public interest.

  1. Responding to enquiries, signing up for our Newsletter, and processing survey responses. Our lawful basis for this processing is consent. By corresponding with us via an enquiry form or otherwise, you consent to us using the personal data provided to respond to such enquiry. Likewise if you sign up to our newsletter or agree to take part in a survey, you consent to us using your personal data to send you our newsletter or process the survey data.
  1. Marketing activity and informing you about our events.  We only send marketing communications to businesses or organisations. Our lawful basis for this is that it is in our legitimate interest to market our events to encourage people to attend and make the event a success.  Where we are marketing to you because you have signed up to our newsletter, we will rely on your consent.
  1. Organising events – our lawful basis for this is that by registering for an event you consent to us using it for the purposes of organising the event to the extent necessary, including catering for any dietary requirements.  We will inform you about  or seek separate consent for anything not strictly necessary for the organisation of the event e.g. to include your name in conference delegate packs.
  1. To improve our website - In relation to information collected from Cookies, we use this to inform improvements to the website (e.g.  to help us monitor the use of our website and be able to then provide you with a better user experience by remembering how you like things displayed, measuring how you use the website, ensuring the website works properly and improving navigation) and for internal system administration.   Any essential cookies are used on the basis it is in our legitimate interest to use these for the proper functioning of the website.  However, we will seek consent for any non-essential use of cookies.
  1. Running our Integrated Pest Management Plan for Scottish Growers – We collect information as part of a consultation questionnaire for Scottish Growers, including farmers and nursery enterprises 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. For this survey we will collect names, email addresses, farm/company names and postal addresses. We rely on consent to process your personal information in relation to this project.  Please see the IPM privacy policy for further details.

Is PHC 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.) CREW 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 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.
  • 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.
  • You can seek to restrict our processing of your personal data, ask us to rectify any personal data we hold about you or object to us processing your personal data for the purposes stated above.
  • In certain circumstances you have the right to ask us to provide you with your personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format to allow you (or us on your behalf) to transmit this information to another party. 
  • In certain circumstances you have the right to ask us to erase the personal data we hold about you.  Such circumstances include (a) where we no longer need your personal data for the purposes set out above; (b) if you withdraw your consent to our processing; (c) if you object to our processing based on our legitimate interest and we have no overriding legitimate grounds to continue processing your personal data; (d) if we process the data unlawfully; or (e) where the personal data has to be erased to comply with legal obligation to which we are subject.  We will consider any such request in line with GDPR.  Please note this is not an absolute right and there may be circumstances where we choose not to delete all of the personal data we hold about you. 
  • 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 June 2023.


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