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HFSPO Privacy Policy

8 February 2021

The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) was established in 1989 to promote innovative, cutting edge research at the frontiers of the life sciences through international collaboration in the spirit of science without borders and for the benefit of humankind. It is governed by the Board of Trustees composed of appointees from HFSPO Members, currently Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand,  the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and the European Commission.

This privacy policy explains how HFSPO uses the information collected via its website ( and via the proposal submission process based on the online application platform (

HFSPO is committed to safeguarding your personal information and this policy explains what kind of personal data we collect, store, and use from applicants and awardees of HFSP funding programs for the purpose of award selection through peer review (committee members and external reviewers), award management, and the statutory requirements for reporting to the HFSPO Members. 

HFSPO will collect and use your information where it is necessary for us to pursue our statutory mandate to provide research funds and where your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.

Visiting the public HFSP website ( 

When you visit the HFSP website the following data are logged: your browser, operating system, IP address, the date and time of your visit, the pages visited, and the amount of data transferred. 

We collect this information to monitor suspicious outside activities (hacking of the site), to diagnose problems on the HFSP site (in particular the online application platform), and to create anonymous usage statistics. HFSPO does not use this data to identify or profile people. Allowing the HFSP website and extranet platform to remain secure and robust constitutes our lawful basis for collecting the data.

The personal data is only accessible to selected HFSP staff who, according to HFSPO internal regulations, maintain the website and the technical support staff of Atheo and Prodware (third-party processors of HFSPO).

The data collected via the HFSP website is located on a server in the HFSP Secretariat in Strasbourg, and is not transferred to any other party. HFSPO will keep web logs for which information is archived after 30 days. We use this information to improve our website and provide a better experience for our visitors. The information is available only to our web managers and staff who require it to perform their duties. 

The teams from Atheo and Prodware have access to the HFSP servers to provide regular technical support for development and fixing problems. They do not have access to treat personal data of website visitors. Further information about their privacy statements is available at and

Submitting a research proposal for an HFSP award

When submitting a proposal for an HFSP research grant or fellowship we may collect the following information from you in your role as the applicant/investigator, co- investigator, host supervisor, or referee via our extranet portal:
•    first name, last name, academic title and degree, ORCID ID, date of birth; 
•    nationality;
•    address, email address and telephone and fax numbers;
•    CV including education/training and career history;
•    information relating to career breaks. We will not request any specific health-related information;
•    letters of support;
•    details of proposal.

We may ask for additional information about you relating to your application from external sources, e.g., other pending grants or support, publications, patents, clinical trials. We may also collect information about you and your research proposal from external reviewers and advisors (e.g. external mail reviewers and review committee members).

All this information is used for selecting and managing the HFSP awards and also to report on the kind of research that HFSP funds. The information is also required to assess the achievements of HFSPO as a global funding organisation of frontier research.

We use your information for:
•    displaying your award on the HFSP website;
•    the administration of your HFSP account on our extranet platform which provides password protected access for the submission of your proposal;
•    processing your application and assessing your eligibility and suitability for HFSP funding;
•    reviewing your application using external mail reviewers and/or members of the three HFSP review committees;
•    administration within our award database.

HFSP will share your information for the purpose of:
•    reporting e.g. award rates and trends in application decisions;
•    evaluating and reporting (where it could be combined with other data) e.g. the fairness and efficiency of application decisions; and
•    research and outcome analyses (where it could be combined with other data) e.g., to determine the geographical reach of institutions that HFSP funds. We may share your information for these purposes with individuals and organisations outside HFSPO who are connected to or who work on behalf of HFSPO, for example, members of the HFSPO Board of Trustees or individuals that review HFSPO activities, some of whom may be based outside of the EEA.

HFSPO’s legal basis for collecting and sharing the above mentioned data is our statutory mandate to act as a funding organisation for international research collaboration which vests us official authority to process your data.

Information that HFSPO collects about its awardees

In addition to the data collected during the submission process, HFSPO will collect the following information from you when you are awarded an HFSP research grant, fellowship or Career Development Award:
•    the banking information of your research institution;
•    with your consent, information relating to date of birth and gender;
•    with the consent of HFSP fellows, data on personal life (marital status and number of children) as this may result in additional financial support;
•    financial reports detailing the spending of HFSP funds;
•    annual reporting relating to scientific achievements;
•    information relating to unforeseen delays such as parental leave, extended sick leave or any other such circumstances. 

All this information is collected for the sole purpose of award management and will not be shared with other individuals or organisations.

HFSPO publishes information about its awardees, such as awardee name, institutional affiliation, title of the research project, and research achievements on its public website and in the HFSPO annual reports. The legal basis for disseminating this information is our statutory mandate to act as a funding organisation for international research collaboration.

HFSP Awardees Meeting

HFSPO organises an annual meeting of awardees and committee members. For this purpose we share their contact information with professional congress organisers MCI based in Paris, France. This includes title, name, institutional address and email address. Information on MCI’s privacy policy can be found at

Alumni registration

When creating an account in the alumni section of our website, we may process the following information about you:
•    first name, last name;
•    nationality;
•    email address;
•    your photo;
•    institutional address;
•    ORCID ID and Linkedin profile link;
•    other information relating to research activities.

We use your information for:
•    creating your account on the alumni platform;
•    sending you information and invitations to HFSP alumni events;
•    sharing your profile with other HFSP alumni.

HFSPO’s legal basis for collecting and sharing the above-mentioned data is your explicit consent, which you can withdraw at any moment by changing the settings in your alumni account or by contacting us at Click here to show mail address

Duration of data storage

We will retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which we collected it. This may mean retaining your personal information for a period after the tenure of your HFSP award for the purposes of satisfying legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

For the purpose of archiving, we permanently archive certain information, which we hold within our organisational archives. This is information that supports the planning of HFSPO’s resources and funding activities.

Cookie settings

Like many other sites, HFSPO’s internet pages use cookies. These are text files that are stored on your computer when you use an Internet browser. For more information, please consult our Cookie Policy page.

Your rights

As an applicant to HFSP funding programs and as an HFSP awardee you have certain rights over your personal data. Further information on your rights and how to exercise them is set out below. If you have an HFSP online account with us for the purpose of proposal submission, we hope that you will find that your information is easy to access and update as it is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current.

You have the right to:
•    request access to your personal information. This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it;
•    request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected;
•    request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us to continue to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information, should you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below);
•    object to the processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and where there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground;
•    request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal information, for example, if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it;
•    request the transfer of your personal information to another party; 
•    withdraw your consent for us to use your personal information at any time.

If you would like to exercise any of the rights mentioned above, please contact our Data Protection Officer (Click here to show mail address). Any private data that you request from HFSPO will be made available by electronic means using technology that relies on secure data transfer protocols.

Name and address of the controller

The controller for the purposes of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), other data protection laws applicable to HFSPO Members and other provisions related to data protection is:
12 Quai Saint-Jean, 67080 Strasbourg
Email: Click here to show mail address

The HFSP website and the extranet online application platform contain information to allow easy electronic contact with our organisation, as well as direct communication with us, including a general address for electronic mail (email address). If a data subject contacts HFSPO by email, the personal data transmitted by the data subject are automatically stored. Such personal data transmitted on a voluntary basis by a data subject to HFSPO are stored for the purpose of processing or contacting the data subject. There is no transfer of this personal data to third parties.

Revision history


Effective date

Overview of changes


25 June 2018

Initial version


15 April 2019

Amendments for the new HFSP website (pending approval by the HFSPO Board of Trustees)


28 January 2021

Adding a GDPR compliant cookie banner and management


8 February 2021

HFSPO Members list updated; Awardees Meeting section added

1.0.4 2 August 2021 Separation of the Cookies Policy from the Privacy Policy
1.0.5 23 November 2021 Update link to proposal submission platform for ProposalCentral