Privacy Notice: Ben Barres Spotlight Awards

Details related to the data held and processed as part of applications to the Ben Barres Spotlight Awards.

This Privacy Notice relates to data held and processed by eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd about applicants for the Ben Barres Spotlight Award.

For all queries relating to personal data and privacy, please contact us at

What is your personal data used for, and why?

eLife collects information that is necessary to enable us to evaluate your application and to communicate with you. We use this data for the legitimate interest of administering the award scheme.

Some of the personal data that you may optionally provide (relating to disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation) is classed as special category data, and as highlighted on the application form we are relying upon your explicit consent to collect, store and process this data.

We also use some of your data for the legitimate interest of business analysis and planning.

What types of personal data do we hold?

The information we hold is that supplied by you on the application form, and falls into four types:

  1. contact information about you, including name, email address, institution
  2. information about the award you are requesting, and how you would use it, as well as background information including your country of work and career stage;
  3. information that identifies your eligibility for an award which may include details of your eLife publication or preprint, and any of the following that you choose to provide: country of work, disability, ethnicity or race, gender, neurodivergence, sexual orientation and socio-economic background;
  4. information for diversity monitoring purposes which may include any of the following that you choose to provide: gender, ethnicity or race.

All this data is used to administer the award scheme.

We will also use the data in (1) and (2) for business planning purposes.

Aggregated and anonymised data in (3) and (4) may be used to inform decisions around future iterations of the awards.

Who do we share the data with, and why?

We share this data with eLife staff directly involved in administering the awards, and with organisations required to deliver our services (such as data storage companies). It is never disclosed to other organisations for them to use for other purposes.

The members of the panel that assesses applications and grants awards only have access to data provided in (2). This panel comprises additional members of eLife staff and a small number of our editors and Early-Career Advisory Group members.

Some of these individuals and organisations are outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

We may prepare aggregated reports from the individual data in a way that does not allow any individual to be identified and share these widely with our staff, editors, Early-Career Advisory Group members and the public.

How do we keep the data confidential?

We safeguard your data using appropriate administrative, physical and technical security measures.

When we share your data with others, we have contractual arrangements with them that oblige them to safeguard the data, to use it only for the purposes we have requested, and not to disclose it to any other parties without our consent.

The form of these contractual arrangements varies according to the location of the other party, and we employ stronger safeguards for parties outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

As our editors and Early-Career Advisory Group members carry out their roles as individuals, it is impracticable for us to have such comprehensive contractual arrangements with them as we have with other third parties.

How long do we retain the data for?

We keep your personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary for the purpose for which it was collected.

Data in (1) and (2) above is retained for up to three years. Data in (3) and (4) above is deleted within three months of successful applications being announced.

Your rights

You may request a copy of any personal data eLife holds about you, and request to have any incorrect data corrected.

You may object to us processing your data, and may ask us to erase your data.

You may also ask us to stop processing your data in certain specific circumstances.

To exercise these rights please contact

You may complain about our retention and processing of your personal data to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the supervisory authority for data protection issues in England and Wales.

For more information related to our data policy, please visit

Revisions to this notice

  • This post was revised on June 20, 2023 to reflect a change to the fifth year of the awards to add neurodivergence to the eligibility criteria.
  • This post was revised on September 13, 2021 to reflect changes to the third year of the awards. These are namely that sexual orientation and socioeconomic background have been added as eligibility criteria; that country and career stage have moved from the more protected sensitive category to an ordinary category; that the review panel now see less data; and that applicants to also invited to provide data for diversity monitoring purposes.
  • This post was revised on September 3, 2020 to make consistent the data points referred to throughout the notice. They were previously listed as (a-c) in text and numbered (1-3) in the list of types of data.