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Privacy Policy

The privacy and security of your personal information is important to us

This privacy policy explains how and why we use your personal data. We regularly review this policy and may periodically make changes to this policy, so please check our website for the latest version.

This version of our statement was updated on 1st August 2018.

Who we are

In this policy, whenever you see the words ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’, ‘Regional Studies Association’, this refers to The Regional Studies Association which is registered as a charity in the UK (charity number 1084165). We are also a company limited by guarantee (company registration number 04116288).

The Regional Studies Association is a leading international learned society in the field of regional studies. It was established to promote education in the field of regional studies, by the exchange of ideas and information and to stimulate and aid studies and research into regional planning, development and functions, and to disseminate the results of such research.

Our address is: Regional Studies Association Sussex Innovation Centre Falmer Brighton BN1 9SB

If you have any questions in relation to this privacy policy or how we use your personal data, please direct these to the above address or email to

How we collect information about you

As a learned society, we collect information that we need to deliver our membership benefits andcarry out our charitable aims and objectives, these include organising conferences, publishing, grant funding, knowledge exchange and policy work and other related activities.

We will only use your personal data on relevant lawful grounds as permitted by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (from 25 May 2018)/UK Data Protection Act and Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulation (PECR).

We collect information in the following ways:

When you interact with us directly This could be when you become a member, register for an event, or communicate with us about our activities. This includes when you phone us, visit our website, reach out through social media, place an order on our website or get in touch with us in person.

When you interact with us via partners or suppliers working on our behalf This could be when you participate in an event hosted by RSA Europe or another partner organisation, which is managed by us.

When you interact with us through a third party This could be if you make a donation through a third-party donation website and agree to share your data with us.

When you visit our website We collect general information about which pages you visit most often, and which events and opportunities are of most interest. We may also track which pages you visit in emails from us, and we use “cookies” to help run our website effectively.

Other public information We may also use other public information to find out about existing and potential members of them community. For example, we may research to find academics or policy makers in a specific academicm field, when looking for plenary speakers for our conferences.

What personal data do we collect, and why do we use it?

Personal Information

Personal information we collect includes details such as your name and address, educational institution, email address, telephone number. You will have given us this information, when you place an order for membership, or to attend a conference.

When you sign up for membership, you may add optional information to your profile on the RSA expert register, which is then visible to and searchable by other members. Members find this is a valuable resource for networking with other researchers in the community, particularly as part of a research partner search. If you do not want to share your details in this way, then you may leave these fields blank and/or opt out so that your details are not shared.

If you are attending a conference we ask for food preferences and any specific access requirements.

If you are claiming a discount, we may ask for further information to verify your eligibility (for example proof of residence or proof of career stage)

If you are applying for grant funding, we will ask for information relevant to the application. This could include employing institution, , curriculum vitae, copy of relevant qualification certificates etc.

We will use the information you provide in the following ways:

  • To process your membership or event booking
  • To update you with any important administrative details about events, membership or grant applications
  • To keep a record of our relationship and communications with you
  • Where you hold a voluntary position with the organisation, to administer the arrangement and communicate with you
  • To process grant and other funding applications

If you do not provide us with this information, we may not be able to process your membership, deliver benefits, or give you essential event and other information.

All members are sent by default, information about all events and membership benefits which includes a monthly e-bulletin.

All conference attendees are sent by default information about conferences.

All marketing will end two years after your sign up for membership or events, but you can amend your marketing preferences in your profile at any time.

Sensitive Personal Information

We do not hold any sensitive personal information.

Bank Information

We do not normally collect bank or credit card details. All payments made via our website are through the third-party payment processor Worldpay. Worldpay only share limited details with us (confirmation that the card payment has gone through, the ID number of the customer, and the order and invoice number of the customer).

Occasionally we may accept a card payment over the telephone which is processed through a card terminal in our office. In this case, we keep written details of the card payment in a secure locked location. The three-digit CCV number is physically destroyed once the card terminal receipt has been issued.

Website information

We use the information gathered by the browsing information on our website, to ensure that we provide the best service and experience for our community. Wherever possible we use anonymous information that does not identify individual users of our website.

Most information is processed in the UK and European Economic Area (EEA)

Legal basis for using your information

We will use your personal information where we have your consent or when we need it to fulfil a contractual agreement with you (for example, because you have booked a conference place).

There are other lawful reasons that allow us to process your personal information and one of those is a legitimate interest. This means there is a legitimate interest for the RSA to process information for the benefit of the regional studies community. Whenever we process your information under the legitimate interest reason, we will make sure we take your rights and interests into account.

Sometimes there is a legal obligation for the Association to process and share data. For example, when the Association is audited or has a Charity Commission inspection it may be necessary to process and disclose data.

Marketing communications

We will only contact you by phone, text message or email with general marketing communications if you have agreed for us to contact you in this manner. If we have your postal address, we may send you information about our work by post, unless you have told us you don’t want to be contacted in this way.

When we are organising a conference in a new territory, or on a new theme, we will often do research to find individuals and organisations that may be interested in attending, speaking at, or funding one of our events.

We do not normally buy and never sell lists of contacts. We normally research individuals from data that is publicly available, or from personal recommendations. We also may meet people at events organised by us, or other organisations or through telephone conversations, our mobile apps or via websites and public directories, and wish to communicate with them.

Once we have identified potential contacts (and within thirty days of identifying their details), we will contact them, giving them details about our organisation, and our interest in them and invite them to opt-in to receive details from us.

Sharing your information

We do not normally share your information except as detailed in this privacy statement and as follows:

Journal Distribution

If you are a member, we share your contact details with our publisher, Taylor and Francis (Informa). Taylor and Francis may in turn share this limited data with their distribution third-party contractor who need this information to distribute the journals that are included in your membership.


All grant and award applications are considered by our Research and Awards Committees comprising persons of good standing in the Regional Studies community, including staff and trustees of the RSA and other individuals as indicated on our website and in our annual Trustees Report.

All information is kept securely, and only used for the purposes of considering eligibility and scoring for the grant/award applied for.

Local Representatives

As one of your membership benefits you are entitled to be kept up to date about local events and opportunities in your area. To facilitate this your details may be shared with your local Territorial

Representative, called RSA Ambassadors and Chairs of RSA Branches, Sections and Divisions. These are people are of good standing in the Regional Studies community, usually at the level of mid-career or senior academic or practitioner. Details of your local representative can be viewed on our website: Territorial Representatives are required to agree to keep all confidential and sensitive information securely, to only use member details for RSA related purposes, not share these details with third parties and to comply with all relevant data protection legislation.


We may disclose your information if required to do so by law, or to enforce our terms and conditions and other agreements. If you no longer want us to hold or process your data, you can opt out, or ask us to remove your data. If you ask us to remove all your data, we will remove all personal details, leaving only anonymised data in our systems. This could mean that you will not receive all the benefits that you have paid for.


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How we Protect your Information

We take information and system security very seriously and we strive to comply with our obligations. Any personal data which is collected, recorded or used in any way, whether on paper, online or in any other media, will have appropriate safeguards applied in line with our data protection obligations.

Our information is protected by controls designed to minimise loss or damage through accident, negligence or deliberate actions. Our employees also protect sensitive or confidential information when storing or transmitting information electronically. We seek to meet industry standards of good practice; providing a controlled environment that effectively manages risk to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your information.

How Long we Keep your Information

We will keep your personal information only where it is necessary to provide you with our products or services while you are a customer. We may also keep your information after this period but only where required to meet our legal or regulatory obligations. The length of time we keep your information for these purposes will vary depending upon the obligations we need to meet.

Your Individual Right

Your have several rights in relation to how the Regional Studies Association uses your information.

They are:

The right to be informed – you have the right to clear and easy to understand information on what personal information we have, why and who we share it with. We explain this in our Privacy Statement.

A right of access – you have the right of access to your information. If you wish to receive a copy of the personal information that we hold on you, you may make a data subject access request (DSAR).

Right to request rectification – if your data is inaccurate or incomplete you can request that it is corrected.

Right to Erasure – you can ask for your data to be deleted or removed if there is not a compelling reason for the Regional Studies Association to retain it.

Right to Restrict Processing – you can ask that we block or suppress the processing of your personal information for certain reasons. This means that we are still permitted to keep your information but will ensure that we don’t use it in the future for those reasons you have restricted.

Right to Object – you can object to the Regional Studies Association processing your personal data where it is based on our legitimate interests, for direct marketing and if we were using it for scientific/historical research and analysis.

How to make a complaint

We will always strive to collect, use and safeguard your personal information in line with data protection laws. If you do not believe we have handled your information as set out in our Privacy Policy, please contact us and we will do our utmost to make things right. If you are still unhappy you may complain to the UK-ICO on their helpline 0303 123 1113.

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