Applications are open to the fourth and final round of funding for the current Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) funding program. The ICO has committed to running the grant program by 2021. This year we will work to review and report on his progress.

Now, in its fourth year, the program supports independent research into data protection and data protection issues and develops data protection-enhancing solutions. It specifically focuses on projects that make a real difference to the UK public.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said, “When I launched our fellowship program in 2017, it was designed to promote research and privacy innovation in key areas of privacy risk. My office had a clear vision from the start of a well-funded program that could have a real impact on the UK information rights environment and increase public confidence in the use of personal data. I also wanted the program to give a greater voice to some of the expertise and creative mindsets I had seen in the UK academic and nonprofit communities. When we start the next phase of the program, I would like to point out that these goals have already been successfully achieved. “

Projects previously funded under the scholarship program include an online child privacy toolkit created by Sonia Livingstone and her team at the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a project that deals with the data rights of people affected by homelessness.

Data Protection Act

The program also supported research into the impact of data protection law on the use of pseudonymized genomic data in healthcare, as well as projects that enabled transparency in relation to artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning.

Stephen Almond, Director of Technology and Innovation at the ICO commented, “I am excited to be part of this ICO initiative to stimulate groundbreaking research into areas that affect our daily lives and online privacy. Innovations in privacy are improving people’s lives, whether it’s finding new ways to protect children and vulnerable people online, by improving homework practices, or finding ways to exercise people’s privacy rights on complex biometric and security issues To protect surveillance technologies. “

Almond added: “The UK has a vibrant research community. In this data-driven world, it is important to us that we support data protection and data protection initiatives that deal with current issues. “


Organizations are now invited to apply for a grant of up to £ 100,000 to support independent research and projects. The ICO looks for proposals that meet one or more of the six strategic objectives set out in the Information Rights Strategic Plan and offer clear public benefit, with results that are open source and reusable.

Examples of areas the ICO is interested in include surveillance technologies, homework ‘data transfer’, digital identity, data sharing, smart cities, artificial intelligence, big data and privacy issues, and solutions for vulnerable adults, groups at risk of inequality and children.

For more information on the scholarship program, including eligibility, funding, and outcomes expectations, please visit the ICO Scholarship Program hub. The hub also contains details and results of completed and ongoing projects from previous rounds. It is hoped that privacy professionals and academics will use these findings to continue innovating across the privacy sector.