Privacy statement



AREF Privacy statement
We obtain personal information from you when you enquire about our activities, make a donation to us, ask a question, submit an application for research funding, agree to act as a peer reviewer, Trustee, Ambassador or otherwise provide us with personal information to support our charitable aims. We may also receive information about you from third parties. Personal information can include: your name, postal address, email address, phone number, credit/debit card details via third parties (such as Just Giving; KBFUS) and whether you are a UK tax payer so that we can claim Gift Aid. We sometimes also gather information that is publicly available, such as details from HM Treasury regarding Financial Sanctions, articles in newspapers, Companies House, listed Directorships, and geographical location as part of our due diligence process and to develop a greater understanding of you.

Developing a better understanding of our beneficiaries and our supporters through their personal data allows us make better decisions, fundraise more efficiently, deliver excellence in AREF’s programmes, stewardship services and, ultimately, helps us to reach our goal of strengthening health research capacity in Africa for Africa.

We also gather general information about the use of our website, such as which pages users visit most often and which pages are of most interest, plus social media such as Twitter, Linked In sites and other digital platforms.

Like most websites, we use “cookies” to help us make our site – and the way you use it – better. Cookies mean that a website will remember you. They’re small text files that sites transfer to your computer (or phone or tablet). They make interacting with a website faster and easier – for example by automatically filling your name and address in text fields. Please see our COOKIE POLICY here.


How the information is used
We aim to be clear when we collect your data and not do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect.

To our supporters, we would like to keep you up to date with news about AREF and the work we do and how your support is making a difference to ensure our fundraising is open, honest and respectful.

To applicants for our awards and training, and for our research reviewers and other advisors, we should like to track your research and career development progress, understand your expertise, invite you to participate in research and training related activities and invite you to help evaluate how effective our programmes for supporting research and researchers are – so that we can improve.

  • We will use your personal information:
  • to provide you with the information you have requested;
  • to select reviewers for applications for research funding and training;
  • for effective administration of our programmes, evaluation and due diligence processes;
  • for internal record keeping, including management of enquiries and feedback and complaints;
  • to further our charitable aims, including for fundraising activities;
  • to keep a record of your relationship with us
  • to ensure we know how you prefer to be contacted
  • if you are a donor or potential donor, to help us to know and track appropriate requests and level of donation
  • to share your story and testimonial for our annual review and with your permission through our media and print communication where it is required or authorised by law, (police, regulatory bodies or legal advisors).
  • We may assess your personal information for the purposes of credit risk reduction or fraud prevention.


Keeping your information safe

We ensure that there are appropriate technical and security controls in place to protect your personal details.

We ensure that your information is only accessible by appropriately trained staff, volunteers and approved partners.  We carry out thorough checks on partners and companies we work with and have the appropriate contractual documents agreed.

Some of our partners and suppliers run their operations outside the European Economic Area (EEA).  Although they may not be subject to the same data protection laws as companies based in the UK, we will ask them to provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with UK data protection law as can be reasonably expected (for example a copy of their privacy statement).  By submitting your personal information to us you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA.

We will only store Personal data for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was processed. This includes for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes.


Your choice
You have a choice about whether you want to receive information about our progress and fundraising activities. We will not use your personal information for marketing purposes if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted.

For example, our newsletters, donation forms and AREF application forms have communication options to give you a preference in how you would like us to keep in touch with you. Your choice and control is important to us as we develop a relationship with you, therefore we really appreciate it if you let us know if your contact details change so that we may keep the information accurate.
You can contact us directly at any time about this by emailing


Your rights
You have a right to ask us to stop processing your personal data, and if it’s not necessary for the purpose you provided it to us for (e.g. processing your donation or registering you for an event) we will do so. Contact us on if you have any concerns.

You have a right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you. This will be provided within one month, although we may charge £10 to cover the costs involved. If there are any discrepancies in the information we provide, please let us know and we will correct them.

If you want to access your information, send a description of the information you want to see and proof of your identity by post to Africa Research Excellence Fund, c/o Medical Research Foundation, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH. We do not accept these requests by email so we can ensure that we only provide personal data to the right person.

If you have any questions please send these to and for further information see the Information Commissioner’s guidance here (link is external).


Changes to this Policy
We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will make this clear on the Africa Research Excellence Fund website or by contacting you directly.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know by contacting the Head of Operations, Africa Research Excellence Fund, c/o Medical Research Foundation, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH or email