The standard doesn't support grants for individual academic work

The current standard does not support grants to individual academic work; rather it assumes the grants are going to organizations. While we don’t recommend to publish names of individuals when it comes to scholarships due to privacy, grants to individual scholars are typical and do not and publishing the academics name does not damage their privacy.

To support these types of grants to research, we need to add the following fields:

How should we proceed with these types of grants?

Some of these grants might be to cover all or some of the individual’s salary, so this does affect their privacy. In these cases the name(s) should be redacted. A relevant example here is the Wolfson Foundation, which provides salary top up grants to academics. They redact the amount given rather than the name. Another example is the Big Lottery Fund, which provides grants to individuals. In these cases the name or the individual is redacted and the geo data is at SOA level, so not the individual’s postcode but still at a level that its useful if you want to see the spread of the grants across a particular region.

FWIW, in Australia this information all seems to be pretty public.

The relevant standard there is the “Activity” element of the RIF-CS standard. Just in case looking at yet another standard was helpful :slight_smile:

(This forum only allows one link per post from new users…)

Thanks @Steve - I just changed this setting!

@rachel.rank - I think we mean cases as the following example from the Wellcome Trust when there is a prize for research for an individual:

Maybe @katherine.duerden and @stevieflow can add more to this topic?

Those examples all have organisations affiliated with the individual academic, and that’s where the grant would be given to, e.g. the university they work at. We’d want that information to be published, correct? The name of the individual would probably be included in the grant title or description. I suspect this is less of an issue for academics in fact, as they will be affiliated with their employer and its the employer that receives the funds, not the individul. I suspect its more of an issue for grants to individuals to help them with personal issues, e.g. hardship grants, housing costs, etc. That’s why I gave the Big Lottery example. I’m sure @stevieflow has some thoughts.

I think there definitely is a usecase for publishing grants to individuals (while bearing in mind the requirements for data protection, privacy, etc). And it’s not just academia - other examples might be grants to artists, athletes and even hardship grants made (plus the BLF grants that @rachel.rank refers to above).

In my experience the key is to flag that the grant was made to an individual - rather than needing to know who the individual was. So I wouldn’t recommend putting an individual’s name in the received field, but I’d like to know that a grant went to an individual. There’s a few possible conventions that could be adopted in the current standard:

  • assume individual if no recipientOrganization provided (probably undesirable as would be ambiguous, plus recipientOrganization is mandatory so grants would not validate)
  • recipientOrganization.organisationType is set to “Individual”
  • is set to “Individual”

Otherwise it could require a new field, possibly a flag on recipientOrganization.

NB There is potential for this to increase the scope of data available. Imagine food banks releasing details of every package they’ve given out, with classifications used to indicate the reason the person presented at the food bank, etc. Obviously the data would need to be anonymised (and carefully, including the possibility of identifying individuals from the anonymised data), but it could be a resource for researchers in that area.


Your regular reminder that under GDPR, pseudonynised data is identifiable…