Privacy notice


Chevening Awards offer a unique opportunity for outstanding individuals to pursue postgraduate studies or professional education in the United Kingdom (UK).

In order to manage the programme effectively, we collect and use the information of individuals. This notice sets out how and why we use your personal information (also referred to as ‘personal data’ or ‘your information’ in this document).

Personal data means any information which relates to you and which can be used to directly or indirectly identify you as an individual.

This notice sets out how we collect and use your personal data and your rights in relation to how we use your personal information. This policy applies to our websites, social media, communications and services offered through Chevening Awards, including after an award has ended.

We ensure that we comply with all applicable data protection laws when handling your information. Your personal data will be processed in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Who are we?

The controller of your personal data is the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The FCDO is represented by the Chevening Secretariat, part of the British Council, who as the administrators of the awards are processors of your personal data. The British Council’s address is 1 Redman Place, Stratford, London, E20 1JQ, UK.

Chevening’s Data Protection Officer is the Data Protection Officer of the FCDO.

Please use the headings below to read more about how we collect and use your information:

What is ‘processing’?

Processing your personal data means the collectionstorage, and use of that data.

What personal data do we process?

We process various categories of personal data, depending on your relationship with Chevening and how you interact with us. The personal data we process about you may include:

  • Your name, title, gender, citizenship, and date of birth.
  • Contact details such as email address(es), postal address(es), phone number(s), social media links.
  • Your employment information.
  • Photographs of you or which include you within a group.

If you are applying for or have received an award we will also process data relevant to your status as an applicant, awardee, or alumnus. Such information will include:

  • Your education history including results of degrees.
  • Extended employment information including current and past professional roles and your employer information.
  • Results from the course studied on your Chevening Award.

Data protection law classifies some data as ‘special category data’ due to its greater sensitivity. These include information about your health, religious beliefs, and political opinions, which enable us to analyse the diversity of applicants and awardees, and which enable us to support you during your award. Where you are not obliged to give us this data (for example in surveys) you may always choose not to tell us, and any options list that we offer will include ‘prefer not to say’.

Where you are obliged to provide this data, for example, provision of medical form as a condition of an award, we rely on our legitimate business interests as the legal basis for processing this form of data. In all cases, the legal condition for our holding this data is your explicit consent.

How do we collect your information?

We collect personal data from different sources. Most of our data will come from you, for example when you:

  • Enquire about our activities, our services, or ask us a question.
  • Apply for a Chevening Award, at any stage of the application cycle.
  • Email or get in contact with us in some way, complete forms, or complete surveys.

We also collect your information when you visit our website or our social media channels.

We sometimes obtain personal information from third-party organisations. For example from the UK institution, you are studying at or otherwise affiliated to for your Chevening Award, if you are a recent award recipient.

Sometimes we may also obtain your information from publicly available sources such as internet searches and press sources, including media monitoring.

How do we use your information?

We may use your personal data for purposes including (but not limited to) the following:

  • To verify eligibility for a Chevening Award and to assess an application.
  • To effectively administer an award by organising a place at a UK institution, organising payment of stipends, to monitor current awardee academic or other progress, and to safeguard the wellbeing of those on award.
  • To administer Chevening Awards in other ways including maintaining our records.
  • To communicate with those on award and with those who have completed their award.
  • In reports or publications, to collate statistics, and conduct research as a way of monitoring and evaluating the value of the Chevening Awards programme which includes demonstrating who the awards holders are.
  • In some cases, to promote the Chevening Award programme.
  • To communicate with relevant individuals at organisations we work with in order to effectively administer the programme.
  • To help us provide opportunities, services and information to applicants, selected candidates, current awardees, past awardees or other stakeholders.
  • To deal with enquiries, requests, and complaints.
  • To comply with our legal obligations, policies, and procedures.

The legal reasons we rely on to process your information

Under UK data protection law, we must have a recognised lawful basis for processing your personal data.

We process your personal data mainly as part of our legitimate business interests. However, depending on the personal data we are collecting, we may process your data under one or more of these other legal reasons:

  • When we have to comply with the law or have a legal duty or obligation.
  • When we have your consent to use your information.
  • To fulfil a contractual obligation.

What is ‘legitimate interests’ and how does it apply to you?

A legitimate interest is where we believe that we need to process your data to pursue a particular purpose and that it would be fair for us to do so. You still have the right to limit or stop processing that has happened. See your rights below.

We process your personal data as outlined in this Privacy Notice to pursue our legitimate business interests in:

  • Administering the Chevening Awards programme in an effective way that allows the smooth selection and placement of award recipients and good study experience.
  • Enabling the FCDO to achieve its strategic objectives of the Chevening Award programme.
  • Keeping our records up to date.
  • Developing, providing, and sharing opportunities or services with our alumni, other key supporters, and with our collaborators.

How we share your data

Depending on your relationship with Chevening, we will sometimes share your data with the following third parties:

  • other departments of the UK government,
  • where you are a selected award recipient,
    • with officials at your chosen UK university(ies) or other hosting organisation,
    • with joint sponsors who are contributing to awards and
    • with selected organisations who deliver activities or services on our behalf, or in conjunction with us, or who will potentially be delivering services for us at a future point in time.
  • selected organisations who we commission to carry out activities on our behalf, such as the supplier of our online alumni platform or our online application system,
  • with relevant UK authorities in order to comply with our legal obligations.

Your data is also shared with the British Council who, as the administrators of the Chevening programme, are a processor of your data. You can find the British Council’s Privacy Policy at

We share data in pursuit of our legitimate interests. We will only share relevant data with third parties.

We do not sell personal data to any third parties or use it for commercial purposes. Third parties with which we share your personal data are required not to sell it.

Data transfers outside of the UK and the European Economic Area

From time to time we transfer applicant and award recipient personal data outside of the UK and the European Economic Area in order to facilitate the administration of the Chevening Award programme. We are committed to protecting personal data and will only use secure, encrypted methods of transfer to send data overseas, and will only transfer necessary data.

Keeping your information

We retain your personal information for as long as is required depending on your relationship with us and the services we are providing to you. We will also keep your personal data for as long as may be required by law, for example, immigration records must be kept for at least six years.

Once your personal data is no longer required, we will ensure that it is deleted securely. In some cases, we may retain a very limited amount of data for archiving purposes or to ensure that we can exclude you from further communications if necessary.

If you have any questions about how long we keep your personal data for, please contact us for more information regarding specific categories of personal data.

Your rights

You have the following rights:

  • The right to be informed about how your personal data is collected and used, which is the purpose of this Privacy Notice.
  • The right to access your personal data.
    • You may ask us to confirm what personal data we hold on you and to request a copy of your personal data from us. We will provide your data as soon as possible on written request – at most within one month of your request unless your request is complex. For complex requests, it may take us up to three months to provide you with the information.
    • There is no fee for obtaining a copy of your personal data. However, if you make repeated requests for the same data or excessive requests we may charge a reasonable fee for our costs in dealing with your request.
  • The right to your personal data corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete.
    • The accuracy of your personal data is important to us. You can ask us to update or amend anything missing or incorrect in your information.
    • We will make the necessary changes at most within one month of receipt of your request.
  • The right to ask us to remove your personal data from our records.
    • We will stop processing your information immediately and take steps to remove it from our storage systems unless we can show a legitimate interest in keeping some or all of your information.
    • We may retain a limited amount of your information (for example your name) to help us ensure that we comply with the request and that we do not accidentally at some future time start processing your data again.
  • The right to restrict or object to the processing of your personal data. For example, you can ask us to stop using or not to use photographs of you in our publicity materials. In such cases, processing will be restricted until the matter is resolved. We will inform you of that resolution.
  • The right to receive the personal information you have directly given us in a usable format if you intend to reuse it or pass to another organisation.
  • The right to object to processing where our reason for processing is based on our legitimate interests and you feel that in your personal circumstances our reasons may not apply.

Further rights

You also have these other rights in relation to how we process your personal data:

  • The right to withdraw your consent if you have given us consent to processing a particular part of your personal information.

Making a complaint

You have the right to complain to a supervisory authority about the way we have processed your personal data.

If you wish to lodge a complaint, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, the statutory body which oversees UK data protection law – or email

We hope you will contact us first to give us an opportunity to resolve your issue. Please use our contact details above to get in touch.

Changes to the privacy notice

This notice was last updated in September 2023. We will regularly review our privacy policies. We will publish any changes to this privacy notice on our website and where appropriate we will also notify you of the changes by other communication methods.

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