Working with project partners

Additional information about working with project partners to manage data securely.

Group access and file sharing within or between projects can get complicated, especially when research partners are based in different institutions.

A clear plan for file sharing will help you simplify the process and limit data risks. The plan should include putting in place appropriate data sharing agreements before transmitting information to external project partners. The Commercial Services team can help staff with setting up the appropriate collaboration agreements. Contact information can be found on the staff intranet

The UK Data Archive provides an overview of different file sharing options. The easiest way to share files and folders is to use OneDrive for Business provided by UWE Bristol. OneDrive for Business allows you to maintain full control of the documents that you share with other UWE colleagues and external collaborators. Access to the data can be customised and you can easily work on files with project partners at the same time. The data is stored securely within the SharePoint environment.

Another alternative to file sharing is to use a SharePoint site because:

  • The transfer of data over the internet is encrypted.
  • Access to the data is controlled via username and password, and limited to data for which the users have been given explicit permission.
  • If data needs to be transferred to a non-UWE Bristol member of staff, a temporary user account can be requested via the IT Services helpdesk.

If you are sharing personal or confidential data, it is important to ensure the relevant participant consent has been obtained and that the appropriate data-processing agreements are in place.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there are restrictions as to where personal or confidential data can be stored. In most cases, such data should not leave the EEA. For more information on data-processing agreements and outsourcing data to a third party, refer to the research data security guidance provided by UWE Bristol’s research governance team.

The secure storage area in the Information Security toolkit (staff intranet) outlines data-protection guidelines for staff and students engaged in research at UWE Bristol. Contact the Data Protection and Records Management Officer for specific guidance on data protection issues.


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