The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

This guide is intended to provide applicants with detail of the ICO Grants Programme and how to apply for funding. It also sets out our expectations should your application be successful. 

Organisations are invited to bid for a grant to support independent research and projects. The ICO is seeking proposals that meet one or more of the six strategic goals set out in the ICO’s Information Rights Strategic Plan and provide a clear public benefit with outputs that are open source and re-usable. Examples of areas we are interested in include:

  • Surveillance technologies: for example, the ethical and accountable use of emerging biometric technologies in the private and public sectors or the long term impacts on public attitudes to surveillance, monitoring and tracking as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ‘Datafication’ of homeworking: research and tools related to issues of tracking, transparency and collection of personal or special category data of home workers.
  • Digital identity: for example health passports, including issues of transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, data sharing and accuracy.
  • Data sharing, smart cities, artificial intelligence and big data: in particular, research that promotes privacy-by-design and innovation in emerging public and private uses or research and tools to support post-end of transition global connectivity for SMEs.
  • Data protection issues and solutions for vulnerable adults, groups at risk of inequality and children: for example, research and tools supporting the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code (Children’s Code) and approaches to age assurance and verification mechanisms.

This is the supporting information you may need if your application is approved. 

If you'd like more information, please contact the ICO's grants programme.