For research requiring ethical approval, please read this information before using Qualtrics

Ensure all mandatory training has been completed:

For all research projects, please review whether you require:

A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), reviewed by the Data Protection & Freedom of Information Office for high-risk processing.

For research projects that will collect identifiable personal data:

You must include a Privacy Notice. This document is the responsibility of each research project owner using Qualtrics, and it should be tailored to that specific project or use.

Where surveys are fully anonymous (including no collection of IP addresses), no Privacy Notices are required.

Getting started

Creating projects in Qualtrics

This includes (among others):

  • About creating a project
  • Creating a New Survey Project
  • Creating from a Copy
  • Creating from the Survey Library
  • Creating from a File
  • Creating Projects from Guided Solutions
  • Creating from a Template
  • Project Types

Ensuring anonymised responses

By default, Qualtrics surveys automatically gather data related to respondents’ IP address and geolocation data. To ensure anonymity of your research participants, you should turn this feature off by anonymising responses before distributing your survey. However, if you do leave this feature on, then you must tell participants that you are collecting their data prior to participants completing the survey.

To do this, please read about Survey Options > Security Survey Options on the Qualtrics website and follow the guidance on anonymizing responses.

As noted above, you must ensure that you have research ethics approval for your research project which will likely include carrying out a data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

This short video shows you how to export and import surveys and survey data.

GDPR, security and data protection

Qualtrics is GDPR compliant.

Specifically, data created and stored in the University of Glasgow tenancy is stored at Qualtrics XM EU Data Centre and is encrypted using the industry-standard AES-256 cypher.

Special category data is not permitted on Qualtrics without first referring to the DP&FOI Office*

To use Qualtrics with Special Category Data, please contact the Data Protection and Impact Assessment  (PDIA) team with details of the Special Category Data you wish to collect.

Find out more:

Please retain data only for the time specified/required. Data removal should be priority when it is no longer necessary. You are responsible for the data you collect and hold.

*Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office

Research and ethics approval

Qualtrics is the University-recommended tool for research projects due to its diverse functionality for survey creation, distribution and data analysis of results. All UofG students and staff have access to Qualtrics via single sign-on (SSO) that allows users to be on-boarded into the service with ease. Where you plan to use Qualtrics for research purposes, ethics approval will likely be required.

Research that requires ethics approval

All research (including pilot studies) by UofG students and staff involving human participants or the collections and/or use of their data requires ethical approval unless it is deemed exempt. Please consult the University policies on good research practice for further information.

Research that does not require ethics approval

You do not need to apply for ethical approval if your work does not constitute ‘research’, such as teaching and service evaluations or audit projects that do not involve collecting sensitive or private data.

Further information

You should seek research ethics approval through the appropriate unit relevant to your School/College:

University’s ethics systems 

University Ethics Committee – the UEC is the overseer of all ethics processes across the University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow Research Ethics System - the UofG RES is the online application system where you can submit applications for research ethics. Please refer to your School/College guidelines.

Accessibility within Qualtrics

It is legally required that surveys are accessible to everyone. People with visual impairments who use screen reading assistive technology may not be able to use some question types where questions have not been checked for accessibility.

Qualtrics includes a Check Survey Accessibility feature that reviews your survey, indicates which questions are inaccessible and provides recommendations for increased accessibility. In addition to the tips below, Michigan State University has a helpful guide on making your surveys accessible.

  • Choose accessible survey questions. Not all survey question types are accessible. The aforementioned link has a list of accessible question types.
  • Add alt text to all images by adding a few short words to describe images.
  • Make sure your survey follows an accessible theme.
  • Check the contrast, colour scheme and font size to make sure that it is easily readable and can be interpreted by people with colour blindness and other visual impairments.

You can find further information is available on the Qualtrics Check Survey Accessibility website.


XM Basecamp

An on-demand training environment where you can undertake courses on request at a time that is suitable to you, sign up for live webinar courses and gain certification. You will be charged for premium courses.

XM Community

A forum where you can raise a query or question or conversation topic