Photo of Dr Mark Taylor

Dr Mark Taylor

Position: Senior Lecturer
Email Address:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6816
Room No: AF20
Feedback and Consultation Availability: You can book an appointment online to see me

Academic Profile

I studied law at the University of Hull, graduating with an LLB (Hons) in 1994. I came to Sheffield in 1998 to take the MA in Biotechnological Law and Ethics. I remained in Sheffield to complete a PhD on the morality of regulating genetic discrimination. I have been lecturing at the School of Law since 2002. I am actively involved in Research (see below) and Teaching Development and am responsible for the student-tutor programme in the School. I am a Mid Career Fellow of the British Academy and, outside of the University, I chair the Confidentiality Advisory Group for the Health Research Authority. In addition, I am a member of the Ethics, Regulation and Public Involvement Committee (ERPIC) for the Medical Research Council, a member of the National Data Guardian’s Panel, a member of the Ethics Advisory Group for Genomics England, and I am currently acting as an external legal consultant to the OECD.

Now on part-time secondment to the Health Authority as an advisor on data policy, I support work on the information governance aspects of the HRA approvals programme and advise on a project to describe good practice alternatives to identify potential research participants.


  • Ph.D., University of Sheffield, 1999-2003 (awarded Oct, 2003)
  • PCHE, University of Sheffield, 2002
  • MA in Biotechnological Law and Ethics (with distinction), 1998-99
  • LLB (Hons), The University of Hull, 1991-1994

Teaching and Learning

I am involved in a range of teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I serve as an external examiner at the University of Edinburgh and I am interested in teaching development. I co-founded the student tutor scheme in the School of Law. My general approach toward learning and teaching is collaborative: I understand University to be a shared learning experience and I aim for my students to apprentice with me, as I learn with them.

I was involved in the development and delivery of the HEFCE Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning (HEFCE CETL) at the University of Sheffield and I sat on the CILASS (Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences) strategic advice committee. I spent 3 years (2008-2011) as the Faculty Officer responsible for Postgraduate Student Affairs. Outside of the University I have been involved in outreach and public engagement activity since 2003, including the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences in 2010, Researcher's Night in 2012 and the Festival of Science and Society in 2013.

The modules I teach are:

Undergraduate Postgraduate and MA
Human Rights and Human Genetics (Convenor) Health Research and Privacy (Convenor)
Jurisprudence A: Law and Morality (Convenor) Principles of Bioethics and Biolaw - Contested Values in the Discovery Chain
Understanding Law (Convenor) The Research Process: Ethics Day School

Research Interests

  • Regulation of personal information with particular emphasis upon health information and the common law duty of confidence and the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • This specific research interests feeds into a more general interest in the authority of the law and the legitimacy of any demand to subjugate individual preference for the sake of common interest.
  • I wish to challenge the rationality of any regulatory regime that presents individual interests as necessarily antithetical to the public interest and I seek to develop a concept of privacy that is capable of reconciling individual (privacy) interest with a broader (public) interest in privacy protection.

Areas of Research Supervision

  • Data Protection and Information Governance
  • Health Information and Genetic Data
  • Public Interest and Private Interests in Privacy
  • Relationship between Law and Morality

Key Projects/Grants

Title/Description: Establishing the Public Interest in Research Access to Confidential Health Records
Awarding Body: British Academy
People Involved: Principal Investigator: MJ Taylor
Years Funded for: September 2012 - September 2013
Amount: £106,345
Title/Description: RECODE (Policy RECommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe)
Awarding Body: EU-FP7-2012 Science in Society
People Involved: Principal Investigator: David Wright (Trilateral Research & Consulting)
Other Investigators: Kush Wadhwa, Rachel Finn, Hayley Watson, Fanny Mazell (Trilateral); Sally Wyatt (eHg); Rodd Smallwood, Mark Taylor, Bridgette Wessels, Thordis Sveinsdottir (University of Sheffield); Susan Reilly (Stichting LIBER Foundation); Evi Sachini, Victoria Tsoukala (Greek National Documentation Centre); Stefano Nativi, Paolo Mazzetti, Lorenzo Bigagli (National Research Council of Italy); Peter Linde, Lasse Bourelius (Blekinge Institute of Technology); Jan-Peter Wissink, Jereon Sondervan (Amsterdam University Press).
Years Funded for: 2013 - 2015
Amount: €738,270
Title/Description: Privileged: Privacy in Law, Ethics and Genetic Data
Awarding Body: EU, FP6-2003-Science and Society 9
People Involved: Principal Investigators: Dr MJ Taylor (Sheffield University ); Assoc. Prof. David Townend (University of Sheffield (at time of award), University of Maastricht during project).
Other Investigators: Professor Guilherme De Oliveira; Dr Helena Moniz; Dr Rafael Vale e Reis (University of Coimbra, Portugal); Professor Eugenijus Gefenas; Dr Indra Giraite; Dr Asta Cekanauskaite (University of Vilnius, Lithuania)
Years Funded for: January 2007 to December 2009
Amount: €738,270

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • Chair, Confidentiality Advisory Group (Health Research Authority)
  • Member, Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel
  • Member, Ethics, Regulation and Public Involvement Committee (ERPIC) for the Medical Research Council
  • Member, Ethics Advisory Committee for Genomics England
  • External Legal Consultant, OECD
  • National Information Governance Board, Ethics and Confidentiality Committee (NIGB ECC) (previously the Patient Information Advisory Group (PIAG)), Vice Chair (Elect) (2011 - ), Member (2007 – ).
  • NIGB Research Database Working Group, Chair (March to September 2010).
  • External Examiner for University of Glasgow and University of Edinburgh.
  • External Evaluator, EUREGIO II (EU FP7) (January to July 2011)
  • Member of Editorial Committee, Law, Innovation and Technology (Hart Publishing: General Editors Prof. Roger Brownsword and Prof. Han Somsen) (2009 - )

Key Publications


Journal articles