Access to biological samples
The Danish National Biobank stores millions of biological samples that can be used for research projects
1) Obtain permission from a research ethics committee
To gain access, your project must be approved by a research ethics committee. According to Danish law, all research projects involving human biological material must obtain such an approval. Researchers from abroad who collaborate with a Danish institution responsible for data, either as part of a public research institution or an established non-commercial research and analysis environment, may gain access to material from the DNB. Likewise, Danish and foreign companies that collaborate with a Danish institution responsible for data, i.e. a research institution of an established non-commercial research and analysis environment, may gain access to material from the DNB.
2) Apply for samples via Scientific Services at the Danish Health Data Authority
Once approval is obtained, you apply through the national access system for biological samples and health data, Scientific Services at the Danish Health Data Authority. From here the application is forwarded to the Coordinating Centre at the Danish National Biobank. Besides an ethics committee approval, you must submit a project description, sample retrieval list, and a statement that the funds necessary to retrieve the samples are available. If the biological samples are located in external biobanks, the Coordinating Centre can coordinate the application, so that you as a researcher only has to apply once. The Coordinating Centre can furthermore guide and advise about access to samples.
3) The project is reviewed by the Scientific Board
Incoming applications are assessed by the Scientific Board. The board consists of the following members: 2 persons from SSI, among these the chairman, 1 person from the Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences, 1 person from the Danish Regions, and 1 person from the organisation Danish Patients. The Scientific Board evaluates applications in the order they are received and responds no later than one month from receipt of a complete application.
4) Samples are handed out
Agreement of the terms for sample retrieval and handling is made by the DNB laboratory and the scientist. The normal limit is set to 100 µl serum/plasma or 1 µg DNA. The samples are retrieved and handed out.
For more information, see our Guidelines on access to biological material and data from The Danish National Biobank, Statens Serum Institut (PDF).