Access to biological samples
The Danish National Biobank stores millions of biological samples available for use in research projects. Access to samples can be obtained in 5 steps.
How to obtain access to the biobank samples:
1) Contact the DNB Coordinating Centre with your research idea
If you have a research idea involving the use of biological samples you can contact the Coordinating Centre (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for guidance. The centre will help investigate whether the Biobank holds the samples necessary for you project, guide you through the application procedure, and may also suggest relevant collaborators for your project.
2) Obtain permission from a research ethics committee
Once your project has been designed, your project must be approved by a research ethics committee. Researchers from abroad or Danish and foreign companies collaborating 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.
3) Download the DNB application form from the Danish Health Data Authority website and fill out
Once approval from the Ethical Committee is obtained, you can download the DNB application form from the Danish Health Data Authority website (sundhedsdatastyrelsen.dk). Besides an ethics committee approval, you must attach a project description to your DNB application. We also need the application to and approval from your own institution (“Fortegnelsen”). If the biological samples applied for are located in external biobanks, the Coordinating Centre can coordinate the application, so that you only have to apply to the DNB. Furthermore, the Coordinating Centre can guide you on access to samples.
4) The project is reviewed by the Scientific Board
Incoming applications are assessed by the Scientific Board ("Indstillingsudvalget"). The board consists of the following members: 2 representatives from Statens Serum Institut, including the chairman, 1 representative from the Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences, 1 representative from the Danish Regions, and 1 representative from the Danish Patients organization. The Scientific Board evaluates applications in the order they are received and responds no later than one month from receipt of a complete application.
5) Samples are handed out
An agreement on the terms for sample retrieval and handling is made by the DNB laboratory office and the scientist responsible for the project. The normal limit is set to 100 μl serum/plasma or 1 μg DNA. The samples are retrieved and handed out. In some cases it will also be possible to have your analyses carried out at SSI based laboratories. Thus, data alone will be handed over to you once the necessary paperwork has been handled.