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Biospecimen Collection Grants

These Grants will enable researchers to develop collections of high quality biospecimens and associated data.

The NSW Health Statewide Biobank can store more than 3 million biospecimen samples.

The Biospecimen Collection Grants aim to support research on priority health issues affecting the NSW population. The collections will be an important research asset that will help make a difference to the health of the community for generations to come.

The biospecimens will be collected, processed and stored in the NSW Health Statewide Biobank. The Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL), a dedicated data linkage centre within NSW Health, will be funded to support linkage of the biospecimens to NSW Health data collections.

The Biospecimen Collection Grants will support strategic collections of the NSW Health Statewide Biobank that may be existing or prospective.

Apply now

Stage 1: Expression of Interest

Expressions of Interest are due by 5pm on 3 September 2018.

  • Biospecimen Collection Grant Expression of Interest Form

    DOCX - 362 KB

Stage 2: Full Application

Only those applications successful in the EOI (stage 1) are invited to submit a full application (stage 2).

Full Applications close at 5pm on 10 December 2018.

The full application process includes:

Applicants should submit these documents  in one electronic PDF document to

  • Biospecimen Collection Grants - Budget Form

    DOCX - 781 KB

  • Declaration for NSWHSB Consent Toolkit/Open Access

    DOCX - 55 KB

Before you apply

Only those applications successful in the EOI (stage 1) are invited to submit a full application (stage 2).

Full Applications close at 5pm on 10 December 2018.


The full application (stage 2) will assess:

  • alignment with broad aims and characteristics articulated in EOI and with NSW Health Statewide Biobank (NSWHSB) Collection Strategy
  • quality of biospecimens
  • ethics and governance
  • consent arrangements
  • sustainability
  • technical feasibility of the collection and data linkage.

Applications would still need to adhere to the eligibility criteria of stage 1 which can be further verified in stage 2 (ie. majority NSW collection team, storage and distribution from the NSWHSB, open access or agree to transition within 6 months).

Applications also need to adhere to the eligibility criteria for collection, processing and storage by the NSWHSB (see NSWHSB Collection Form).

OHMR encourages you to contact the NSWHSB and the Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL), as soon as possible, to discuss your application. See contact details below.


The full application process includes:

  • Responding to any feedback from the OHMR on the EOI application
  • Complete the NSWHSB Application Form: for the collection, processing and storage of biospecimens – which requests detailed information on the collection and data linkage for any applicant wanting to bank biospecimens in the NSWHSB (not just for the Biospecimen Collection Grant) . The form requests information on your research for which you can reference your EOI form as appropriate.
  • Complete the Budget Form– requesting information on what the grant will fund and other funds available or in train for the associated research
  • Complete the Declaration for NSWHSB Consent Toolkit/Open Access
  • Include a Service quote and feasibility assessment from NSWHSB and CHeReL – to be generated by the NSWHSB and CHeReL. You will need to make sure that you allow one week for CHeReL and the NSWHSB to generate a quote and assessment. You will need to contact them directly (details are listed under ‘More information’).

Applicants should submit these documents together in one electronic PDF document. This document should be named: [RESEARCHER NAME] _BiospecimenCollectionGrant2018­_ FullApplication_[DATE you emailed the document] and emailed to


Applications open – 5 November 2018

Applications close (including feasibility review by NSWHSB and CHeReL) – 10 December 2018

Full Application review by Scientific Advisory Group – January 2019

Outcomes notified  notification – February 2019

Frequently asked questions

Can you please advise if the grant applications need to undergo an internal review and endorsement process by the Local Health District?

An internal review and endorsement process is not required for this grant application however endorsement by the local health district executive is likely to be beneficial.

Are privately funded biotechnology companies eligible to apply?

A privately funded biotechnology company is not eligible to apply as an individual organisation. However, you will be eligible if you collaborate with any of the NSW entities as listed in the Expressions of Interest Form and NSW entity being listed as the Host Organisation.

Are ACT based researchers eligible to apply?

The grants are for NSW based entities and researchers as listed in the Expressions of Interest Form. Also, biospecimens need to be from people in NSW. However you will be eligible to apply if you partner or collaborate with a NSW entity and nominate the NSW entity as the Host Organisation and the biospecimens are from people in NSW.

What does an ‘open access’ collection mean?

Open access refers to a collection whereby all biospecimens and associated data (including any annotating data stored off-site) are made available to researchers in NSW within a particular research field, at a minimum. Access to these open access collections is governed by an access committee, with representation of the NSW Health Statewide Biobank and the collection’s institutional custodian (more information on the access committee is available in the Collection Strategy. Conflicts of interest must be declared in all cases. If the collection is existing, biospecimens will need to become open access within 6 months of receiving the grant.

What are the priority health issues of NSW?

There is no specific list of priority health issues of NSW. Applicants are expected to make the case that their collection will support research into a priority health issue of NSW. For more information, please refer to HealthStats NSW.

More information

The Grants can be used over a fouryear period for:

  • biospecimen collection, transport to NSW Health Statewide Biobank, receipt, processing and storage
  • biospecimen retrieval, dispatch and transport to the researcher
  • storage of biospecimen related data.

Successful collections will also be covered for the following, outside of the grant:

  • data linkage to NSW Health data and access to that data CHeReL
  • storage of the collection in the NSW Health Statewide Biobank beyond the four year term of this grant, pending continued relevance and utility.

Collection Strategy

The Collection Strategy will provide an overview of collections that will be supported and banked by the NSW Health Statewide Biobank (NSWHSB) in its first four years of operation (2018 to 2022). It establishes NSWHSB collection priorities and requirements to ensure that the NSWHSB supports high value research. It covers the process for banking biospecimens and managing data for different collection categories including collection, processing and storage elements. The Collection Strategy can be accessed at:

For further information on Biospecimen Collection Grants contact the Office for Health and Medical Research at:

For queries regarding biobanking services available at the NSW Health Statewide Biobank contact 02 4920 4140 or

For queries regarding data linkage services available from the Centre for Health Record Linkage contact 02 9391 9924 or

Updated 2 months ago