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Biospecimen Collection Grants

These Grants 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.

Applications for the last round of funding closed in December 2018.

Relevant future funding opportunities will be advertised on this page and through other channels when available. To ensure you receive the latest news and notifications regarding this and other programs, please subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of this page.

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: biobank.health.nsw.gov.au/information-for-researchers/collection-strategy/

For further information on Biospecimen Collection Grants contact the Office for Health and Medical Research at: MOH-OHMRGrants@health.nsw.gov.au

For queries regarding biobanking services available at the NSW Health Statewide Biobank contact 02 4920 4140 or NSWPATH-Biobanking@health.nsw.gov.au

For queries regarding data linkage services available from the Centre for Health Record Linkage contact 02 9391 9924 or MOH-cherel@health.nsw.gov.au

Past recipients

The research directory lists all research projects and/or devices that have received funding through the Office for Health and Medical Research.