Access to biological material

Access to biological material is granted after a contract is signed, based on an approved application. The agreement on rights to analyse biological material is signed by the project leader at the responsible institution for the research. Any delivery and usage of biological material must be within the purpose of the Tromsø Study, and in line with the project description/protocol and the necessary approvals that apply to the individual project. Applications are processed in the Tromsø Study’s Biomarker Committee before a final decision is made in the Tromsø Study’s management group.

How to apply

  • Fill out the application form (word) and attach:
  • A project description/protocol with the publication plan. Click her for the sample template
  • An approval from RE- Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics 
  • Send the application and attachments to the Tromsø Study email:

Applications must be submitted at latest one week before the Bio committee’s meeting. Please note that the application must be complete – including all the sections mentioned above – before it can be processed. However, the approval from REC can be sent later. 

Dates for the Biomarker Committee meetings 2023

The Biomarker committee will meet when applications for biological material are received.  Please contact the Tromsø Study for detailed information.

Expect a process time of up to 2 weeks after each meeting. Biological material is handed out when all necessary documents have been sent to the Tromsø survey, and the agreement is signed.

Guidelines and criteria’s for applying 

The Tromsø Study’s Biomarker committee assesses the applications based on the current guidelines for use of biological material (guidelines only in Norwegian), including requirements and criteria for application. The applications with the project description/protocol must meet all the criteria in the list below:

  • Description of the project’s background and purpose  
  • Description of the project’s design and research questions 
  • Power calculation or other justifications for the requested amount of samples 
  • REK-approval (the status of the application) 
  • Financial plan 
  • Statement on the applied method: traceability and reproducibility (CV) 
  • Statement on the sample sizes needed as well as a justification for sample size  
  • Statement on the quality of planned analyses in frozen biobank samples 
  • Statement on pre-analytical conditions: Can analytes withstand thawing and freezing? Is light protection needed? Does time from sampling to freezing matter? Other? 
  • The project leader’s CV 
  • The project collaborators' qualifications and what they will contribute to in the project (must be stated in the application) 
  • The usefulness for the Tromsø Study in general (must be described): can the analyses be useful for other researchers and projects? 
  • Collaboration with other projects, nationally and internationally 

The following criteria are the basis for assessment and prioritisation of projects: 

Scientific and academic quality

  • The scientific value (new knowledge) and originality in relation to the field of research
  • The scientific rationale for the project and the project design
  • The competence in the laboratory and the quality of planned analyses
  • The feasibility of the project, meaning a financial, realistic and appropriate plan for implementation
  • The competence and qualifications of the project leader and project group
  • The innovation potential

Usefulness/utility value (research value/value for future research?)

  • The project bridges knowledge gaps for society, research participants and/or patients
  • The material and/or analyses benefits several scientific researchers/groups
  • The results of analyses enrich the Tromsø Study’s databank
  • Development of new method(s) and/or field of research

Projects and applications regarding biological material are expected to have different profiles, i.e., strengths and limitations. Some projects can be assessed to have a high degree of originality and scientific quality but limited utility value, while other projects may have a high degree of utility value. The Biomarker Committee makes an overall assessment of applications for biological material based on the criteria listed above.

Fees for the application process and further

The fees related to the work the Tromsø Study does in the application processing and in the inquiries to the participants must, as a general rule, be invoiced to the research project. Labour costs are calculated for each individual project according to the hourly rate. Material costs, shipping and any other expenses will be in addition.