Norwegian biobanks are a world-class research resource. The Research Council of Norway is launching a new programme for research on human biobanks and health data.
“The main objective of the programme is to develop research-based knowledge about human health and disease through better use of human biobanks and health data as unique resources.
Rolf Reed is chair of the BIOBANK programme board and head of the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Bergen. (Photo: UiB)
The programme is designed to take advantage of the potential for research on human biological material in biobanks, by coupling analysis results with data from health surveys, health registers and the health services,” says Rolf Reed, Chair of the programme board.
The Human Biobanks and Health Data (BIOBANK) programme's first application deadline is 18 April.
“A precondition for receiving funds is that the projects exploit the full potential in large biobanks and health registers. The goal is to obtain new research-based knowledge related to prevention, diagnostics, treatment and survival in the case of somatic and psychiatric illnesses,” Reed says.
He emphasizes that the Norwegian research biobanks linked to the major health surveys are a world-class research resource.
“International cooperation will be strongly emphasized in the programme. By promoting such cooperation we will strengthen Norwegian research communities and contribute toward increased expertise,” Reed says.
Berit Johne is the programme coordinator of BIOBANK
The researchers' access to biobanks and register data concerns to a large degree the use of appropriate infrastructure. This includes infrastructure established through the Research Council’s Functional Genomics programme (FUGE) and the National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure (INFRASTRUKTUR), as well as international infrastructure cooperation.
The call for proposals will reflect the wording of the work programme.
The programme is designed to take advantage of the potential for research on human biological material in biobanks, by coupling analysis results with data from health surveys, health registers and the health services, as well as other relevant registers.
The primary objective of the programme is to generate, research-based new knowledge aiming at prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and survival of somatic and psychiatric diseases.
Central premises for the research:
- The programme is open to all hypotheses and research questions related to human health and disease and is not limited to particular thematic areas, topics or methods.
- The project may concern basic biomedicine, clinical problems, epidemiology and/or social challenges related to health.
- The research shall be based on the use of human biobanks, in combination with data from health surveys, health registers and the health services, as well as other relevant registers.
- The research projects should use the full potential of the large biobanks and registers, unless there are scientific reasons for a smaller study sample/population.The use of analysis capacity and competencies built up under national infrastructure efforts, such as the biobank infrastructure (Biobank Norway) and the FUGE-supported technology platforms, is encouraged.
- Each project shall address ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) relating to the use of human biological material and health data in the project, and such aspects may also be included as a sub-project or activity.
- Priority will be given to projects incorporating international collaboration.