BioResource Centre - Cambridge

The Cambridge NIHR BioResource Centre was the first of its kind and was founded in 2006. We help local researchers with the support from local participants.

Currently the NIHR BioResource Cambridge Centre has more than 17,000 volunteers and the number is increasing steadily.

Some members have health conditions and some don’t, but all are interested in taking part in our research. The studies look at, for example, the links between genes, or the environment, health and disease.

We also help with national studies, some of which are led by Researchers in Cambridge, for example the IBD Programme  and the Rare Diseases Programme.

We specialise in local research. We can offer specific genotype and/or phenotype groups.

If you are a Researcher please get in touch

For Participants

More information on what is involved with joining the BioResource can be found here.

When you join you will be given the opportunity to take part in both local and national studies.

Here at the Cambridge BioResource, we are lucky enough to have our own clinic on the Biomedical campus, a popular area with our members as it is friendly and welcoming. We have our own dedicated team of nurses that work on both local and national studies.

We are proud to be part of the NIHR BioResource and of all our members.

If you would like to join us please email

If you have been invited for an appointment at S2 please click here for details of where we are and how to find us.

If you would like to leave the BioResource please click here.

If you have moved away from Cambridge please let us know and we can transfer you to the centre closest to your new home. If there are no centres close to your new home you can still remain on our national panel of volunteers, just let us know.

For Researchers

The NIHR BioResource Centre Cambridge was established to support volunteer recruitment to research studies that otherwise would not have been possible using more general methods of volunteer recruitment (e.g. posters and general advertising).

Using existing material, provided by volunteers at the enrolment stage (DNA, sera, plasma), the BioResource is able to provide tailor-made cohorts of volunteers to researchers that specifically match their study criteria.

We will consider supporting studies that fall into the following categories:

  • Studies that involve the recall of healthy volunteers by genotype
  • Studies that involve the recall of healthy volunteers by measured phenotype (e.g. biomarkers)
  • Studies that involve the recall of patients
  • Studies that involve genetic data only

We will NOT consider supporting studies if any of the following apply:

  • You have already commenced volunteer recruitment but are failing to reach the recruitment target
  • Your study requires the general recall of healthy volunteers, not specified by genotype and/or phenotype (e.g. only by age, gender & lifestyle)

In relation to costs for using the BioResource, if you are an academic or clinical researcher, please refer to this page.

If you are an industry researcher, you'll find our costs here.

Please note that we are funded by the NIHR and therefore will not consider applications involving animals, animal tissue or both. For more information on the NIHR’s policies with regard to research involving animals or animal tissue please see their website.

If you are interested in having your study supported by the Cambridge BioResource you should complete the following steps.

  1. Before your application is submitted you must contact the team at in order to arrange a meeting to discuss the feasibility of your project.
  2. This meeting will focus on all aspects of the study apart from those discussed at the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) which are mentioned in their Terms of Reference.
  3. Once the feasibility of the study has been agreed then a formal application can be completed and submitted, through the CBR, to be considered at the next available SAB.
  4. The application will then be considered by the SAB.
  5. Once a decision has been made, the Chair of the SAB will communicate this by letter/email the principal applicants.
  6. The decision of the SAB will then be supported by the CBR and appropriate action taken.

You can find the application form for the SAB here.

Any recall studies that make use of the BioResource facilities in S2 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital must have NHS REC approval. In addition to this Cambridge University Hospital must be an approved site.


Applications to the Cambridge BioResource are considered by our Scientific Advisory Board on a quarterly basis. To submit an application for consideration by the Scientific Advisory Board please complete your application and email it to

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

A maximum of 8 new applications will be considered at each SAB meeting.

The deadline for submission of applications is 20 working days prior to the SAB meeting.

Future SAB meetings:

Monday 16 May 2022

Monday 19 September 2022

Monday 28 November 2022

Most common reasons why applications are not approved by the Scientific Advisory Board, are:

  • Lack of scientific justification – please provide sufficient evidence and references to support your study
  • Lack of information in the power calculation – please provide a detailed power calculation to justify the number of volunteers/samples that you are requesting. If the study is pilot study due to the fact that no information is available to make a power calculation please state this clearly
  • Inappropriate lay summary – the lay summary for you study must be appropriate for anyone with a reading age of 12 and over
  • No genotypic or complex phenotypic requirements – if your study could easily recruit volunteers without the use of the BioResource (e.g. using posters and/or social media) then it is likely your study will not be approved
  • Your research in some capacity involves the use of animals, animal tissue or both.

Here's a link to information our all of our studies and to publications the BioResource has been involved with.


Box 299, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ

0800 090 1212

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