Apply for BioResource data access

The BioResource can support your research by providing clinical and/or genetic data. We welcome applications from academia and industry and researchers outside the UK.

Data types available Application process Application forms

Timeline for data provision Methods of access

Data types available

Data that can be accessed include genetic data (Genotyping array or Whole Genome Sequencing), Phenotypic data (Health and Lifestyle questionnaire or Clinical), and Metabolomic Data.  Linkage with NHS Digital, Public Health England and ICNARC data has been achieved for some COVID studies.

NIHR BioResource data holdings table (Data types per NIHR BioResource programmes): The number of participants was updated in January 2024 and data types refer to stored participant data for Data Access Applications (eligible for data use); in progress refers to data which is currently being generated; *= data available for a subset of the total participants.

WGS = whole genome sequencing; WES = Whole Exome Sequencing; H&LQ = Health & Lifestyle Questionnaire. CRF = Clinical Report Form. Programmes: IBD = Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IMID = Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases, NAFLD = Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Programmes: For more information on the different Rare Disease panels please have a look at Rare disease projectsGeneral population includes volunteers recruited from the public and the NHS Blood and Transplant service (including STRIDES, INTERVAL and COMPARE studies). The table does not include data produced via the Rare Disease RNA Phenotype project. 

If you would like to know if our data are suitable for your study, please submit a query to dac@bioresource.nihr.ac.uk

Application Process

If you wish to access BioResource data, please use the Data Access Application (DAA) form. If your application has applicants from more than one organisation, you will need to obtain institutional sign off from EACH organisation. Additional institutional sign off can be completed by filling in the Additional Applicant form. The primary applicant is responsible for meeting the conditions described in the data access agreement. The data must be kept secure, only accessed by the primary applicant and any co-applicants listed on the DAA application and only used for the purpose of the study described in the DAA. Our Data Access Agreement must be read before signing the DAA. 

To add additional researchers to an existing application, please use the Additional Applicants form.

Provision of a well written plain language summary is an essential part of the application and approval process. To avoid delays in your application, you should write the plain language summary using the guidelines we developed to help you submitting a successful application. For detailed information please read our Plain language summaries:  Guidance for NIHR Bioresource Applications. Please note that the plain language summary for successful applications will be made public on our “approved studies”.

Application Forms

Download DAA form

Download Additional Applicant form

Timelines for Data Provision

We aim to process data-only requests as quickly as possible, with a Data Access Committee meeting fortnightly to consider applications. However, applications with an industry element are considered by our Steering Committee, which meets quarterly.

Once approved, some data access requests can be fulfilled rapidly, others take more time.  Please take a note of likely timeframes after Data Access Committee (DAC) approval when completing your application:

Within 2 weeks

  • Access to genetic sequence data held at the University of Cambridge’s High Performance Computing facility
  • Access to genetic and genomic data held at the European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA)

Up to 3 months

  • Data that requires substantial de-identification before it can be accessed.

Up to 6 months

  • Bespoke data that requires substantial processing before it can be accessed. (The time this takes will depend on the type of data requested)
  • Requests that seek linkage with e.g. NHS Digital data.

Method of Access

Increasingly data is accessed in situ, both as a legal stipulation of the source of the data (e.g. NHS Trust, NHS Digital) and as a privacy protection measure.

However, some de-identified research data is available for download too, e.g. genetic data at the EGA.

You can also look at our list of approved researchers and institutions.