How to apply for biobank material for research purposes

You can apply for material from the Blood Service Biobank for high-quality scientific research and product development. The Biobank has a straightforward process in place for dealing with applications for material and for releasing material for research purposes.

The application process

Preliminary enquiries

Preliminary enquiries allow us, where necessary, to preliminarily see whether the desired samples and data are available in the Biobank and whether the Biobank’s material is suitable for the research project in question.
The Biobank will review the enquiry and respond in writing. The Biobank’s response is not binding and represents only an initial response regarding the availability of material.

You can complete the preliminary enquiry form here (pdf).

Preparing an application for material

If the response to the preliminary enquiry is positive, the Blood Service Biobank will send the researcher the forms and instructions required for the actual application for material together with information about the attachments required.

The following attachments should be submitted:

  • Research plan
  • Data protection documentation (report on the processing of samples and data, list of persons processing data)
  • CV of the researcher in charge
  • Report on the ethical aspects of the research project (e.g. opinion by the relevant Ethics Committee)
  • Other attachments required (as necessary).

We will gladly help you prepare your application and answer any questions you may have!

Please submit the completed application form with the required attachments by email at

How the Biobank processes applications for material

Experts from the Biobank and the Blood Service will review the application for material and submit a recommendation to the Director of the Biobank. The Biobank will request further information regarding the application and its attachments if necessary. The final decision on the release of material will be made by the Director of the Biobank. The decision may be favourable, unfavourable or conditional.

The decision and the reasons for it will be submitted to the applicant in writing. The applicant may supplement the application and submit it to the Biobank for repeat review. An appeal against the decision may be lodged with the Regional Administrative Court.

During the assessment, special attention will be given to the following:

  • The compatibility of the research project with the Blood Service Biobank’s research area
  • The research project’s scientific and technological quality, ethical aspects and data protection
  • The adequacy of the project’s resources in relation to the research plan
  • The adequacy of samples in the Biobank in relation to the samples requested
  • Any overlap with other ongoing research projects that are utilising material from the Blood Service Biobank.

Agreeing on the release of material

After a favourable decision, details of the project implementation will be agreed on and a preliminary price estimate provided. The Blood Service Biobank will prepare a material release agreement (MTA or Project Agreement for Biomaterials, Data and Services) which the researcher and a representative from their organisation must sign before material is released. The organisation concerned may be a Finnish or an international research facility or company.

The agreement outlines the release of samples and data to the applicant, the applicant’s reporting obligations, the return of data to the Biobank, the fees payable to the Biobank, and other matters related to the release.

By signing the agreement, the applicant undertakes to process the data provided in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Agreement (EU 2016/679) and the Data Protection Act (5 Dec 2018/1050). The agreement stipulates the duration for which the samples and data are to be stored, and the principles behind their destruction after the end of the research project.

Release of material from the Biobank

Material will be supplied to the researcher in coded form with due respect for data security as stated in the material release agreement. The time required to release the material requested depends on the amount of the material concerned and the types of sample and data requested.

Publication of research results and returning data to the Biobank

The Biobank Act (688/2012) requires that all studies utilising biobank material must be made public. The Blood Service Biobank must also be mentioned in any research publications. On its website the Blood Service Biobank publishes the names of all research projects with short descriptions prepared together with the researcher, the name of the researcher in charge, and any links to scientific publications.

The Biobank and the researcher will agree in the material release agreement which individual results and/or raw data obtained from the samples are to be returned to the Biobank for use in other Biobank research. The Biobank and the researcher may agree that research results will be disclosed for use by other researchers only after they have been published.


The Blood Service Biobank complies with the pricing principles approved by the Blood Service. The final price will be determined according to the amount and type of material and any additional work required by the project concerned. A preliminary price estimate can be requested from the Biobank during the preliminary enquiry stage.

Contact us

Blood Service Biobank, Härkälenkki 13, 01730 Vantaa

Satu Koskela

Biobank specialist, processing of applications for material

Mirva Ikonen

Processing of applications for material