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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Research and Development

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Research Tissue Banks / Research Data Banks

Organisations responsible for the management of Research Tissue Banks or research databases anywhere in the UK may apply for ethical review of their arrangements for collection, storage and use of tissue or data.

Oxford University Hospitals requires that all Research Tissue Bank (Biobank) and Research Data Bank (Database) applications be submitted to an NHS REC for ethical review. Research proposal documents must be sent to the R&D Team for review before submission to a REC and/or the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).

Research Tissue Banks (Biobanks)

Defined as 'A collection of human tissue or other biological material, which is stored for potential research use beyond the life of a specific project with ethical approval or for which ethical approval is pending'.

Under the Human Tissue Act, tissue banks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland storing relevant material for use in as yet unspecified research must obtain a licence from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).

Applicants for ethical review of Biobanks will be expected to provide the REC with a copy of the licence as a condition of ethical approval, except where the Biobank is established in Scotland, or the biological material is not considered 'relevant material'.

Research Data Banks (Databases)

Defined as 'A collection of data, which is stored for potential research use beyond the life of a specific project with ethical approval or for which ethical approval is pending'.

Ethical approval for Biobanks and Databases may be given for a period of up to five years, and will be renewable.