We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

MRC Investment in human tissue banking and linked data – discussion session

Published on 27 February 2017

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has recently put out a call, titled, ‘Capital investment in human tissue banking and linked data, in partnership with charities.’ Through this call, the MRC will support the establishment of a focussed number of world-class human tissue banks and associated linked-data repositories, which will work in close partnership with research charities to enable new avenues of research into disease mechanism, diagnosis and treatment.

If you are interested in applying for the above call, we would like to suggest that you begin thinking about the structure and constitution of your initiative, and any potential partners you may work with. There may be an opportunity for coordination of effort, partnership and collaboration between applicants.

We are very happy to engage with you, and to support where we are able, however, it is important for applicants to have a clear plan for what they would like to achieve and the type of support (and its duration) they are hoping to secure through this call. Some limited funding may be made available as part of our eventual support, but the more likely scenario is that we will help support your strategic case.

We would like to encourage you to think of others with similar assets or plans for developing collections to talk with one another. We have limited capacity to help directly with this, though we may be able to offer some limited guidance. We hope you understand that while we are not in a position to play a central coordinating role, we are happy to host a discussion sharing session for those interested.

For those interested, please respond to Carol Peacock (, and we will look at arranging a telephone discussion in mid-March.

Some areas/principles worth considering are listed below. This is not a list of hard criteria, but instead what we propose as a guide to what we see as potential for support.
  • Is your proposal likely to lead to something that will become greater than the sum of its parts: for example, can collections be aligned, coordinated and/or grown from existing charity supported collections?
  • Will your proposed plans help break new ground in mechanistic and clinical understanding of disease?
  • Is there a chance to link with other disease areas and consider how this might work across or link with other morbidities (and therefore charity partners)?
  • What is the likelihood for future sustainability of the collection and how will institutional support play a part?
  • How will your collection be used and accessed- does it present a novel model/ engagement of partners such as industry and will it change how discovery as well as clinical and health research be accomplished nationally?
  • Will your proposal enable improved data linkage to deliver well phenotypes sample collections?
  • Does your proposed collection enable activity around the current biomedical research centre investment, Experimental Treatment Centres or other Arthritis Research UK– led investments.
For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.