Instructions for researchers
Eligibility for requesting access is restricted to Canadian and international researchers, based in public or private institutions, conducting scientific, health-related research (see the BCGP Access Policy). Researchers meeting these requirements are suggested to follow the following three steps when submitting an access request for BC Generations Project controlled accessed data or biosamples (see the BCGP Biosample Access Guidelines).
Step 1: Review available material and identify BC Generations Project Co-Investigator, if necessary
The BC Generations Project offers information on a variety of variables that are ready for access. Detailed information on data collection can be found here.
The BC Generations Project collects and makes available a variety of biosamples. Details on collection and what’s available can be found here.
BC Generations Project Co-Investigator:
If the Researcher is not a member of the BC Generations Project (BCGP) investigator team, then a BCGP team member needs to be identified as co-investigator. This BCGP co-investigator ensures the purposeof the BCGP is met and fulfills the requirement for the chain of accountability: first to ensure that the data is being used and interpreted appropriately and secondly to ensure that confidentiality provisions are followed. Please note that the BCGP staff member will be required under the terms of the MTA to oversee that the PI complies with the obligations set out in this document. Please check the website for a list of BCGP researchers. If you need assistance with identifying a BCGP investigator, this can be accommodated through the preliminary access application (Step 2) or, in the case of immediately proceeding to full application (Step 3), by contacting the BCGP Research Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to submission.
Step 2: Requesting letter of support for grant submission: Preliminary Access Application
The BC Generations Project (BCGP) can help you determine your data and/or biosample needs, estimate access costs, and help identify a BCGP Co-Investigator. To request a letter of support to submit with your grant application, you need to submit a Preliminary Access Application (PAA) to the BCGP Research Manager.
This will initiate a feasibility & impact assessment review of your research proposal and provide you with a budget estimate. Questions that arise will be communicated to the Applicant via the BCGP Research Manager, Biosample Manager and/or Data Manager. At the completion of the preliminary access application review, you will be provided with a letter of support.
PAA review criteria:
- Compatibility of the proposed research to the vision and purpose of the BCGP;
- Availability of requested data and/or biosamples;
- Potential impact on future uses of the BCGP data and/or biological samples;
- Potential to enrich the BCGP data and/or biosample repositories.
Researchers with a fully developed research proposal, funding, approval by their Research Ethics Board, and a BCGP Co-Investigator identified may submit a completed BCGP Access Application. Individuals also seeking access to linked cancer registry variables are asked to complete Appendix B and BCCA Data Access Request (DAR) Field Extraction Checklist as applicable.
Application review process:
Upon receipt of your application package, your application will be checked for completeness by the BCGP Research Manager. All complete applications will be sent for further feasibility and impact assessment review and will include assessing:
- Compatibility of the proposed research to the vision and ultimate goal of the BCGP as defined in the BCGP Access Policy;
- Availability of requested dataset and/or biosamples;
- Potential impact on future uses of the data and/or biological samples held by the BCGP;
- Potential to enrich the BCGP data and/or biological sample repositories;
- Adequacy of resources to support the proposed study, and to protect integrity/security of data and/or biological samples;
- Adequacy of the Applicant(s) and the Host Institution(s) processes regarding privacy and confidentiality.
Questions that arise will be communicated to the Applicant via the BCGP Research Manager, Biosample Manager and/or Data Manager. The Applicant is able to address these questions prior to the Access Application being sent for scientific review.
Applications are reviewed by the BCGP Access Committee (AC). The AC assesses applications based on the following scientific review criteria:
- Clarity, novelty and scientific excellence of the proposed research plan;
- Experience and qualifications of the applicant investigator and co-investigators;
- Demonstration of adequate resources to complete the proposed research;
- Managing access to biosamples to balance current and future needs;
- The provision of the requested biosamples is justified based on the scientific contribution of the research project, the potential impact of providing the samples on future needs for the biosamples, the risk of sample depletion and the assessment of the value of returned data;
- Potential for harm to BCGP from the additional recontact of participants (ancillary studies only).
The Applicant is able to address questions and/or proposed changes from the AC review. Upon BCGP access approval, you and your institution will be required to sign a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). You will also be charged an Access Cost Recovery fee for data and/or biosamples; please note that this amount may differ from the budget estimate supplied at the PAA phase.
Once the agreement has been signed by all parties, the BCGP Research Manager will notify the BCGP Data Centre and/or BCGP Biorepository to fulfill your request.
You will be granted access to the requested data and/or biosamples for a limited time period as specified in the MTA. Your access must be renewed if your proposed project is not completed within the specified time period. Data, biosamples and results are to be returned to the BCGP as per the terms agreed upon in the MTA.
Publishing study findings:
Approved users for access to and/or biosamples who decide to publish their research results should do so in peer-reviewed publications so as to benefit both the scientific community and the general population. Please refer to our BCGP Publications Policy for further details.