Grants for the networking of biobanks established for research purposes

​​​BioLink is intended for investigators who wish to network their biobanks using IT systems. This harmonisation of the IT systems will result in the sharing of interoperable data so as to address well-defined, scientific questions. BioLink is open to all research domains. The biobanks are already established. ​

  • Details

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    Applications must be based on original, unique and timely scientific questions whose investigation critically depends on the networking of the biobanks. Applications must also provide information on the selection, development, and implementation of the IT systems. Further, they must also describe how the interoperability of the biobanks will be guaranteed.

    Grantees commit to collaborate with the Swiss Biobanking Platform SBP and, in particular, to consult with the SBP on the choice of IT systems, the quality and semantic criteria, and to register with the SBP’s national biobank catalogue.

    The duration of funding is limited to 24 months. The grants are awarded to support the technical development and the implementation of IT systems (IT equipment, software, licences) as well as the salaries of technical collaborators employed to implement the IT systems. Costs for the creation, expansion and maintenance of biobanks, as well as research costs associated with the investigation of the scientific questions addressed, cannot be covered.

  • Participation requirements

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    Natural persons are eligible to submit applications if they meet the general eligibility requirements for the submission of applications pursuant to Article 10 of the Funding Regulations of the SNSF. Several applicants form a research group pursuant to Article 12 of the Funding Regulations.

    Moreover, members of research groups

    • must demonstrate extensive, first-hand scientific experience in the research domain covered by the project and in biobanking;
    • are responsible for the conception and realisation of the project.

    The research group must designate one of its member who is employed in Switzerland as the applicant responsible for the correspondence with the SNSF (Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Funding Regulations).

    Project partners

    In contrast to members of the research group (applicants), project partners are researchers who make a partial contribution to the research project without being responsible for the project. They are not project collaborators whose salaries are paid out of the grant (Article 11 of the Funding Regulations, Article 1.12 of the General implementation regulations for the Funding Regulations). Project partners within the BioLink initiative include, for example, persons who participate in the data sharing by contributing to the IT systems, and researchers who make available their biobanks data to answer the scientific questions addressed but are not involved in the design or implementation of the project. Partners located in countries outside Switzerland are not eligible to receive funding for infrastructure costs.

    Applicants may only submit one application to the current BioLink call.

    Applicants may only have one running BioLink grant. This also applies to grantees of the funding scheme “Driver projects” of theSwiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN).

  • How To

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    Submission of applications

    Letters of intent are to be sent to by 22 March 2019.

    Applications are to be submitted via mySNF by 20 May 2019. Detailed infor-mation can be found in the call documents and in mySNF.


    BioLink applications will be evaluated by the SNSF in collaboration with a panel of international experts with recognised experience in biobanking.

  • Documents

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