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The series of questions you have just answered suggest that the optimal mechanism for you to acquire biospecimens for your current research project is “contract”. This means that the type of biospecimens that you require are usually best obtained by contracting with a biobank or a pathology laboratory. In this section we will:

  • Provide you with a video overview
  • Provide you with an education module describing contracting with biobanks and pathology laboratories
  • Provide you with access to a locator for biobanks that provide services
  • Provide you with supplementary resources
  • Address some FAQs related to contracting with biobanks or pathology laboratories

We recommend you explore each of the tabs below from left to right. If at the end of this section you still have questions about obtaining biospecimens or more specific questions about the mechanism of contracting with a biobank or pathology laboratory you may contact our help desk at


Click to watch the video.

Contract Intro Video



Where can I find the biospecimens I need?

Finding services is a feature we have included in our Biospecimen Locator. Click on the link below and select the services filter on the left panel to find a biobank which provides the types of services that you need.

Click here for the Biospecimen Locator

Supplementary Resources

Title MS Office PDF Description
Shipping Download Open Information about what's involved in shipping
Protocol template for "contract" Download Open Template for a research ethics protocol for a project which intends to obtain biospecimens from a biobank


  1. What services do I need?
  2. The first step in the contracting process is to identify the type of service(s) that you need to facilitate the acquisition of your biospecimens. Examples of services you might need are:
    • Enrolling participants and obtaining consent
    • Specimen collection
    • Data collection
    • Specimen processing
    • Specimen storage
    • Data storage
  3. Where can I find a provider for this service?
  4. Now that you have determined that you are going to contract out the collection of your biospecimens or an aspect of the biospecimen acquisition process to a biobank, you will need to find a biobank that provides such services. Go to our locator tab in the banner at the top of the page and select services in the left hand column. You can now search for biobanks that provide services.
  5. How do I know whether it is best to contract with either a Biobank or a Pathology Lab?
  6. Both are good options. If you have a Pathologist as part of your research team then contracting directly with the Pathology lab may be the most efficient. If none in your research team is very familiar with clinical terms and clinical processes then it will be better to contract with a biobank that can also provide this expertise.
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