Submit an enquiry

Researchers are invited to submit enquiries for studies utilising NSW Brain Banks tissue. Details of the tissue collected can be found on our NSW Brain Banks tissue holdings page. Please note that a tissue enquiry must be submitted to determine whether the specific samples requested are available. Once it has been determined that the request is feasible, the researcher will be invited to complete a tissue request application.

Ethical approval from the host institution, or a letter from an institutional representative explaining why ethics approval is not required should be uploaded at the time of submission of the tissue request. The NSW Brain Banks will also provide the researcher with the cost associated with the tissue request, which must be agreed to before the request can be processed (please see Costs to Researcher below).

All tissue requests will be evaluated by the Tissue Manager to determine if it is appropriate for review. If the application does not contain sufficient information for review, it will be returned to the researcher. An appropriate application will include the scientific rationale, project aims, appropriately detailed methodology and justification of the requested amounts and types of tissue requested. Please take the time to read the Guidelines for Researchers and review an example of a NSW Brain Banks approved tissue request application before submitting your application. If compliant, the tissue request is sent on to the NSW Brain Banks Scientific Review Committee (SRC) for scientific review.

The NSW Brain Banks SRC reviews all tissue requests through an independent confidential process to ensure the tissue is used in the most appropriate and timely way. Approval to use the tissue for research purposes is based on the merit of the research project and an assessment of the researcher’s expertise and track record. If necessary, additional information may be sought from the researchers at the time of the review. The independent SRC chair will make a recommendation to the NSW Brain Banks concerning whether the tissue request should be filled.

The researcher will be informed by the appropriate brain bank manager of the outcome of the review process and, if the tissue request is approved, they will be asked to sign a Tissue Transfer Agreement (TTA). This involves the researcher and the researcher’s institution agreeing to the terms of the TTA which are specific to the supplying facilities. The TTA must be signed prior to the supply of tissue. Once the TTA is signed by all parties, the approved tissue will be dispatched to the researcher at the Brain Bank's earliest convenience. The researcher is responsible for the cost of shipping of tissue.

NSW Brain Banks Guidelines for Researchers - PDF
Guidelines for Experimental Design and Assessment - PDF
Example of an approved tissue request application - PDF

The NSW Brain Banks is a not-for-profit research facility that aims to provide a service to neuroscience research, without imposing financial obstacles.

Australian legislation prohibits trade in human tissues, although recovery of costs associated with preparing the tissue samples to the researcher’s specifications is permitted. NSW Brain Banks charges a service fee to researchers as specified by the National Access policy of the Australian Brain Bank Network.

Researchers are invited to discuss with the NSW Brain Banks the service fee for their project prior to submission of their tissue request.