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A message from Statistics Canada – Call for proposals for the biobank of the Canadian Health Measures Survey


Call for proposals for the biobank of the Canadian Health Measures Survey

To the attention of researchers:

From May 1 to June 30, 2013, Statistics Canada is inviting researchers to apply for access to blood, urine and DNA samples from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) for use in health studies. The biospecimens are available to any Canadian researcher that completes a review process and would benefit from a national population survey of about 5,600 participants per collection cycle.

The CHMS collects key information relevant to the health of Canadians by means of direct physical measurements such as body composition, blood pressure, lung function and physical activity level. The survey also collects blood and urine samples to test for cardiovascular health, chronic and infectious diseases, nutritional status and environmental exposure.

What’s available

The biospecimens were collected over two cycles, from 2007 to 2009 and 2009 to 2011, and then stored long-term in a biobank at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The CHMS has stored about 150,000 small test tubes of whole blood, blood fractions and urine from about 12,000 consenting survey participants aged 3 to 79. DNA samples were extracted and frozen for storage from about 6,500 participants aged 14 and older.

How to access the CHMS biospecimens

Interested researchers are asked to provide the following when applying for access to the CHMS biobank:

  • a completed Application form to use CHMS biospecimens

  • a condensed curriculum vitae

  • evidence of an ethical review by a research ethics board, funding arrangements, a scientific peer review (if not conducted by funding body).

Once the completed application form is received:

  1. Statistics Canada will conduct a feasibility review to determine biospecimen availability, conduct a methodological evaluation and review laboratory and operational requirements.

  2. Applications deemed feasible will be returned with a cost-estimate to allow researchers to arrange for appropriate funding.

  3. Researchers will be asked to submit standard operating procedures for the proposed laboratory methods.

  4. The CHMS Biobank Advisory Committee, comprised of federal and non-federal health experts, will review the application and make a recommendation.

  5. Statistics Canada’s Policy Committee will review this recommendation and make a final decision.

  6. The CHMS biobank coordinator will inform researchers of the final decision.

For details about the application and review process, visit the Biobank section of the CHMS website. For more information, please contact the CHMS biobank coordinator at

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