How to apply to the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank

How to apply

Service update

The Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank is currently operating at a reduced capacity in order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. While we continue to consider all requests please be aware that it may take slightly longer than usual to fulfil.


During this time we will continue to take enquiries regarding any future requests so please contact us if you have any questions.


Who can apply

Applications may be submitted at any time by researchers in the UK and Ireland and will be reviewed in the order they are received. We are reviewing applications from outside of the UK and Ireland and commercial organisations on a case-by-basis.

Funding and peer review approval for the proposed research must be obtained prior to applying for material.

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Useful information

Application process summary


Search our collections Use our online sample finder to search for samples that match your criteria. If you have any questions about the application you need to make, get in touch.


Complete your application form You’ll need an account to apply for samples. Make sure you refer to applicant guidance in the resources section. 


Review and submit If you have listed co applicants, make sure they have also reviewed all the information in the application before submission.


Breast Cancer Now check Your application will be checked for missing information by the Tissue Bank team. Breast Cancer Now will decide on the level of review for the application by asking the following. Does the application deplete the Bank's stock? Is the project already peer-reviewed by an AMRC-registered charity or equivalent?


Access Committee review of  sample request A light-touch review is conducted by the Executive Committee and if a more detailed review is needed then a Specialist Group Review is conducted. Read more on governance or see the Tissue Access Policy in the resources section.


Decision We will aim to let you know the outcome of your application within four weeks of submission.


Samples released Samples will be dispatched once a Material Transfer Agreement has been agreed.


Breast Cancer Now will cover the costs of supplying materials to be used on Breast Cancer Now-funded research projects. For samples (cells, tissue and bloods) requested from the Bank, the applicant will need to cover the cost of couriering the samples. 

Costs will be recovered from the applicant for supplying materials to be used on research not funded by Breast Cancer Now. We will apply a 33 per cent discount for academic researchers. See cost of samples for more details. 

Read the full details in our cost recovery SOP in the resources section.