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Manage your project

Making the most out of UK Biobank

We know you will be keen to get started on your research. UK Biobank is excited by the range of imaginative projects now using the research resource. 

We do want to know how you are getting on, so please keep in touch with us:

  • Keep your contact details up to date 
  • Submit extensions to your projects as required
  • Provide annual reports when requested
  • Alert us to publications
  • Respond quickly to audit requests
  • Return your results

It is important that your research is health related and in the public interest. UK Biobank data must be kept to the highest security standards. Do not forward or share data with researchers who are not registered as collaborators.

UK Biobank is only possible because of the goodwill of our 500,000 participants. We want to tell them how the resource is improving health. For these reasons it is important you provide your annual updates in a timely way, and tell us about up-coming publications. 

 

Accessing UK Biobank data

Guidance on how to download the various types of UK Biobank data can be found on the Accessing Your Data section of Data Showcase along with summaries of the sizes of our datasets.

Group Mailing Lists

Several JISCMail mailing lists have been established to facilitate community support of researchers utilising specific UK Biobank datasets. These mailing lists are set up and managed by members of the research community to enable discussion and knowledge exchange regarding UK Biobank datasets, and are an excellent resource.

UK Biobank Neuroimaging JISCMail list

UK Biobank Genetics JISCMail list

UK Biobank Eye Consortium JISCMail list

Adding collaborators from other institutes

Additional collaborators can be added to a project via the UK Biobank online Access Management System (AMS). Instructions for adding collaborators can be found in the AMS User Guide.

If collaborators from an additional institute are added to a project, that institute is required to enter into an MTA with UK Biobank before data can be released to them.

Collaborator MTA (previous version)

Change requests

For instructions on how to request additional data, a scope extension or a duration extension for a project, please see the AMS User Guide. 

Each dataset must only be used for the approved purpose of the project it was released under. Further research may require a separate access application.

AMS User Guide

Annual reports

Throughout your project, you are required to submit Annual Reports to UK Biobank. These provide us with an update of your progress and developments in your research. 

We ask that you complete the Annual Report and upload (as a .pdf) into your project in AMS. Further guidance can be found in the AMS User Guide.

Download annual report template

Participant withdrawals

Participants are free to withdraw from UK Biobank at any time and request that their data no longer be used.

UK Biobank will email researchers directly to notify them about withdrawals and ask researchers to remove the records corresponding to withdrawn participants from further analyses.

Find out more

2013: the first research paper published from the resource was on measurement of hand grip strength

Returning data to strengthen the resource

Returning results reinforces the founding principles of UK Biobank to make data open access and available to all in the health research community. This will help research move more quickly and bring the improvements to health we all want to see. 

We want to spread the findings from UK Biobank far and wide and inform our participants and those who fund the research resource of the great work they have helped shape. By keeping us informed of your publications we can make health research findings accessible to our participants and the wider general public.  

We can share your results widely through this website, social media and UK Biobank events throughout the year. 

Publication submissions

When you notify the Access Management Team of your publication, please include a copy of your manuscript and your application number. If you think your report is likely to attract public attention then this will give us an opportunity to prepare for media enquiries, and when necessary inform participants. 

Whilst we are happy for you to use UK Biobank images for your publication please get in touch with us before doing so. We would like to make sure that there is no prospect of a participant being identified and the correct copyright credits are included. UK Biobank endorses the open access policies described by the Wellcome Trust.

UK Biobank Communications Guidelines

Returning your results to UK Biobank

The results of your research using UK Biobank data should be returned to us within 6 months of entering the public domain or within 12 months of the end of your project, whichever comes first.

The reason why UK Biobank obliges researchers to return their results is to:

1. Incorporate important derived data-fields into the resource so they can be used by others.

2. Make available the underlying methodology used to generate the main findings of the research so that others can confirm, refute or expand on the published analyses.

Please see the 'Returning Your Results to UK Biobank' section of Data Showcase for further information and the Return of Results User Guide for detailed instructions.

Any derived data fields that we incorporate directly into the resource will be listed in the Returns Catalogue on Data Showcase.

Closing a project

Once your project is complete, you should inform the UK Biobank Access team so it can be closed in AMS. In order to close your project, we require you to:

  1. Complete and upload a final Annual Report to the AMS.
  2. Confirm in writing that the data released to your project has been destroyed or rendered inaccessible.
  3. Confirm that all the results from your project have been returned to UK Biobank.

Returning your results to UK Biobank
Return of Results User Guide
Returns catalogue on Data Showcase 

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