Database Access

A unique database of information has been compiled and is managed by the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Western Australia (under the custodianship of Dr Kevin  Murray).

A collection of biological specimens from the surveys (blood samples, DNA) is maintained by the School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Western Australia (under the custodianship of Professor John Beilby and Dr Jennie Hui).

The database and specimen collection have been recognized and relied upon by major international research centres as well as by researchers here in WA for over 40 years. The collection provides important information on common diseases and their relationships to risk factors, lifestyle and environmental variables.

The Busselton Population Medical Research Institute (BPMRI) welcomes approaches from bona fide research workers for access to the accumulated data and biological specimens, and for participation in ongoing and new data collection activities, provided the proposed research does not conflict with current research projects and is done in collaboration with a BPMRI-affiliated researcher.

Applying for access

Investigators may apply for access to:

  1. information on survey subjects from the computerised database
  2. the accumulated biological materials (blood sera and DNA) on survey subjects in the specimen storage facility
  3. the survey subjects for the purpose of collecting additional information
  4. participation in new BPMRI data collection activities

Types of access

For applications limited to (1) and (2) above, data may be made available in the form of completed statistical analyses, data summaries such as cross-tabulations, or a de-identified unit-record data file. Biological materials may be made available in the form of sera or DNA specimens, or new analyses on stored specimens may be arranged in collaboration with a BPRMI-affiliated researcher.

For applications involving (3) above, name-identified data may be provided or arrangements will be made for BPMRI-affiliated personnel to collect the additional data on behalf of the investigators.

Applications involving (4) must be compatible with the on-going program of research activities and the responsible investigator is usually required to become a member of the BPMRI.

Applications must be in writing and in accordance with the guidelines below. Lengthy submissions are not usually required. Data and biological materials will not be provided for approved projects until evidence is provided that the appropriate Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) approval has been granted, and the responsible investigators have undertaken in writing to abide by stated conditions.

How to apply

All applications are considered by the Busselton Population Medical Research Institute (BPMRI) Scientific Research Committee and, in general, access will be granted if:

  1. Serious scientific research is proposed that is consistent with the overall program of research activities
  2. Research proposed does not conflict with work in progress
  3. The applicant team includes a BPMRI-affiliated researcher
  4. The interests and personal privacy of survey subjects are protected and Institutional Ethics Committee approval has been given for the proposed research
  5. Resources are available to pay the BPMRI and associated service providers for the data and materials and for the work to be done in making the data and biological materials available, and also for the further work proposed by the investigator
  6. The responsible investigator agrees to provide a copy of any additional data collected on survey subjects to the BPMRI for possible later use by other researchers.

Guidelines for the preparation of applications

Download and complete an APPLICATION FORM here. If your project requires Consumer input please also complete this FORM briefly summarising your project plan in plain language.

Please ensure all headings are addressed in the application and all investigators have signed the “Undertakings by responsible investigators” section. An example of the information required is listed below:

  1. Responsible investigators
    Name, degrees and professional qualifications, title of appointment held, department and institution of each responsible investigator.
  2. Proposed research
    1. Title of project.
    2. Background and rationale
    3. Specific aims
    4. Research plan
  3. Data and biological materials
    1. Supply full details of data variables and biological materials required
    2. Specify the form in which the data and biological materials are required
  4. Resources
    1. What services are requested by the BPMRI in provision or analysis of data and biological materials and what funds are available to pay for these services.
    2. What funds or other resources are available to the investigator to undertake the proposed work.
  5. Ethical considerations
    1. If name-identified data are requested, describe the provisions that will be made to protect their confidentiality.
    2. If subjects are to be approached in any way, give full details of proposed contact and data collection.
    3. Provide evidence (at the time of submission or later) that the proposed research project has been approved by an institutional ethics committee
  6. Undertakings and signatures
    Please ensure all investigators have read and signed the “Undertakings by responsible investigators” section of the application form

Email completed applications to:

Chair of the BPMRI Scientific Committee, Dr Kevin Murray

Access fees

There are two fees.

The first is paid to the UWA School of Population and Global Health based on full-cost recovery for the programming and other costs associated with the planning, extraction and provision of the data.

The second is a contribution to the on-going storage, maintenance and other infrastructure costs of the Busselton Population Medical Research Institute and is to be paid to the BPMRI.

The latter fee depends upon the type and amount of data and biological materials required, the association of the investigators with the BPMRI program of activities, the intended use of the data, and whether the principal applicant is a postgraduate research student.

Investigators may, prior to submission of the formal application, submit a brief expression of interest and request preliminary investigation of the suitability of the available data and materials for their research aims. Please contact Dr Kevin Murray.