A discovery resource to enable research for decades.

The CHILD Study has already collected over 500,000 separate biological samples from participating parents and children, as well as dust from the home, at different time points in the study.

Biological sampling includes genetic material (blood, saliva) from the parents, cord blood, breast milk at 3-4 months, child peripheral blood at 1 and 5 years, viral swabs, meconium, and stool and urine at multiple time points. Multiple aliquots are generated from each sample type collected. These samples are initially processed in a laboratory then shipped frozen to a centralized liquid nitrogen facility.

Secure biological sample storage, with meticulous documentation, has been developed using a state-of-the-art facility in Hamilton, ON. Quality control is assured at all steps: obtaining the samples; immediate processing and aliquoting, with freezing at the recruitment site; transfer to the liquid nitrogen storage facility in Hamilton using vapour shippers with carefully maintained temperature control; labelling and documentation of all samples; and tracking their use when released for analysis.

For an overview of biological samples and biobanking in the CHILD Study, see Moraes et al. (Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, Nov 2014)


1.Contact the NCC: If you are interested in collaborating on a project and accessing CHILD Study biological samples, contact the Study’s National Coordinating Centre (NCC) to discuss your needs before initiating a formal request.

2. Submit a Study Proposal: To access CHILD Study samples for a collaborative project, the requesting individual or group of investigators must first submit a completed Study Proposal to the CHILD Study Director at the NCC, for review by the CHILD Study Executive.

3. Submit a Sample Request: If the Study Proposal is approved by the CHILD Executive, the requesting individual or group of investigators must then submit a completed Sample Request to the CHILD Study Director at the NCC. The request must specify:

  • Details of the type of sample required, amount needed and, in the case of DNA, the minimum concentration/amount required

  • Details of the research project for which the materials are being requested

  • The cost recovery arrangement for use of the materials

The request is received by the NCC, reviewed by the Director or designate for completeness and then forwarded to the Study’s Biological Samples Committee (BSC) for evaluation. The BSC submits its recommendation to the Executive Committee for a final decision, with the entire process ideally completed within 4 weeks. Decisions on the use of biological samples take into account the amount of the stored sample required, the amount in storage and the perceived scientific value of the proposed study. Additional criteria for sample release

4. Complete a MITA: If the Sample Request is approved, before it can be fulfilled a Material and Information Transfer Agreement (MITA), on the terms of sample release, data sharing, reporting, and dissemination, must be established between McMaster University (the provider institution) and the requester’s institution, and signed by authorised representatives of both institutions as well as the CHILD Study Director and the recipient scientist.

With the MITA in place and the request approved, the NCC will provide the samples within a reasonable time frame to the requesting investigator(s).

5. Provide the resulting data to CHILD: All results or analysis performed on or generated by the samples must be made available to the CHILD Study for the purposes of data sharing, with the time frame for this influenced by the nature of the data. It is expected that the recipient may benefit from first and continuing use, but not from prolonged exclusive use, of these data.

6. Submit a Manuscript Proposal: If the study’s results are being considered for publication, the requesting individual or group of investigators must first submit to the NCC a Manuscript Proposal for review by the CHILD Study’s Publication Committee.


These documents are offered here for planning purposes only. Do not use these documents to prepare an actual request, proposal or agreement. Staff at the CHILD Study’s National Coordinating Centre (NCC) will provide you with the appropriate documents after you discuss your needs with them.

Study Proposal (example)

Sample Request (example)

Material and Information Transfer Agreement (example)

Manuscript Proposal (example)