Biobank participants

Your biospecimens at work

Biobanking helps advance the health of current and future generations through scientific discovery. Over 22,000 Canadians have contributed biospecimens to the Statistics Canada biobank. Summaries of approved projects are posted in the Projects section. This informs participants on how their samples are being used. Occasionally, a small number of samples will be used for quality control purposes.

Privacy and confidentiality

Researchers from recognized institutions can submit research project proposals to access these biospecimens. After a research project application is received at Statistics Canada:

  • An advisory committee including scientists, methodologists, and ethicists evaluates the scientific merit of the application and ensures that it abides to the biobank's guidelines for the use of biospecimens.
  • All human health research is overseen by the Research Ethics Board of Health Canada of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the researcher's institutional ethics committee.
  • Statistics Canada ensures that the respondents' privacy and confidentiality are upheld as required by the Statistics Act.
  • Published results are only be presented as aggregated data. Under no circumstances will personal or identifiable data be published.

How to withdraw your samples

If you wish to withdraw your biospecimens from a specific research project or from all future research, you have to send us a written request by email to Please provide your full name, the approximate date and home address at the time of your clinic visit and the date of birth. This information will be solely used to ensure that the correct samples are removed and destroyed.

Contact us

Send us your feedback. If you have ideas, or suggestions about the project, or further questions about the use of biospecimens for health research, or about the protection of your privacy, please reach us by: