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diagram showing the stages involved in gaining access to CKB data

Review Process

Proposals will be reviewed and assessed by the project staff. The CKB Research Management Committee will review applications at meetings at least every two months. In general, approved projects should:

  • have clearly defined objectives,
  • have a sound methodology that is likely to generate meaningful results;
  • be based on an appropriate and available selection of data; and
  • have clearly defined timelines and outputs (e.g. one to two papers in peer-reviewed journals).

The host organisation’s capacity to cover the research costs; to securely hold the data; and to comply with the terms of the resulting Data Access Agreement will also be considered. Where in-house expertise is insufficient, proposals may be sent to external reviewers. If necessary, those requesting data may be contacted by email and asked to provide further information in support of their application. All recommendations to decline access requests will be referred to the CKB Independent Access Committee.

Access Agreement and Charges

Before any data is released, a signed Data Access Agreement is required and, where applied, access charges must be paid. For applications outside China the agreements will be between the University of Oxford and the data requestor’s institution. Within China a similar contractual agreement will be made between the researcher’s institution and the Peking University Health Sciences Centre. Template Data Access Agreements are available for review  choose Non EU/UK  or  EU/UK as appropriate for your host institution. Completion of the Data Access Agreement and associated invoicing and payment will take six to eight weeks.

Data Delivery

Once the Data Access Agreement becomes effective the data and accompanying descriptive documentation will be generated in a choice of CSV, SAS, SPSS or R formats and released using an encrypted download via the internet. Depending on its complexity preparation of the dataset will ususally take one to two weeks.

Publicity and Project Monitoring

Once a project becomes active, the CKB will publish a summary of the project on our website. In line with the terms of the Data Access Agreement, the CKB Access Team will request regular progress reports and expects to be informed of any resulting publications. On completion of the project, any derived datasets must be returned for incorporating or archiving; any shared data also needs to be deleted (or otherwise destroyed) or returned to the CKB. 


CKB Data access system

The CKB Data Access System is used to register individual requests for access to CKB data. It is a secure online portal that allows researchers to register to use the resource and submit data requests. The system requires the provision of personal and project information in order to verify an individual’s status as a bona fide researcher and to assess and process any requests for data. The system accepts Chinese script. All data supplied is treated as confidential and in accordance with the NDPH Data Privacy Policy.

All interested researchers are advised to read the Data Access Policy and Data Overview  to gain an understanding of the resources available. The Frequently Asked Questions provide further information.