Borrowing Samples

Borrowing samples from CryoArks

Samples may be borrowed from the CryoArks Biobank for destructive sampling. Samples will be provided from CryoArks partners under the terms and conditions of their institutional loan agreement. The loan agreement will state the requirements for sharing products and benefits that result from sample use facilitated by CryoArks. In addition, and where applicable, applicants should also ensure that all sample utilisation complies with the terms of use specified by the country of sample origin (see below for Access and Benefits Sharing).

How to apply?

Applications to borrow samples from the CryoArks Biobank can be made by completing and submitting a sample request form, either using the online version of the form or by emailing a pdf version to

Please refer to the Sample Use Request Form Guidance​ when completing the CryoArks sample request form. We have provided these guidelines to support applicants to complete the form fully and accurately. 

If you want to discuss the borrowing of samples from CryoArks before submitting a request form, please contact us directly.

Who can apply?

We welcome sample requests for use in research and conservation projects.

Applicants need to be affiliated with one of these types of institutions:

  • University
  • Museum
  • Zoo or Aquarium
  • Research Institute
  • Government body
  • Non-governmental organisation

If you are a student or visiting researcher, you can still lead an application but please note that you will be asked to provide details of your supervisor/host in the form.

Requesting samples?

If you are requesting samples from CryoArks please fill in a request form and send it to or fill in the online version.

How do we review your application?

After submitting your application, you will receive an email acknowledging its receipt by the CryoArks office. At this point we will inform you if the application has been completed correctly or if any of the required information is missing. Applications will be reviewed by the CryoArks Sample Acquisition and Loans Committee within 2-3 weeks of receipt of a correctly completed application. After the 2-3 weeks of review, a decision is reached at the next CryoArks Sample Acquisition and Loans Committee meeting (usually held on the third week of each month) and a recommendation is passed to the relevant collection manager. 

You will then be informed:

  • If your application is successful and no further information is required:
    1. If samples requested are all housed in CryoArks hubs, then we will initiate the procedures for the preparation and shipment of samples to you. We will endeavour to process your request efficiently and advise when your samples are ready for shipment.
    1. If all or part of the samples are owned by and housed at one of our member institutions, your application, and the outcome of the CryoArks review, will be forwarded to that institution and a further review process might be necessary but no additional application forms will need to be filled in. CryoArks member institutions are requested to make their samples available no later than 2 weeks after they received a CryoArks request.
  • If further information is required you will be asked to provide the missing details, to permit the CryoArks Sample Acquisition and Loans Committee to review your application. You will be notified of the outcome of your application within 2 weeks of submitting the additional information.
  • If your application is unsuccessful, we do allow you to re-submit your request, but only if the issues highlighted by the CryoArks Sample Acquisition and Loans Committee have been addressed. If you want to discuss a re-submission, please contact us first directly via email at

Access and Benefits Sharing (ABS) requirements

Where possible, the sample record on the CryoArks database will state the date and location of sample collection. It is the user’s responsibility to comply with Access and Benefits Sharing requirements from the country of origin and if the sample was collected after the 12th of October 2014 from a country that has ratified the Nagoya Protocol, it is the users responsibility to comply with the associated UK ABS legislation.

Information on access measures for countries that have ratified the Nagoya Protocol is available from the Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House (ABSCH).  Users should follow their institutional guidelines on how to ensure access and utilisation conforms to ABS requirements and how to declare due diligence on the EU Declare website.

Please refer the Nagoya Protocol webpage prior to commencing your research, for further information.

How to ensure compliance?

NEWS article by Katie Bird (BEIS)