Data access, sharing and collaboration
We welcome proposals for collaborative research by bona fide researchers.
The EPIC-Oxford study is publicly-funded, and its rich data collections represent over 25 years of work by participants, funders and researchers. As well as using the data ourselves, we are open to work with researchers within the scope of our study protocol to maximise its potential. In doing so, protecting confidentiality is our highest priority, and we aim always to maintain the reputation of the study, its funders and participants.
Data for 65,000 participants, including individual information on important risk factors and health. These data are derived from two main sources:
- Questionnaire information provided by participants at recruitment between 1993 and 2000, and on resurvey questionnaires at 5, 10, and 15 years after recruitment.
- Follow-up information from NHS databases on deaths, cancer registrations and hospital admissions as participants gave permission to link to their medical records
Biomarker data from blood samples from about 20,000 men and women.
Consent and confidentiality
Information is received in confidence, and we have promised study participants that their information and biological samples will be treated with absolute confidentiality and will only be used for medical research. See our postal consent form and blood consent forms.
Our data sharing model
The majority of requests to analyse EPIC-Oxford data also seek to analyse data from the whole EPIC-Europe collaboration. The data sharing guidance for accessing EPIC-Europe data can be found at the EPIC website hosted by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. EPIC-Europe data have been used widely by the international research community, in particular in global scientific consortia working on dietary, lifestyle, hormonal, genetic and other exposures in relation to the risk of a wide range of cancers and other chronic diseases. Requests to analyse EPIC-Europe data are considered by the EPIC Steering Committee, which includes two representative from EPIC-Oxford.
Data collaboration for EPIC-Oxford is guided by the Medical Research Council’s Policy on Sharing of Research Data from Population and Patient Studies. We follow a controlled data collaboration model, using anonymised (de-identified) study data only, for collaborating with approved researchers. Requests for EPIC-Oxford are considered by the study’s Data Access Committee (Professor Timothy Key, Professor Ruth Travis, Dr Tammy Tong, Ms Urwah Noor). Decisions on data access are based on the scientific legitimacy of the requester and of their institution, and on assurances on information security and governance; and with regard to the study’s scientific reputation, the needs of funded study team research, the terms of participant consent, and regulatory requirements. All research using EPIC-Oxford must be within the scope of the ethically approved EPIC-Oxford Protocol. Requests to access data which we have obtained from NHS-Digital and National Record of Scotland are subject to additional approval requirements. Requests for collaborations using specifically EPIC-Oxford data should be made by email to email@example.com
For further information see the CEU Data Access page.