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For Researchers

Researchers at NIH and at other academic and research institutions in the United States and internationally are welcome—and encouraged—to use BLSA data and specimens for scientific projects and grant applications.

The "For Researchers" section of the BLSA website provides an overview of the type of data sets and specimens available through the BLSA and links to the BLSA data dictionary with a list and brief description of study variables.

It also includes instructions for how to apply to use BLSA data and specimens, and a description of the applicant review and approval process. In general, for approval, projects must be scientifically sound, address issues highly relevant to aging, and be accomplished within the scope of the BLSA. Researchers who are interested in using data and/or samples from the BLSA should review the section on "How to Submit an Analysis Plan".

In general you will begin the process with a pre-analysis plan in which you should briefly describe your research objectives and the study you would like conduct with BLSA data. Please note that a Pre-Analysis Plan is required for each intended manuscript.  Your project proposal should include at least one clearly-stated hypothesis and specify the variables and materials you would like to obtain from the BLSA. You will submit the Pre-Analysis Plan within the website and you will receive a response within 20 working days. 

If the Pre-Analysis Plan is accepted, you will receive an email that requests a more extensive but concise proposal. The full proposal should include a Background and Introduction that describes the status of the literature and the relevance of the problem to be addressed as well as provide a strong rationale for using BLSA data and other BLSA resources if requested.  In the Objectives section include at least one clearly stated hypothesis and complete the Statistical Analysis section in accordence with the study hypothesis.  Most importantly, provide a detailed description of the variables and all other materials needed from the BLSA.  Include relevant references and attach an NIH-style biosketch for the proposed Principle Investigator.

Please note that use and analysis of BLSA data can be quite complex and time-consuming; therefore, BLSA cannot provide preliminary data in advance of project approval. Also, while not required, it is strongly suggested that you collaborate with a member of the BLSA team on your project