Applications to use SEER Residual Tissue Repository (RTR) specimens should be sent to A one or two page summary of the concept and a completed SEER RTR Biospecimen Request Form (PDF, 67 KB) are required. If RTR resources match the study needs, NCI will provide the investigator with information on how to proceed.

Application Components

Between the summary and Biospecimen Request Form, applications should include the following information:

  • Investigator contact information:
    • Name
    • Institutional affiliation
    • Street address
    • E-mail address
    • Work and fax phone numbers
  • ICD-O-3 site and morphology codes for tumors of interest
  • Summary of proposed study:
    • Scope of work
    • Specific aims
    • Scientific background and rationale
    • Feasibility of study
    • Experience with proposed laboratory methods
    • Quantity and type of tissue
    • Timeline
  • Source of funding
  • Any other key information

Criteria for Review and Application Tips:

  • Hypotheses: Because RTR biospecimen resources are limited, proposals are prioritized based on the quality of population-based hypotheses. Investigators without a strong population-based rationale are encouraged to consider other sources for biospecimens.
  • Applicability of results: Applicants are encouraged to include a power calculation for anticipated associations, based on estimates such as the prevalence of biomarkers in tumors and anticipated association with outcome.
  • Investigators: Priority is also given to proposals that demonstrate investigator experience with assays in the protocol. Qualified researchers include epidemiologists, pathologists, and other medical professionals who are peer-reviewed and funded at government, academic, and nonprofit institutions.
  • Research regulations: Assurance is expected that specimen-associated data are maintained in compliance with HIPAA provisions. For more information, see the Research Regulations section.

Guidance on proposals is available from the RTR Committee at a monthly teleconference held from 3:00pm Eastern time on the third Wednesday of each month. A proposal and SEER RTR Biospecimens Request Form (PDF, 67 KB) [PDF - 52 KB] should be submitted to at least one week before the call. This allows review and a decision on whether to include the proposal on the agenda.

Application Approval and Project Deliverables

After application is approved:

Expected deliverables:

  • Investigators provide periodic progress reports to the SEER RTR Committee.
  • Manuscripts undergo clearance by the SEER RTR Committee.
  • RTR personnel who contribute to a manuscript will be included as co-authors.
  • Upon completion of the project, data will be shared with NCI’s RTR coordinator.