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Biobanking courses - a review

Biobanks met at partner Med Uni Graz to attend biobank courses


a review - June 2022



Since several years now Med Uni Graz offers interactive courses for biobank beginners and advanced biobanks, consisting of presentations, practical sessions and a guided tour of Biobank Graz, one of the largest European hospital-based biobanks.


This spring again. several young and advanced biobankers from 10 different countries and 3 continents visited partner Medical University of Graz to learn about building and operating a biobank or managing teams and projects in a biobank in one of the following courses:


  • 2-day-course "How to build a biobank"  (21-22 April, 2022)
  • 5-day course "How to operate a biobank" (25-29 April 2022)
  • Managing multidisciplinary teams and scientific projects in biobanks" (2-6 May, 2022)


The interactive 2-day-course "How to build a biobank" is designed for all those who are involved in setting up a new biobank, who look to collaborate with a biobank or research institute, who face the challenges of a growing biobank or who try to overcome the challenges of maintaining a large biobank. Lectures were held on a wide range of topics in the field of Biobanking like definition and types of biobanks, ethics, privacy and informed consent, services of a biobank, cost calculation and funding, sample management sample storage and biobank data systems.


The 5-day course "How to operate a biobank" addressed all those who have already set up a biobank and want to operate a biobank sustainably successful. The participants learned how a quality management system can be implemented or adapted, learned about pre-analytical ISO and CEN standards, and how quality control and assurance can be improved. Further course topics were sample workflow advancement in a biobank through automation. Nowadays it is very important for the sustainability of biobanks to offer a state-of-the-art portfolio of services. Therefore, the participants gain insight into designing of a meaningful collection strategy and the implementation of additional services of a biobank. The indispensable topics data management and IT systems for biobanks is taught through practical examples, such as the development of URDs (user requirement documents) for biobanking software. For the sustainability of a modern biobank it is essential to know how a business plan can be developed. This course focus on the most important tools, which should be included in a business plan.


For the first time, the new 5-day course "Managing multidisciplinary teams and scientific projects in biobanks" took place in May, 2022. The idea for this course and the course contents have been developed within the two EU-HORIZON 2020 projects CY-Biobank and ARICE. The course was designed for those who work in biobanks and biobanking-associated research facilities. It was compiled to provide theoretical knowledge and practical skills concerning team management and scientific project management, specifically adapted to the diverse and multidisciplinary challenges prevailing in biobanks. Day 1 "Introduction" is the basis for each further day, explaining the terms management, project management and leadership. The other days provide in-depth knowledge about project management, team management and communication in a scientific and medical environment, as well as research-associated skills often required in biobanks, like presentation techniques and scientific writing.


The feedback on all courses was very good. All participants enjoyed working together interactively in person and exchanging information about their fields of activity in the respective biobanks. The new course was particularly well appreciated by the participants and our project partners, as it focused particularly on multidisciplinary teamwork in biobanks.


Further information to all offered courses can be found on: