How much does it cost to access UK Biobank data?

UKB Access Team
UKB Access Team The helpers that keep the community running smoothly. UKB Community team Access Team
  • Updated

In determining the new access fees, UK Biobank’s underlying approach to cost recovery remains unchanged. UK Biobank seeks to recover only the incremental costs of servicing an access application: it does not seek to recover the cost of development and management of the UK Biobank data resource, which already runs into hundreds of millions £GBP. The rationale for this new fee structure is that:

  • The three tiers of fees are based broadly on the size of the respective datasets (and the respective costs of their distribution) and on UK Biobank’s analysis of common researcher usage of these datasets, as UK Biobank is keen to ensure that access to its core level dataset remains at a cost level which is comparable to that under the old fee structure.
  • The fee per collaborating institution is intended to cover the administrative costs of adding an institution to an application.
  • The transition to a periodic charge – namely for an initial 3-year period, renewable for further periods – is to provide researchers with more flexibility, and reflects research practice and also takes into account the request of provision of updated and new data from UK Biobank.


Costs exclude VAT.

* The imaging data will be available for download with the Tier 3 payment: but at no additional cost over and above the Tier 2 payment via the Research Analysis Platform in 2022. Imaging derived phenotypes will be available as part of Tier 1. 
** Applications from Student Researchers must be for the sole purpose of performing a postgraduate student project (e.g. MSc or PhD or equivalent), submitted by the student or their supervisor. 
N.B. First 3 years - access to data with scheduled updates (Duration Extensions are pro-rated, for example: Tier 3 for 2 years extension = £6,000).

Please see our website for a full detailed breakdown of the tiers of access fees.

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