Information & Frequently asked questions

If you have decided to volunteer or you’re considering volunteering for the GenoFit Research Study sponsored by Genuity Science and UCD Institute for Sport & Health, we hope the information below will be helpful in answering the questions you may have.

We are grateful for your participation.


What is GenoFit

GenoFit is a research study examining the role of genetics, lifestyle factors and fitness in health sponsored by Genuity Science and the University College Dublin Institute for Sport &

Why take part?

This research would not be possible without you, the volunteer participants. It is hoped that the information obtained from
this study will help us to better understand how
fitness and lifestyle choices contribute to our
health, as well as our underlying genetics.

Will this research be of direct benefit to participants?

Genomic research studies, by their nature, take time. The goal of our studies is to facilitate research and not to treat specific participants therefore, should not expect any direct benefit from volunteering to participate. However, your participation will increase our understanding of the relationship between the genome and health and wellness.

What's involved if you elect to take part?

If you decide to volunteer and consent to one of our studies, in essence, you are agreeing to:

  • Sign a consent form once you are provided with all the relevant information to make an informed decision
  • Give a tablespoon and a half of your blood
  • Answer a lifestyle questionnaire
  • Allow your whole genome sequence data to be linked with your health data in a pseudonymised and secure Genuity Science database – Participant Data Privacy Statement
  • Allow researchers and organisations approved by Genuity Science to look at your data in a way that protects your identity, including for-profit healthcare companies such as those developing medicines and diagnostic tests

You may withdraw your consent at any time during the course of the study

How is your privacy protected?
  • Genuity Science takes responsibility for all personal information that is entrusted to us. Protecting your privacy is of utmost importance to us. All our employees are accountable for personal data privacy.
  • Genuity Science is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner and has a designated Data Protection Officer. Our studies must receive ethical approval from local Research Ethics Committees before any study commences.
  • Participant Data Privacy Statement
  • The company’s activities will also be independently audited.
  • All samples and study information are assigned random study ID numbers at the research study site in a process called pseudonymisation. This process is intended to mask the participant’s identity. Personal identifiers, such as the participant’s name or date of birth, are never used to label the participant’s samples or clinical information.
  • If required, in very special cases (e.g. withdrawal from the study), this process can be partly reversed using a special ‘decryption key’. This process cannot be fully reversed without the help of the principal investigator. He/she is the only person who can convert the participant’s originally assigned random Study Number to the participant’s name. This means that the participant’s identity has been doubly secured.
How will participant data be studied?
  • The participant’s lifestyle, and biological information will be studied together with that of other participants and analysed by the research team to try and identify factors that contribute to health and wellness.
  • The participant’s information may also be used:
    • for comparison in other studies undertaken by Genuity Science and
    • to help us understand normal biological changes which do not cause health problems.
Who will have access to the data generated for these research studies?


Once transferred to Genuity Science, access to your data and samples is tightly controlled as follows:

Data in the Genuity Science database

  1. Storage of your Data:
    • Your medical, lifestyle and genomic data excluding any information that traditionally would be used to identify you e.g. name or birth date) is stored securely in a Genuity Science database.
    • Genuity Science will own the database and it will be held in a secure place with a high level of access control.
  2. Access to your Data (excluding any information that traditionally would be used to identify you e.g. name or birth date):
    • Genuity Science will share your clinical and lifestyle data with your doctor
    • Genuity Science will allow approved pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies and research groups to have strictly controlled access to your clinical, lifestyle and genomic data for research into disease and to increase the chance of important discoveries in this area.
  • Approved users may be located outside the EU.
  • All access will be in line with EU data protection laws.


Biological materials

  • Genuity Science does not provide access to your biological materials to any third-parties except for small amounts of the biological sample that may be sent to external certified laboratories for analysis, to generate the data required as part of this research study.

The following groups may also be given access to any data, records and samples to monitor, confirm and maintain the security of the research study: (1) the Ethics Committee and Regulatory Authorities (2) consultants working on behalf of Genuity Science who may need to access these records to monitor and confirm the conduct of the study and the security of the database and (3) any party to whom we are under a duty to disclose any data in order to comply with a legal obligation.

How long will blood samples be kept?

Samples will be kept for 10 years, after which they will be destroyed unless the research team applies for and is granted a research study extension by the relevant hospital or institutional ethics board.

Can a participant decide not to take part?

Yes, participation is entirely voluntary.

  • If you elect not to participate, it will not compromise your standard of care in any way.
  • Those who do choose to participate can elect to withdraw from the study; no reason and no permission from a doctor or consultant is required.
If a study participant decides to withdraw, what happens to their blood sample and their data?
  • If the study participant’s medical, lifestyle and/or genetic information has not yet been included in any analysis, Genuity Science will destroy all of the participant’s samples and delete the participant’s data.
  • If the study participant’s lifestyle and/or genetic information has already been included in some analyses, we cannot undo this as this would impair research objectives and validation of key research findings. The data will be kept but we will make sure that the participant’s information, lifestyle and/or genetic information, is not included in any more analyses.
  • The information that links the participant’s name with the Study Number is held securely in the participant’s clinic. These documents will be destroyed 20 years after the research study begins. This timeframe may change depending on regulatory or legal obligations, or if our study is extended following approval from the hospital Research Ethics Committee. Once the documents are destroyed the clinical/lifestyle information and data becomes anonymous, i.e. the link between your name and information has been destroyed forever.
Where will Genuity Science samples be sequenced?
  • GMI has established Ireland’s first purpose-built genome sequencing laboratory at our headquarters in Dublin and sequencing will be conducted within our own facility, as capacity allows. As needed in order to meet demand, Genuity Science may also use third-party accredited laboratories.
  • Any third-party laboratories must be fully accredited and use of these facilities has been approved by the Research Centres’ Ethics Boards.
Can a third-party use legal process to gain access to the Genuity Science database?
  • Participant data is pseudononymised in the Genuity Science database and Genuity Science do not hold any personally-identifying information (such as name, date of birth, address etc.). Therefore, access to Genuity Science’s database alone will not enable any party to identify a participant in any of our studies.
  • Genuity Science do not provide third-party access to our pseudononymised data other than to those with whom we have a collaboration agreement.
  • Where a request for data is made pursuant to a court order or applicable law to Genuity Science, this may require the cooperation of the collaborating research clinic in order to link the pseudononymised Genuity Science study number to an individual participant’s personal identity.

Can’t find what you were looking for?

Contact the GenoFit Research Team via our contact form and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.