Skip to main content
UKCRC Health Research Classification System

Informatics, bioinformatics and ‘big data’

Advice on research activities

‘Bioinformatics’ is a relatively new interdisciplinary field focusing on interpretation of complex biological data. Studies using bioinformatics will therefore be usually coded in:

Evidence obtained via bioinformatics research may also lead to biomarkers for diagnostic applications (4 Detection and Diagnosis), and development of new therapeutics (5 Treatment Development). However these are often potential future applications and not the main objective of the current research.

The wider topic of ‘Informatics’ – the science of processing, interpretation and storing of vast quantities of data – can often refer to significant resources with wide-reaching applications in health research. As such the guidance for Resources and Infrastructure should be followed when awards support the creation of ‘big data’ repositories. However, the onward use of informatics data should be treated as any other database or resource used in research, with awards coded based on the main research objective.


Main inclusion criteria

Studies of normal biology including:

  • genes and gene products
  • molecular, cellular and physiological structures and function
  • biological pathways and processes including normal immune function
  • developmental studies and normal ageing
  • bioinformatics and structural studies
  • development and characterisation of model systems


Advice on research activities

To be used for research involving normal biological function including the following:

Excludes studies characterising proteins or pathways linked to a condition or disease.

Excludes studies of processes associated to cancer which are rarely ‘normal’.

Official terminology

Full name of code

Short name Unique ID
1.1 Normal biological development and functioning 1.1 Biological



Related external links

Common Scientific Outline (CSO) – 1.1 Normal Functioning