BRISSKit - Biomedical Research Software as a Service

What is BRISSKit?

    Please see our short animated explainer below which gives an accessible overview of the platform and why it could be of use to you or your researchers!

BRISSKit is open source Biomedical Research Software as a Service. We have designed a transformational platform that enables biomedical and translational researchers to securely manage and combine datasets, including for patient cohorts where permitted. We use a suite of cloud enabled open source applications accessed in a browser, which make it easier for researchers to manage their studies. Sensitive data is secured and only accessible to those with permission. This includes the identification, selection, engagement and recruitment of suitable subjects for research.

BRISSKit offers the ability to upload, manage, combine and collaborate with datasets in-project using such a secure infrastructure and then enables analytics and reuse. The use of open source tools for common tasks allows researchers to integrate their own more specialized software and analytics expertise using the platform. Researchers can connect the platform to their preferred data source eg pathology data and then export the results to their favourite analysis software such as R based statistical applications, or even modify the in-built applications to suit their needs. This is the beauty of an open source approach!

Using the platform can prevent research groups having to go-it-alone through costly commercial procurement and ensure that there is an alternative to relying solely on ad-hoc spreadsheets. It’s been designed with flexibility and ease of use in mind.

Full Software and Documentation Release: July 2016
The BRISSKit code base of integrated open-source database applications for biomedicine and translational research has now been made freely available to the community via github along with a set of documentation and explanatory materials to support further take up and use.

Current Deployments
Please see the Case Studies tab and the project documentation for descriptions of a range of past, current and developing use cases for the platform.

Sign up and find out more!

Email us at and follow the links embedded above and across this project site. You can also follow @BRISSKit (and #BRISSKit) on Twitter and sign up to the BRISSKIT-ANNOUNCE mailing list.

The development of the project at the University of Leicester (PI Dr Jonathan Tedds, Dept of Health Sciences) received 4 stages of funding by Jisc between 2011-15. Initial work (funded through the HEFCE University Modernisation Fund) delivered exploratory work and prototypes of new software as service applications. Jisc has worked in partnership with the BRISSKit team and partners to assess whether the project could be developed into a Jisc service including support for institutional tailoring of the software to fit with the needs of different research projects and the provision of information governance compliance via a secure data centre infrastructure. This work has involved detailed modelling of service functions, operational models and delivery costs as well as substantive market research to understand the level of demand and also the potential to deliver a sustainable service. The conclusion was that there is insufficient current usage and evidence of future uptake to make a managed Jisc service offering viable. The results noted the open source and commercial tools in place to support research in biomedicine and translational research, and challenges such as the lack of appetite and funding needed to change to new tools and services.