Apply now for a free genotyping

At the end of last year we announced that we’ve got some funding from the German WikiMedia foundation to get more people – who are willing to share their results – genotyped. We have now settled on a process that should allow us to perform the project without too many problems. Starting today, you can apply for one of the free genotypings. The deadline for applications is Sunday, 03/25/12 23:59 o’clock, so you still have some time to think about an application. In the two weeks following the deadline, we will select as many participants as we can afford to get genotyped using the 5000 Euros we received from Wikimedia. We’ll get in contact with everybody who has sent an application to let all applicants know whether their application was successful or not.

The genotyping will be done through 23andMe. We will order you a gift kit which will be delivered to your address. These gift kits include prepaid access to the 23andMe website for 12 months, so you can check up on the latest findings about your genetic variation as well. After this 12 month period, those features will expire automatically, you don’t have to cancel any subscriptions.

Our application form contains some standard questions (Where do you live? Does 23andMe deliver to your country? etc.) but also some details about your motivation, why you want to make your dataset available to the public and why your data might be of great interest (For example: Do you have a rare disease where research is lacking?). Additionally, we will also try to get people genotyped who are currently under-represented in publicly available data sets. Most data up to now is from WEIRDs: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic people (most are probably male, too).

We would like you to deposit the final raw data, which you will then be able to download from 23andMe, into the openSNP database, ideally along with some phenotypic information about yourself. So please think about the possible consequences which may arise by doing so before you apply for one of the genotypings. The application process has some questions about possible consequences as well (just so we get a feeling of whether you know what you are doing). If you get your results, but then find the results too problematic to publish: That is fine. We are aware of this possibility and while it would suck for us as it means less data, you are the one who has the last word in this matter. Some information that might make you a bit more comfortable with the idea of sharing data: We won’t release the names of any applicants (whether successful or unsuccessful) and you can sign up to openSNP using a pseudonym, plus we don’t log any IPs used to access openSNP.


We offer you the chance to get genotyped through 23andMe for free if you are willing to share the data with the public. Here’s the planned schedule:

  • Until 03/25/12 23:59 o’clock you can apply for a genotyping using this application form
  • We select the lucky winners between 03/26/12 and 04/08/12 and get in contact with every applicant.
  • Mid-April: You should receive the 23andMe-kits in your mail.
  • End of May: You should receive the results of the genotyping, so you can upload the results to openSNP.

If you’ve got any questions regarding the application process, the schedule etc., just let us know using the comments or write us an email to We will try to answer all of your questions as fast as possible.

Good luck,
wishes your openSNP-team!

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21 thoughts on “Apply now for a free genotyping

  1. [...] OpenSNP: At the end of last year we announced that we’ve got some funding from the German WikiMedia [...]

  2. [...] 23andMe genotyping From OpenSNP: At the end of last year we announced that we’ve got some funding from the German WikiMedia [...]

  3. Armando Framarini says:

    If the main target is for ALL people willing to share their DNA publicly that would be clear. But if you are also looking for a specific ethnic groups or medical conditions it would be very helpful to the reader to figure out what they are looking for if it is stated. From the article it seems like you have to show a rare medical condition or come from an Eastern country, with a low income, uneducated, and live in a non democratic society to be considered!

  4. Bastian says:

    You are right. Our blogpost isn’t that clear on it. We would love for all people willing to share to participate. But it looks like we will have much more applications than funding, so we won’t be able to get everybody genotyped. Instead of randomly drawing successful applicants we will try to focus on people who are currently seldom genotyped.

    Our lack of specific “filtering parameters” is due to the lack of reference parameters. In the end we (the openSNP-team) will have to settle on some parameters to make the hard choice on who to fund the genotyping. But this is easier if we have an overview on how diverse the applicants are.

    So: Everybody is free to apply but we might focus on applicants which are in some way or another not already in the focus of research.

    I hope this makes some sense.

    • Armando Framarini says:

      Do you have access to the DNA information of those who are already at If not could those at 23andMe contribute to the study or is this a completely new test?

      • Bastian says:

        If you are already a customer of 23andMe you can participate and make your data available through openSNP right away. To do so you download the raw data from their website (the link should be if you are logged in) and afterwards register with openSNP at

        After registering you can upload the 23andMe file and basically thats it. If you feel comfortable with sharing phenotypic information as well you can do so as well. For more information on how this works you can consult the FAQ or just ask us through email ( or here in the comments.

  5. YOUR MOM says:

    Does this include ancestry matches and haplogroup information?

    • Bastian says:

      The applicants get full access to the 23andMe resources for 12 months. This also includes the ancestry-features like the relative finder and the maternal/paternal haplogroups.

  6. Bruce Blankenship says:

    What if I already have my information with 23andMe?

  7. [...] OpenSNP: At the end of last year we announced that we’ve got some funding from the German WikiMedia [...]

  8. Alex says:

    Could a person residing in Russia (23andme doesn’t ship there) provide a shipping address of his relatives in USA or, say, Belarus? Wouldn’t it be against the rules of participating?

    • Bastian says:

      I’m not familiar with the Russian laws about this. You should try to find out if taking Direct-To-Consumer genetic testing is legal in Russia.

      • Alex says:

        Taking any genetic test is legal itself; there’s a law prohibiting sending human tissues outside of Russia. Saliva is not actually tissue, but who cares… Nevertheless, Russians take 23andme tests pretty actively, ordering kits via Finland or with the help of services like Shipito.
        I would like to ask if that’s OK for Russian people to apply for your your free genotyping offer. You would need to pay for shipment within the USA, further shipment to and from Russia would be payed by the person involved. Would that be possible?

  9. Erin says:

    Mine is being sequenced by BGI Genomics as part of their study but I do not have the sampling kit yet. I think mine may be of interest because in addition to > 3 standard deviations mathematical intelligence, I’m female and have severe bipolar disorder (which gives me some concern about uncertain medical confidentiality). I believe BGI uses their own lab, so it is unlikely it would be at 23andme. Are you interested in submissions from other labs?

    • Bastian says:

      This sounds great. Unfortunately we don’t support the upload complete genomes right now. But the SNPs should be covered by Whole Genome Sequencing, so you could export the SNPs of interest and upload them. This blogpost might be of interest if you are interested in finding the SNPs out of entire genome:

      Just let us know if we can be of any help in doing so.

      • Erin says:

        Thank you! I mistyped. It isn’t full sequencing. They are genotyping, which may fit in better with your existing data. You will likely get more questions from me in a few months when I get something back from them!

      • Bastian says:

        Okay, this shouldn’t be a problem. I’d love to hear about this as soon as you’ve got the data :)

  10. Armando Framarini says:

    Thanks Bastian,
    My mother contributed her information to

  11. [...] on the free genotypings and new features on openSNP The free genotypings This night the deadline for free genotypings passed, and we are overwhelmed by the amount of responses. In less than 24 hours after the first blog [...]

  12. Im sad that I just discovered this chance. I missed it.

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