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Analysis of hair cortisol levels. - ACAN



  Reference Number 262325
  Solicitation Number 82702-12-0004
  Organization Name Statistics Canada
Materiel and Contracts Services
Statistique Canada
  Source ID FD.DP.ON.10890.C82184
  Associated Components No


  Published 2013-02-15
  Closing 2013-03-01 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time EST


  Category Special Studies and Analysis - (Not R&D)
  GSINS B: Special Studies and Analysis
  Region of Delivery National Capital Region
  Region of Opportunity Canada
  Agreement Type
  Tender Type Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN)
  Estimated Value < $100,000
  Solicitation Method

Notice Description

  Analysis of hair cortisol levels.

1)    Definition

    An Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) allows departments and agencies to post a notice, for no less than fifteen (15) calendar days, indicating to the supplier community that it intends to award a good, service or construction contract to a pre-identified contractor. If no other supplier submits, on or before the closing date, a Statement of Capabilities that meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, the competitive requirements of the government's contracting policy have been met. Following notification to suppliers not successful in demonstrating that their Statement of Capabilities meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, the contract may then be awarded using the Treasury Board's electronic bidding authorities.
    If other potential suppliers submit Statement of Capabilities during the fifteen calendar day posting period, and meet the requirements set out in the ACAN, the department or agency must proceed to a full tendering process on either the government's electronic tendering service or through traditional means, in order to award the contract.

2)    Definition of Requirements

Title: Analysis of hair cortisol levels.


The Government of Canada is planning to conduct a study on community noise and health, where hair cortisol is being used as a biological marker of chronic stress. This large-scale study is to measure the hair cortisol concentrations in occupants of Canadian homes who live in a pre-determined proximity to wind turbine establishments. It is estimated that hair samples from up to 1200 individuals will be collected over a three month period starting May 1, 2013.

Due to the scope of the study (i.e., chronic health effects, such as chronic stress) and logistics of the sample collection being conducted in homes, the Government of Canada has chosen hair for the purpose of collecting systemic cortisol concentrations to represent a 3 month exposure time.

The Contractor must have an established track record regarding cortisol hair testing, including an academic record that shows that they have trained graduate students in cortisol hair testing and published papers, in peer-reviewed publications, that are used by colleagues worldwide for the measurement of hair cortisol. The Contractor will provide analytical services for the analysis of these samples as well as interpretation of the results. The samples must be analyzed using a modified salivary Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The Contractor must possess all equipment and materials required for the hair cortisol analysis. The analytical results must be transmitted to Statistics Canada in Ottawa, Canada, through a secure transmission line.

The Contractor will receive the hair samples on a weekly basis via XpressPost and must complete the sample analysis within 15 working days after receiving the samples from the field. The analytical results must be reported to Statistics Canada in the units of ng/g.

The Contractor must have traceable standards for hair cortisol (minimum of 2 bulk samples of hair from healthy volunteers and 1 internal control (i.e., chemical standard) of dissolved cortisol powder in PBS (pH 8.0)) and carry out daily multi-calibrations for quantitative measurement results (minimum requirement to use cortisol standards provided by the manufacturer of ELISA kit to produce standard curve from 0-100 ng/ml of cortisol). The Contractor must document results of variability assays using hair and chemical standards and report results of the standard curve to Statistics Canada. The Contractor must also test linearity and report the results (as predicted values, expected values and % recovery) of serial dilutions of at least 2 hair standards and 1 chemical standard to Statistics Canada.
The Contractor must have an established agreement of cross validation (proficiency testing) with two laboratories: with the lab of Dr. Clemens Kirschbaum at the Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany, and Dr. Elizabeth van Rossum, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where concentrations of cortisol in the same sample are measured using an ELISA in both labs and compared. Samples sent to the separate well-experienced laboratories cannot be respondent samples; the Contractor must supply its own set of standard hair samples for method validation and the results of this collaboration must be shared with Statistics Canada.

The Contractor must set up a sample identification and tracking system dictated by Statistics Canada for the transmission of electronic information.

The Contractor must allow for the inspection of the facility and analytical method performance by the Government of Canada. All personnel who are involved in the project must have security clearance at the Enhanced Reliability level as defined by the Government of Canada and be sworn in as deemed employees of Statistics Canada.


The objective of the contract is to analyse hair cortisol concentrations from hair samples collected during the Community Noise and Health Study. The hair cortisol concentrations will be added to the data file for this survey and analysed in relationship to other measures of health and respondent demographics. Specifically, the hair cortisol results will be used to assess if there is a relationship between levels of systemic stress and distance from wind turbines.


    Tasks/Activities        Deliverables/Milestones        Time Schedule
    Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for hair cortisol analysis        The Contractor must provide the Government of Canada with a detailed modified salivary ELISA method for hair cortisol analysis in the form of standard operating procedures (SOP) describing how hair samples are collected, shipped, received and analyzed. The SOP will be examined by the Government of Canada for its suitability to analyse hair cortisol concentrations. The template for the full SOP is provided.        The Contractor must provide the Government of Canada, at the start of this contract (April 15, 2013), the completed full SOP, including validation results that meet or exceed the performance requirements listed in Appendix 2.
    Provide standard homogenous hair samples    The Contractor must provide standard homogenous hair samples to be used as blind controls (minimum 30 samples), replicates (minimum 1 to 4 % of total sample size; % depends on variability between replicates) and for cross-validation/proficiency testing; minimum 5 independent samples of hair of sufficient quantity to be used multiple times for the duration of the study.
            The Contractor must have these standard homogenous hair samples in their possession by April 1, 2013 and have shipped 30 samples to be used as blind controls to Statistics Canada. These 30 hair samples must be in the possession of Statistics Canada by April 15, 2013.
    Track samples from receipt up to and including destruction (laboratory responsible for destruction of sample)        Database documenting hair sample id, date of receipt, date of analysis and date of destruction        The laboratory must acknowledge receipt of the samples by filling an electronic file and sending the file to Statistics Canada using secure online transmission. The laboratory must destroy samples after all data have been processed and verified (date to be determined and communicated to the Contractor by Statistics Canada; no data shall be destroyed prior to receiving approval from Statistics Canada). Confirmation of sample destruction sent to Statistics Canada via secure online transmission, where each sample must be listed with its destruction status indicated.
    Hair cortisol analysis        Data file with hair length analysed and hair cortisol concentrations in units of ng/g; sent via secure electronic transmission using Statistics Canada’s Electronic File Transfer (EFT) service        May 2013 to November 2013; analyse, within 15 working days of receiving samples, and report results on a monthly basis to Statistics Canada
    Quality Control results        Relevant results for data quality assessment (standards, replicates, blanks, blind controls) and results from “round robin” with separate well-experienced lab (i.e., proficiency testing results)        May 2013 to November 2013; analyse standards, replicates, blanks and blind controls on a daily basis (i.e., as required with each ELISA) and report results on a monthly basis to Statistics Canada
    Advise on data analysis and interpretation        Answer Statistics Canada program staff questions about data and provide advice on reference ranges, outliers, etc.        May 2013 to March 31, 2014; as required by Statistics Canada

3)    Trade Agreements

    The proposed procurement is not subject to any trade agreements.

4)     Title to Intellectual Property

    The exception to contractor ownership stipulated in paragraph 6.4.1 of the Policy on Title to     Intellectual Property Arising under Crown Procurement Contracts. This paragraph states that the     Crown may own the foreground information:
"6.4 where the main purpose of the Crown Procurement Contract, or of the deliverables contracted for, is especially:

        6.4.1 to generate knowledge and information for public dissemination;"

5)    Contract Period
        The period is from 1 April 2013, to March 31, 2014

6)    Estimated Cost

    The estimated cost of the cost of the proposed contract is $88,140.00, including applicable taxes.

7)    Exception to the Government Contracts Regulations and Applicable Trade Agreements

        Part 1, Section 6 A(d) of the Government Contract Regulations
    After much research on the measurement of hair cortisol, Statistics Canada would like to contract this work with the University of Western Ontario. The laboratory of the Western University is an expert in the technique of modified salivary Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), which is used to measure cortisol concentrations in hair samples. Experienced laboratories worldwide doing hair cortisol analyses are presently using ELISA; therefore, the ELISA method is an internationally accepted method and is the most efficient and cost-effective method to measure cortisol in hair samples.

8)    Name and Address of the Proposed Contractor

The University of Western Ontario, Research Development & Services
    1393 Western Road, Support Service Building, Suite 5150
    London, Ontario
    N6A 3K7

9)    Inquiries on Submission of Statement of Capabilities

        Suppliers who consider themselves fully qualified and available to provide the services/goods described herein, may submit a Statement of Capabilities in writing, preferably by e-mail, to the contact person identified in this Notice on or before the closing date and time of this Notice. The Statement of Capabilities must clearly demonstrate how the supplier meets the advertised requirements.

10)    Closing Date

        The closing date and time for accepting Statements of Capabilities: 27 Feb, 2013 at 14:00.
        Posting for a fifteen calendar day period: from 12 Feb, 2013 to 27 Feb, 2013 at 14:00.

11)    Contract Authority

Brooke Monette
    Contracting Officer, Material and Contracts Services Section
    150 Tunney's Pasture Driveway
    Room 1405-G, Main Building
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0T6
    Telephone Number: 613-951-5003
    Facsimile Number: 613-951-2073



Contracting Authority

  Name Brooke Monette
  Address 150 Tunney's Pasture Driveway
Main building
Room 1405-C
  City Ottawa
  State / Province ON
  Country Canada
  Postal Code K1A 0T6
  Phone 613-951-5003
  Fax 613-951-2073
  Website URL

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