Cohort studies and biobank projects have led to public discussions in several European countries in the past. In Germany, many medium-sized studies are currently running successfully in terms of respondent rates. However, EU-wide research on general public perceptions of biobanks and cohort studies have shown that Germany is among those countries where people express the highest reluctance for providing body material and other data for research purposes. Because of early efforts of the just-initiated German National Cohort Study, we are able to begin to investigate in greater detail how various groups of people across Germany reflect and discuss the ongoing implementation of cohort studies and biobanking in Germany. Our research is based on 15 focus group discussions in four German regions, as well as on Eurobarometer poll data on biobanking.