Research Participants

Clinical study volunteers help advance research and improve patient care.  Clinical trials test the effects and safety of new drugs, devices and therapies.  If you are thinking about participating in research, there are many things to consider.

The federal government's Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) suggests some questions that you should ask before you agree to participate in a research study:

  • Why is the research being done?
  • What will be done to me as part of the research?
  • How will I benefit from the research?
  • Could the research hurt me?
  • What will the researcher do with my information?
  • Will the research cost me anything?
  • Who pays if I'm unexpectedly injured in the study?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What happens if I decide to leave the study early?
  • Who should I call if I have a question about the research?

OHRP's brochure called "Becoming a Research Volunteer" is available in both English and Spanish versions.

As a research participant, you have the right to:

  • Be free of pressure from anyone else when deciding if you wish to take part in a study
  • Make up your mind about taking part in a study without being rushed
  • Be told what question, topic, or issue is being studied
  • Be told what will happen and what the procedures are
  • Be told about the potential risks or discomforts, if any, of the research
  • Be told if you can expect any benefit from taking part and, if so, what the benefit might be
  • Be told if there will be no direct benefit to you
  • Ask questions about the study at any time before, during or after the study
  • Be told what medical care is available if you have any problems or injuries resulting from the study
  • Refuse to take part in the study at any time
  • Quit after the study starts, without any penalty
  • Receive a copy of your Informed Consent Form to keep.