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Become a Research Participant

Become a Research Participant


Someday, you or a family member may want to take part in a research study. If this happens, the information here may help you make the right decision.

What Is Research?

  • Research is a study that is done to answer a question.
  • Scientists do research because they don’t know for sure what works best to help you. They are working to determine the answer as to what is best.
  • Some other words that describe research are clinical trial, protocol, survey, or experiment.
  • Research is not the same as treatment.

Why Is Research Important?

Research has led to important discoveries that make our lives better. Some examples are:

  • New drugs to treat cancer, diabetes, and other diseases
  • Ultrasound, X-ray machines, and diagnostic tests
  • Vaccines
  • Ways to stop smoking
  • Improved medical procedures

These are some questions that you should ask before you agree to participate in a research study: 

  • Why is the research being done?      
  • What question are you trying to answer?
  • What will be done to me as part of the research?
  • How will I benefit from the research?
  • What other options do I have?
  • Could the research hurt me?
  • Have other studies like this one been done?
  • 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 do I have to do as far as office visits, medications, and medical tests?
  • What happens if I decide to leave the study early?
  • Who should I call if I have a question about the research?

Points to Consider

  • A research study may or may not help you personally.
  • In the future, the results could help others who have a health problem.
  • Taking part in research is voluntary.

Before you decide to become a research volunteer, get the facts:

  • Know what you’re getting into.
  • Ask questions.
  • Learn as much as you can.
  • Know the pros and cons.

For more information, please contact Kim Devine, Manager Clinical Research, at  215-710-4585 or @