Become a Research Subject


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.
  • 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

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.

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.

Questions to Ask

  • What exactly will happen to me in the research?
  • Will there be any unpleasant side effects?
  • Will the research help me personally?
  • What other options do I have?
  • Can I leave the study at any time?
  • Will it cost me anything personally?

Research discoveries can improve people’s health.

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.

It’s Your Decision

For more information call: Office for Human Research Protections
(866) 447-4777
1101 Wootton Parkway
Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20852
Fax: (301) 402-0527

(Information provided by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES and the Office for Human Research Protections)