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Information for Research Participants

If you are considering enrolling as a participant in a research study, you should know that you have certain rights as a research participant. The United States Office for Human Research Protections offers comprehensive resources for the public to learn about research participation here. We encourage you to visit the HHS website if you would like to view informational videos, access a list of questions you may want to ask researchers before volunteering for a study, and learn about the regulations in place to protect research volunteers.

Research involving human participants conducted by UIUC investigators must comply with regulations and policies put in place to keep research participants safe and healthy. Our office serves as the official oversight office for human subjects research and the point of contact for research participants. If you have questions about research at UIUC, please contact OPRS.

We want to hear from you regarding your interest in being a future research participant or your experience as a participant. Follow the below link where you may complete an anonymous survey. If you would like OPRS to follow up, there is an option to provide your contact information.



Informed Consent

You are likely to be presented with an informed consent form indicating approval by the IRB. This document is intended to provide you with relevant information necessary to decide whether or not you want to participate. This form itself should be coupled with a discussion of the research.

Generally, informed consent will involve a description of the following:

  • An explanation of the purpose of the research.
  • A description of what you will be asked to do and how long it will take should you participate and whether or not you will be compensated for your time.
  • A description of any risks involved in participating. These risks could be physical, psychological, social or criminal. The steps taken to minimize these risks should also be described.
  • A description of any benefits to you or to society as a whole.
  • The degree to which the information will be kept confidential.
  • Who to contact should you have questions about the research or about your rights as a participant.
  • A statement that you are free not to participate and can stop participating at any time.

You should not sign the form agreeing to the research until all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction. Signing this form does not waive any of your legal rights or alter your ability to stop participating at a later time. You should be given a copy of the form to take with you in case you have questions later.

Voluntary Participation

Any participation in a research study is completely voluntary. You are free to decline to participate for any reason. You may also stop participating at any time or refuse to answer any individual questions. Even after you sign the consent form, you can stop. Should you decide to decline or stop participating, this decision will in no way influence any services to which you are otherwise entitled. For example, if you are a student, your teacher or professor cannot hold this against you when determining your grade. If you are receiving treatment, that treatment cannot be withheld if you do not agree to participate.

FAQs about Research Participant Information