Participating in research means helping researchers answer brand-new and important questions, both related to the medical field and beyond.
If you are thinking about participating in a research study or you already agreed to participate in a research study, you’ll need some important information.
A research study is a project that scientists or researchers run to learn new things and answer a question. If the project is studying something about people it is called human subject research. The volunteers who agree to be in the study to help the researchers are called participants.
Often people think of human subject research as medical research to create new medicines or medical procedures. While a lot of medical research is happening, plenty of research is not medical research. For example, the researchers might be trying to find out the best way to teach students a new topic or how your past experiences affect your choices today.
Before a researcher can start a study with human participants, a committee of people called an Institutional Review Board must review the research plan. Federal law holds the IRB and the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects responsible to ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of participants in a research study.
Contact the IRB and OPRS if you have questions about your rights as a research participant or if you have questions, complaints, or concerns you do not feel comfortable discussing with the researcher.
Interested in being a future research participant? Have you participated in research in the past? We want to hear from you via our anonymous survey. If you would like OPRS to follow up, you may provide your contact information.
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Want to learn more about your rights as a participant? Looking for some questions you should ask about a study before you participate?
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