Interested in participating in a clinical study or trial?
Research volunteers help doctors and scientists to test new drugs, therapies, medical devices and clinical and surgical methods. With your help, investigators can help to treat and cure medical conditions and diseases.
Whether you are a healthy patient, or someone looking to explore alternative treatments for an illness or condition, there is likely a clinical study or trial that needs your participation.
Before you sign up for a study, be sure to consult with your doctor. To learn more about participating in research, visit the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) website.
Resources for potential study participants
The New England Research Subject Advocacy Group (NE RSA) published a series of brochures to support communication between researchers and participants. These resources provide useful information and helpful questions to think about and to ask before deciding to participate in a research study. Please visit Harvard Catalyst’s Research Subject Advocacy web page to download the brochures, available in 15 languages.
Where to find a clinical study or trial
Research Participant’s Bill of Rights
As a participant in a clinical study or trial, you have the right:
- To be told why the study is being conducted.
- To be told who is funding the study.
- To be given an explanation of what will happen during the study, what is expected of you, and what will be different from non research medical treatment.
- To be given an explanation of any risks or discomforts that may be experienced from participating in the study.
- To be given an explanation of any benefits that may be expected from participating in the study.
- To be told, if treatment is part of the study, of other non-research treatment choices that are available and how they compare to participating in the study.
- To be given the opportunity to ask questions about the study or about participating in the study, before agreeing to participate and during the course of the study.
- To be told of your right to refuse to begin the study, or to change your mind and stop participating in the study after it has started. Your participation is completely voluntary. If
treatment is part of the study, this decision will not affect your ability to receive non research treatment.
- To be told that you may refuse to answer any question.
- To have enough time to decide whether or not to participate and to make that decision without any pressure from the people who are doing the research.
- To be told, if treatment is part of the study, whether there are any costs to you associated with being in the study and whether you will receive any reimbursement for participating in the study.
- To be told who will have access to information collected about you, how the information will be used, and how the confidentiality of your information will be protected.
- To be told who to contact directly with questions about the research, about research related injury, and about your rights as a research participant.
- To be told, if the research is greater than minimal risk, whether any compensation and medical treatments are available should you have a research related injury, what the treatments are, and where further information may be obtained.
- To be told about new information learned during the study that might affect your safety or your willingness to continue to take part in the study.
- To receive a copy of the consent form if one is part of the study.