Volunteering in Research
The University of Minnesota is a leading public research institution. A wide variety of research studies, from behavioral studies to experimental drug studies, take place here.
By volunteering for research, you can help researchers discover answers to questions to improve people’s lives.
Research vs. Treatment
Doctors and researchers are committed to your care and safety. There are important differences between research and treatment plans.
The goal of research is to learn new things in order to help groups of people in the future. Researchers learn things by following the same plan with a number of participants, so they do not usually make changes to the plan for individual research participants. You, as an individual, may or may not be helped by volunteering for a research study.
The goal of treatment is to help you get better or to improve your quality of life. Doctors can make changes to your treatment plan as needed.
It's Your Decision
When thinking about volunteering for a research study, you can:
- Talk with family, friends, or others before making a decision
- Ask as many questions as you want
- Change your mind at any time
- Leave a research study knowing that the treatments or services that you receive from your doctor, clinic, hospital, or others will not be affected
Before volunteering for a research study, you should know the answers to these questions:
- What is the research study about?
- How is this different from my treatment plan?
- What will I be asked to do?
- How much time will it take?
- Are there potential side effects or risks?
- What will happen if I have problems because of participating?
- Are there treatment options I should know about?
- How will my information be kept private or shared?
- Will I be billed for any costs?
- Will I be compensated for my time?
- Who can I contact with questions or concerns?
- How do I leave the study after I start?