Types of clinical research studies range from basic to complex. Basic studies may only need people to answer questions, fill out diaries or even play computer games. Complex studies may ask volunteers use a device that has never been tested before or to stay in the hospital while they take a certain medicine. All studies are guided by the same basic principle: to understand and improve human health.
Select from the study types below to view more information.
These studies ask people questions about their knowledge, attitudes and feelings about a wide range of health topics. You can complete these surveys online, over the phone and sometimes by mail. These surveys usually take between 15 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Occasionally, you may receive payment for your time or be entered into a drawing for a gift card.Search Current Studies
Gather information on safety and effectiveness of medications
Drug studies are heavily regulated by the US Government. Studies often involve medications that are not currently available to the general public. They are called “investigational” drugs and have not yet been approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for your normal health care provider to prescribe. Other drug studies may involve comparisons between two or more FDA-approved medications. The researchers conducting these studies may receive payments for their services from pharmaceutical companies, government agencies or private foundations called sponsors.
In order to volunteer for Phase I studies, you must be in excellent health and not taking medications for ongoing medical conditions. Often, these studies are restricted to people between the ages of 18 and 35. These studies carry the highest risk of any clinical trial as the drugs have not been tested previously in people and possible side effects are unknown.
In these studies, volunteers are needed to test drugs that have never been given to people (or to only a few people). In the drug development cycle, a Phase 1 study is the first stage of testing. Researchers will give a drug to healthy volunteers to test only the safety of the drug. These studies are not designed to test whether or not a drug is effective in treating a disease. If the drug has no adverse side effects, it can then be tested for effectiveness in people who have the targeted condition.Search Current Studies
Determine if a medical device helps relieve a certain medical condition
Devices with which you may be familiar are pacemakers, diabetes testing meters and hearing aids. Research studies often involve devices that are not currently available to the general public and have not been approved for use by the FDA. To participate in this type of study, a volunteer will need to have a certain medical condition(s), use the device being studied and visit the research clinic on a regular basis to have medical assessments.Search Current Studies
Determine if a medical procedure is effective in treating a condition
Procedure investigations study the safety and effectiveness of certain medical procedures. Sometimes they compare a new medical procedure to one already in use. These studies are conducted in a medical clinic or hospital. Volunteers may be paid for their participation.Search Current Studies
MEDICAL OUTCOMES STUDIES
Medical outcomes studies look at clinical practices to determine if there are better ways for doctors to help patients manage their medical care. Outcomes research often takes into account patients’ experiences and preferences/values – all of which may affect whether or not a medical treatment is best for them.
When talking about these studies, you may hear about patient-reported outcomes; any report of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient.Search Current Studies
Research studies also need volunteers in good health
The term "healthy volunteer" can be confusing because it can be hard to say what "healthy" is. However, in research studies, it means something very specific. Researchers need volunteers who are generally healthy to compare with persons who have a condition or disease. The healthy volunteers who don’t have the condition or disease receive the same treatment as people who do have it. Volunteers are often paid for their participation. If you are in generally good health, you may qualify as a volunteer for one of these studies.Search Current Studies