What is research?
Research is an organized way of collecting information to answer questions or test ideas that will benefit society. Research is done for many different reasons:
- Find new treatments for illness or disease. This type of research is called a "clinical trial."
- Study how people behave or make decisions.
- Look at how people learn or find out what they think about something.
- Look at how to improve healthcare or services.
What do I need to know?
It is important to understand a research study before you decide to participate. There are many things that you need to know. You should talk to the person in charge of the study and make sure all of your questions are answered. Here are just a few of the things to know about signing up for a study:
- You choose whether or not to participate. It is your choice.
- You can stop being in a study at any time.
- You can get healthcare whether or not you are in a study.
- There could be costs to you if you participate.
- You may not personally see any benefit.
- There may be risks. These will be explained to you and there may be more risks that are unknown.
How do I find research studies?
There are many different ways to find research studies looking for participants.
- Talk to your doctor. She or he may be looking for participants for a research study or may know of other doctors who are looking for participants.
- Advertisements on TV, radio, newspaper, or community centers, libraries, etc.
- ResearchMatch is a website that allows you to create a profile and will connect you with researchers who are doing research for which you may be a good match: www.researchmatch.org
- Center Watch is a website with information on clinical trials that includes a searchable database: www.centerwatch.org
- ClinicalTrials.gov is a government-run website that lists research conducted in the US and around the world: www.clinicaltrials.gov
About Research Participation Resources
In January 2017, OHRP launched its public outreach website: About Research Participation, www.hhs.gov/about-research-participation. This site was created to help potential volunteers better understand research and ask questions that help them decide whether to participate in research. Available materials include a series of short videos about participating in research and a printable list of questions that potential volunteers can ask researchers - and all resources are available in English and Spanish!
Interested in speaking with someone about participating in research?
To speak with someone to obtain information, offer input, or discuss problems, questions, or concerns about participation in a research study, please contact the local Institutional Review Board (IRB) affiliated with the study:
- Case Western Reserve University Social Behavioral IRB: 216.368.6925
- Case Western Reserve University Research Compliance Officer: 216.368.0134
- Cleveland Clinic IRB: 216.444.2924
- MetroHeath Medical Center IRB: 216.778.2021
- University Hospitals IRB: 216.844.1529
- Veterans' Affairs IRB: 216.791.3800 x4658
Local resources for finding research studies
- Cleveland's Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC)
- Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
- The MetroHealth System
- University Hospitals