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The Office of Research Participant Advocacy is a resource for people who are taking part in research or those who are thinking about taking part. We are here to answer questions you may have about what will be expected from you if you do decide to volunteer in research. We can also help you find research studies that may be a good fit for you.  Volunteering in research is the greatest gift you can give to your family, community and the world. Research needs volunteers who are interested and willing to help shape the future because together we can make difference.

Research Participant Stories

Ivy's Story

Janie's Story

Is taking part in research right for you?

Things to know:

Deciding to take part in research is a personal choice. No one will be upset if you choose not to take part, and you will still receive care from your care team even if you don’t take part. You are also free to change your mind even after you start the study. Take your time to consider if taking part is right for you.

Research is done for many reasons. When you volunteer you are helping scientists answer specific questions. This may include ways to improve treatment options and/or quality of life. Knowing what the study is trying to learn may help you decide if taking part is right for you.

Each study is unique. What you will be asked to do will help the study team learn more about the topic they are studying.  You may be asked to:

  • Fill out questionnaires.
  • Answer questions about your medical history.
  • Give a blood sample.

The study team will be able to tell you how many visits you will be asked to attend.  They will also be able to tell you how long each visit may take.

  • The study team can answer questions about study procedures and cost.  They will also be able to tell you if there is compensation available for your time and travel.
  • If you have questions about your rights you can call the Institutional Review Board at the University of Utah.
  • You may also contact the Office of Research Participant Advocacy.  

Before you agree to take part in any study, the study team will explain what the risks and benefits are. Some studies may not provide a direct benefit but may help future generations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk it over with family and friends.   Make sure the study is a good fit for you.

  • The study team will have access to your research records.  This may include researchers outside of the university or the drug company who is sponsoring the study.
  • The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) may also have access to your research records.
  • The University of Utah Institutional Review Board (IRB) will also have access to your research records.  The IRB oversees research studies to ensure your rights and safety are protected while you are involved in research. 

There may be other groups that have access to your research records as well.  The study team will inform you if this applies.

You do not have to participate in research. There may be other options available to you.  Be sure and ask what the alternatives are.  Remember participating in research is voluntary and you can stop at any time.

Last Updated: 2/5/24