in a Clinical Trial
New treatment discoveries are only possible because of the volunteers who participate in clinical research. Joining a clinical trial is an important decision, and the benefits and risks of participating should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
Possible Benefits of
Participating in a Clinical Trial
Discover New Treatments
Help in finding a cure, treatment or vaccine
Advance Medical Research
Contribute to medical research that may benefit people in the future
Gain access to
Access a treatment that is otherwise not yet available
Possible Risks of
Participating in a Clinical Trial
The investigational treatment (or placebo) may be less effective than other treatment options or cause side effects.
If participants are part of a control group, they do not receive the investigational treatment.
Participation may have an impact on the participant’s daily schedule. Many clinical trials have a time commitment that may last a few months to years.
What to Expect
During a Clinical Trial?
Potential participants will speak with the study team to learn more about a particular clinical trial and see if they may qualify for a screening visit.
Before making the decisions to join a clinical trial, potential participants should be informed about the purpose of the trial, procedures involved, investigational treatments or vaccines being used, their rights as a participant, and the risks and benefits of participation. This information is provided in an Informed Consent Form (ICF). The study team will review the ICF with potential participants, ensure that they understand the information, and answer any of their questions.
The study team reviews the participant’s medical history and conducts further assessments to determine if they are eligible to participate. Each trial has different guidelines that determine who can participate, called eligibility criteria.
Once participants are qualified and enroll in the trial, they can begin the trial. Participants will meet with the study team to discuss next steps, including information about the investigational treatment or vaccine, trial visits, and procedures that are part of the trial.
Each trial will differ in the number of clinic visits and other requirements. Participation may involve physical exams, lab collection, answering questionnaires, or other procedures, and may last months or years.
Once participation has ended, the participant should discuss next steps for care with the study team and their healthcare provider. The study team may stay in touch with participants after the end of treatment as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
in Clinical Trials
Potential participants should learn as much as possible about the trial before deciding to participate. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider and the study team regarding how much is known about the treatment or vaccine being studied.
Potential participants should also discuss any questions or concerns with the study team conducting the trial, including the benefits and risks of participation, tests and procedures involved, how long participation will last, the number of follow-up visits, and if participants will know which treatment they receive.
Participation in any clinical trial is completely voluntary. Participants have the right to drop out of the trial at any time for any reason (and they do not need to give a reason). The study doctor or sponsor also has the right to discontinue a participant at any time for the participant’s safety or if the participant no longer meets the clinical trial requirements.
Participants may have access to investigational treatments that are not yet available to the public and will be closely monitored by the study team throughout participation.
Depending on the trial, compensation or limited reimbursement for certain expenses may be available to clinical trial participants. This will be discussed between participants and the study team.
Participants have the right to understand what is involved in participation including risks, benefits, procedures, and any other information about the trial that is part of the informed consent form (ICF). Participants will receive a signed copy of the ICF.