Being involved in research studies

Support health research by becoming a ResearchMatch volunteer today.

Human health research is being conducted all over the United States. Often the people who conduct the research struggle to find people willing to participate in their studies. Michigan State University Extension identifies that the problem isn’t that the studies are difficult or challenging for the participants; the problem is that potential participants are unaware of the opportunities to support the research endeavors. That’s where ResearchMatch comes in.

ResearchMatch is a free and secure centralized web-based tool that was developed to help today’s research studies make a difference for the health and well-being of everyone. Through ResearchMatch adults of any age, race, ethnicity or health status can indicate their interest in participating in research.

There are currently over 140 institutions participating in ResearchMatch involving more than 560 research studies being conducted by over 5,500 researchers. Institutions include colleges, universities and medical centers. There are also more than 50 partner organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society involved with ResearchMatch. Over 126,000 people have registered as volunteers for ResearchMatch so far. You can volunteer too.

Michigan State University is one of the institutions involved with ResearchMatch. You can learn more about the project at the MSU Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and sign up to be a volunteer through that website. Anyone who lives in the United States can join; all ages and backgrounds are welcome. Potential volunteers who are under 18 will require registration by a parent, guardian or caretaker. All information entered in ResearchMatch is kept confidential. It is only made available to researchers after the volunteer has indicated that they are interested in learning more about a study. Once you volunteer you are never obligated to participate in a study. Each time an opportunity comes up you can decide your involvement.

Once you register your non-identifiable information becomes part of a pool that researchers can search to contact about their studies. You’ll receive a monthly e-newsletter with information about the website and information related to research participation. You can unsubscribe if you prefer not to receive the e-newsletter. You can also edit your profile in ResearchMatch at any time, and you may drop out at any time too.

You may participate in ResearchMatch on-line or in person, depending on the study. If you only want to volunteer to complete on-line surveys, you can say no to those that require your involvement in person. If you don’t mind participating in person, you can indicate how far you’re willing to travel when you register.

There is a great deal of exciting research happening today that may result in better health for all of us in the future. Consider supporting these efforts by becoming a ResearchMatch volunteer.

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