Frequently Asked Questions

Studies and research can be confusing. You have the right to ask as many questions as necessary in order to understand the benefits and risks of participating.

Interested in joining a study?

Why should I participate in a study?
Studies and research are about discovering things that can make our lives better. By participating in a study, you may help improve care for current patients or future generations.

The results from these studies often help doctors provide better care to their patients. It’s important to remember, however, that not all studies lead to better treatments. Some studies show that doctors are already doing what is best. Even when a research study does not find better treatments, the results can still help researchers come up with new ideas.

How can I volunteer to be in a study?
To learn more about clinical research, please email us at respect@bu.edu, or call 617-414-1971.

In addition, talk to your doctor. Let them know you are interested in clinical research. Your doctor may help you find studies that are appropriate for you.

How do I find a study that interests me?
Click here to search the StudyFinder website. StudyFinder is a list of studies that are looking for volunteers. You can also search on ClinicalTrials.gov or ResearchMatch. If you cannot find a study that matches your interests, please email us at ReSPECT@bu.edu or call 617-414-1971.

Already in a study?

I am already in a study. How do I get assistance?
If you need assistance, please contact the study investigators. The consent form you signed at the beginning of the study should have their contact information. Please contact the study investigators if you have questions or if you have decided to stop participating. If you cannot reach anyone from the study or if you would like to speak confidentially to someone who is not part of the study, please call or email the Boston Medical Center and Boston University Medical Campus Institutional Review Board (IRB) at 617-638-7207 or medirb@bu.edu.

Can I leave a research study?
You are free to leave a study at any time and for any reason. While your participation is very important, it is your choice.

If you want to stop, you should tell the study doctor or coordinator. If a study involves medication, it may not be safe to stop taking it all at once. Talk to your doctor about how to safely end your participation.

The researcher can also choose to end your participation in a study. This decision is usually made when continuing in the study is not in your best interest, if you did not follow the rules of the study, or if the study was stopped. You will be told why your participation was ended. You will also be given the chance to ask questions.

What if I am concerned about a study I am already in?
If you have questions or concerns about a study that you are in or were in, you should contact the study investigators. If you do not feel comfortable discussing a concern with your study’s research coordinator or doctor, please call or email the IRB at 617-368-7207 or medirb@bu.edu. The IRB will keep your information confidential. You have a right to be heard.

Will participating cost me money?
Some studies pay for all or some of the costs of participation. These costs could include study-related clinic visits and activities (tests, exams, co-pays, etc.), or transportation. Other studies do not reimburse any costs. The consent form you signed at the beginning of the study should list any costs to you. We recommend asking your study coordinator about your costs before you begin the study.

Will I get paid for participating?
Some studies will provide a small payment or other type of compensation to participants. Other studies do not. The consent form you signed at the beginning of the study should list any payments to you. We recommend asking the study coordinator for full details about any payment before you begin the study.