Research Participant FAQs

While receiving care at UI Health, you might be asked to be a part of a research study. Here are some things to think about while making your decision:

What is research?

Research is a way that scientists ask health related questions to improve our health and wellbeing. This is possible through a partnership between health staff and people like you who want to help find ways to better understand different medical conditions.

Why should I be part of a clinical research study or clinical trial?

Your participation will help researchers better understand diseases. It will also help them to find ways to prevent and treat diseases that you or someone you know may have.  Learn more about how your involvement in research helps society.  

What is the difference between a clinical research study and clinical trial?

Clinical studies (sometimes called observational studies) observe people in normal settings. Researchers gather information, group volunteers according to broad characteristics, and compare changes over time. For example, researchers may collect data through medical exams, tests, or questionnaires about a group of older adults over time to learn more about the effects of different lifestyles on cognitive health. Clinical studies may help identify new possibilities for clinical trials.

Clinical trials are research studies performed in people that are aimed at evaluating a medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention. They are the primary way that researchers find out if a new treatment, like a new drug or diet or medical device (for example, a pacemaker) is safe and effective in people. Often a clinical trial is used to learn if a new treatment is more effective and/or has less harmful side effects than the standard treatment. Learn more

Do I have to be part of the research?

No, your participation is completely voluntary. Also, your decision will not affect your treatment here at UI Health.

How do I participate?

Because all research studies are different, talk to your doctor about ways you can participate. You can also visit registry sites, like, to be matched with research teams, or visit to learn about studies in your area.

What if I have more questions?

If you have any questions now or in the future, you can talk to your doctor or contact the CCTS for more details. Here are also a few questions to ask when considering being a part of a research study.

View the entire “Participating in Research Video Series

Learn more about Clinical Trials