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What information do I need about joining a research project?

Before you join a research project, there are a number of things you should find out. The researcher should answer any questions you have, and you can talk to your friends, family and doctor if you have any concerns. Occasionally you’ll be asked to keep information about the study privatel because it might have an effect on the results. The researcher will tell you if that’s the case.

If you’re involved as a participant, the researcher will give you an information sheet that contains all the details of the study. Whatever role you’re taking on, it might be useful to find out the answer to the relevant questions below:

  • What’s the purpose of the study?
  • Why am I suitable?
  • What will I be asked to do?
  • Are there any benefits or risks in taking part?
  • What if something goes wrong – am I insured?
  • What happens at the end of the study?
  • Will anyone be told I’m taking part?
  • Who’s organising the study?

Before you take part in the research, you’ll be asked to sign a form to say that you’ve understood what the research involves and that you’re happy to take part. This is called giving your informed consent.

It’s important to find out how long the study will last so you can see how much commitment you'll need to give. Some studies take place over one session, while others can stretch over a number of years and might involve many visits to the test centre or your doctor. You should also find out if you’ll have to travel and if your expenses will be covered.


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