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What can I expect from participating in research?

What you’ll be asked to do as part of different studies can vary widely – from answering a survey to trialling new medicines over a number of months. We have accounts from a number of past research participants that you can read here.

When you match to a study, you’ll be able to view more information about the requirements of the study online on your Volunteer Information Page.

Some examples of what participating in research could involve are:

  • Being asked to eat or eliminate certain foods from your diet
  • Being asked to introduce a certain type of exercise to your daily life
  • Being asked to take a specific medicine for a specific length of time and record its effects
  • Undergoing scans and cognitive tests, as a one off or over a period of time
  • Answering questionnaires on things like sleep, diet, medications, social life, family medical history and lifestyle at specified intervals
  • Providing your DNA by taking a blood or saliva sample
  • Brain imaging. This would be either Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Positron Emission Tomography (PET). MRI involves lying still in a scanner for about 30 minutes whilst a magnetic scanner generates images of your brain. PET involves eating, drinking or receiving an injection of a low dose of radioactive chemicals, followed by lying in the scanner for a period of time whilst the machine generates brain images.
  • Interviews with your carers or family members
  • Testing new technologies that could help with day-to-day life

Remember: Choosing to get involved in research is an important personal decision. You will never have to participate in a study unless you decide it is the right thing for you or the person you helped to register. It is also important to discuss the possible advantages and disadvantages of participation with the researcher or your own doctor, nurse or other health professional.

⟶ Why sign up.

⟶ What is a study?

⟶ Learn about the different types of research