FAQ About Kessler Foundation's Research

Who pays for research?

Kessler Foundation receives funds from government agencies and private organizations that want to find better ways to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Participating in research does not cost the participant anything. In fact, participants are usually compensated for their time.

How are studies regulated?

Federal law requires that research institutions establish internal committees called institutional review boards (IRBs). IRBs review prospective research plans to make sure that all staff involved in the study will protect privacy and safety of volunteers. Learn more about Kessler Foundation’s IRB.

What happens in a research study?

When you contact us, you’ll speak to our research recruitment specialist, who will help you choose a study based on your interests. The research recruitment specialist will follow up with a research assistant (RA) who will screen you for the study. If you qualify, the RA will schedule to meet you. If you don’t qualify, you may be eligible for another study.

Each study is different based on what the researchers are examining. 

Cognitive research looks at ways to help people regain their abilities to think, remember and learn. A participant in a cognitive research study may take paper-and-pencil or computer tests. Cognitive research may test treatment programs using paper-and-pencil exercises or computers.

Mobility research look at ways to help people who have difficulties standing and walking. A participant in a mobility research study might train on a treadmill, test the best way to use a wheelchair, or test a medication or device that may improve mobility.

Outcomes research look at ways to help people with disabilities participate fully in their homes, workplaces, and communities. A person in an outcomes research study might fill out surveys or questionnaires that ask about their function in the community or at work.

Neuroimaging research helps us understand how the brain is affected by disabilities and may help us track whether a cognitive or mobility treatment program is having a positive impact on that disability. For some studies, a person may have brain imaging done at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation.

Drug studies help us test medications, and experimental drugs, to learn about their impact on the disabilities we study. Drug studies may be related to improvement of cognition, mobility, or other health-related outcomes. Our drug studies are monitored by doctors to ensure participants’ safety.

Why participate in research?

You are typically compensated for your participation.

If you have a disability, and you are enrolled in a treatment program, you may benefit from joining a study. For example, some people learn new memory techniques or gain mobility.

You contribute to improving the lives of people with disabilities and their loved ones. Our research influences the work done at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and other rehabilitation programs. By volunteering for our research, you’ll influence the quality of care a person with disabilities will receive.

Kessler Foundation is widely recognized for its excellence in research. Our scientists work with experts here and abroad to find ways to help people with disabilities. Our research articles appear in medical journals read by researchers and clinicians around the world.

Learn more about studies that are currently recruiting.