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FAQs About Joining a Research Study

Ever wonder what it’s like to volunteer for a clinical research study? Read on to get a better picture of how scientists engage participants in their research and what to expect when you join a study.

What is a clinical study?

We develop carefully designed research studies (sometimes called trials) that aim to uncover better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat disabling conditions. 

How do I find and volunteer for a research study?

First, check out the studies at Kessler Foundation that need volunteers. Once you find a study that interests you, complete the “Volunteers are the Heart of Our Research” form found on each study page. Then a member of our research recruitment team will reach out to discuss the study and determine whether you are qualified to participate.

Which conditions are crucial to your investigations?

Our scientists seek to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes, including employment, for adults and children with neurological and developmental disabilities of the brain and spinal cord including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and autism. We also study the role of caregivers who assist individuals with disabilities with daily activities, and we help people return to the workplace after disabling illnesses or injuries.

Where are the research studies held?

We offer a number of tele-studies that can be completed from your home, while others may require you to visit one of two Foundation locations in East Hanover, NJ, or West Orange, NJ. 

How long do research studies last?

Some studies are completed in one day, while others may need volunteers to be available for follow up from six weeks to more than a year. 

Are you recruiting for a specific age group or ethnicity? 

To achieve results that help as many people as possible, participants of all ages and ethnicities are needed in our studies.

I’m a parent of a child with a disability. Can my child participate in a study?

Yes! There are studies recruiting participants as young as seven years old. 

I don’t have a disability. Can I join a study?

Yes, absolutely! People without disabilities can serve as controls in clinical studies. Comparing the results between healthy volunteers and participants with disabling conditions helps researchers prove the efficacy of their interventions.  

What if I cannot complete my participation in a study?

Participating in our research studies is completely voluntary, and if at any time anyone is uncomfortable or unable to continue the study, they are allowed to withdraw.

Will I be compensated for my time?

Most of our studies provide compensation to volunteers for study-related time. The amount paid varies for every study.

Why should I participate in a clinical research study?

Each individual has their own motive for participating, but volunteers are vital to the ongoing rehabilitation research at Kessler Foundation. Their assistance helps scientists identify new treatments and interventions that can change the lives of loved ones and others with disabilities and debilitating health conditions. These scientific advances are made possible when people like you volunteer for clinical research.

Learn More: In the podcast below, Kessler Foundation recruiters discuss how volunteers can take part in one of our research studies.