At its most basic, research is an investigation. Researchers search and gather information, usually to answer a particular question or problem. Research can be medical, social or behavioral, and it almost always involves people like you.
Volunteers participate in medical research that provides better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent different diseases and conditions. Social and behavioral research explores how and why people behave certain ways in a given situation and how this may impact human health.
If you’ve ever taken medication or been treated for an illness, then you’ve received the benefits of medical research. Medical research helps people enjoy better health and lifestyles. Some studies may not benefit you as an individual, but taking part can help others in the future. With your help, researchers may be able to improve the health of a community or help a group with a particular disease or condition.
There are ethical guidelines that protect research participants and the integrity of science.
As a research participant, you have the right:
Before enrolling in a research study, it is a good idea to learn as much as possible about the study and your role as a participant. Ask questions, use resources, such as the Internet, to search for information, and seek advice from family, trusted doctors, clergymen or friends. Speak to the research study team about what will be done and what your rights are as a participant. If you need help understanding what you were told about the research study, ask the investigators and research study team to explain it to you.
Your participation in a research study is completely voluntary, and you may drop out at any time.
When deciding whether to participate in a research study, you may want to ask the investigators and research study team some of the following questions:
Contact the Augusta University Institutional Review Board Office at 706-721-1483 to obtain information, offer input, find out about your rights as a research subject, or discuss problems, questions, complaints.