When you volunteer for research, you’re providing an invaluable service to humankind. It’s also important to understand that clinical trials are experimental, so you’re taking a risk. You need to weigh that risk against the potential benefits before deciding whether to participate.

Our job at WCG IRB is to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to minimize the risks and protect your rights, safety, and welfare. This is our top priority — everything we do reflects that.

Things to Know Before You Enroll in a Clinical Trial

One of the many ways that we safeguard research participants is by making sure you are aware of your rights and how important they are — to you and to us. These include the right to:

  • Decide whether to participate without any pressure. It’s your decision, and you are under no obligation to participate in any research done by your doctor. If you choose not to participate, you will not be penalized in any way.
  • Know why the research is being done and what it will involve, including any drugs or devices that will be tested.
  • Be told about the risks and potential benefits of the research — and about new risks and findings that are discovered during the clinical trial.
  • Know what other treatment options are available if you do not take part in the clinical trial.
  • Ask questions before and during the trial. While you are considering whether to participate, you will receive a written explanation of the research and be asked to sign a consent form. You have the right to request a copy of this form.
  • Change your mind and quit the research study at any time, without penalty.

Resources for Research Participants

Clinical Study Questions and Answers

Visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health to find common questions and answers about clinical studies.

Volunteering for a Clinical Trial

Find answers to questions about participating in a study so you can make an informed decision.

WCG COVID-19 Patient Resource Center

Explore patient perspectives and resources on COVID-19 and beyond.

NIH Clinical Research Trials and You

Were you invited to join a clinical trial? Know the questions you should ask before deciding to participate.

WCG CenterWatch iConnect

Explore open clinical trials by medical condition and location, and register for free email notifications.

Commonly Used Terms

Explore this exhaustive glossary of clinical trial terms from WCG CenterWatch.

OHRP About Research Participation

Find basic information for potential research participants on the Office for Human Research Protections website.

Contact WCG IRB

If you’re already participating in a clinical trial and have questions, please contact the research team first — especially if you’re experiencing medical problems. The contact information is on your consent form.

For general questions about participating in clinical research, or to express concerns or complaints that you prefer not to discuss with the research team, please complete the form below and one of our staff members will respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

If you prefer, you can also call us and speak with a Research Participant Specialist at 855-818-2289.

Research Participant Contact Form