How to Participate in Clinical Research and Trials

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How to Participate in Clinical Research and Trials

Researchers at UMMC are committed to discovering new and innovative ways to prevent and treat the diseases that affect our daily lives, with the ultimate goal to improve the well-being of our families, friends, communities and future generations. However, we cannot do it alone. Your participation as a UMMC Research Partner is vital to the advancement of medicine and our vision to create “a healthier Mississippi.”  

By volunteering to become a UMMC Research Partner, you can learn more about your health and participate in opportunities that may improve the health of our communities and future generations. 

Complete basic information using the form above and a research professional may contact you to provide more information about available studies at UMMC. Whether to participate is always your choice.

Benefits of being a UMMC Research Partner

Partnering with UMMC’s researchers may have many advantages, including:

  • Gaining access to investigational treatments
  • Increasing knowledge about your own health
  • Giving the gift of improved health to our communities and future generations
  • Contributing to the advancement of science by helping researchers learn more about how the human body and mind work or by helping find a cure or better treatments for diseases.

Who can be a UMMC Research Partner?

UMMC’s clinical research programs require both healthy and patient volunteers.

Healthy volunteers

Healthy volunteers play an important role in research because they help define “normal” ranges. While they may receive no direct benefit, healthy volunteers may choose to participate in clinical research because they want to help others and contribute to advancing science.

Patient volunteers

People with a health condition or disease may take part in a research study to gain access to a new therapy; take a more active role in their health; or contribute to better understanding, diagnosing, or treating that disease or condition. While some patient volunteers may receive a direct benefit from participating, the overall goal of the clinical trial may be to understand the risks and benefits of a treatment and to scientifically prove whether it is effective.

Who can participate in clinical research and trials?

Researchers use a list of rules called ‘eligibility criteria’ to decide who is eligible to be in the study. These criteria ensure it is safe for you to participate. They also ensure the study results are due to the treatment being studied and not other factors or chance.

“Inclusion criteria” are factors that allow someone to be included in the study. “Exclusion criteria” are factors that disqualify someone from being in a study. These factors can include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Type and stage of a disease
  • Previous treatment history
  • Other medical conditions

Deciding to volunteer

There are different ways to participate in UMMC’s clinical research programs. You may be asked to participate in a survey or questionnaire or you may need to visit the hospital, doctor’s office or participate via our telehealth network.

Types of participation can include:

  • Completing a questionnaire about health or behaviors, or answering questions in an interview with researchers
  • Donating blood or a tissue sample
  • Enrolling in a clinical trial to find out if new therapies are safe and effective
  • Helping researchers understand how the healthy body works

Understanding the risks

Clinical research can have risks, just like routine medical care and the activities of daily living. While some of the risks are minor, other risks are more serious. Some clinical research participants may experience complications that require medical attention. It is rare for people to be seriously injured or die from complications related to clinical trial participation. When considering whether to participate in a clinical trial, it’s important to understand:

  • The possible risks of being in the study
  • The level of risk or harm
  • The chance of that risk or harm happening

The risks of a specific research study are described in detail in the informed consent form and will be explained to you by the study team. The study team will also explain the purpose of the study and what will happen while you are in it and will answer any questions you have.