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Information for Research Participants

classroom setting with man raising his hand to volunteer

Ohio State recognizes the importance of your decision to participate in a research study. Before a researcher can start a study with human participants, a committee of people called an Institutional Review Board (IRB) must review the research plan. IRBs were established to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating in research. Review and approval are required before any study can begin. Continuing reviews, at least yearly, are required while the study is ongoing. 

Questions, Concerns or Suggestions

  • The investigator conducting the study provides contact information for specific questions about the study procedures. Contact the investigator with questions at any time during or after the study.
  • If you have questions about your rights as a research participant or if you have questions, concerns or suggestions you do not feel comfortable discussing with the researcher, contact the Office of Responsible Research Practices at 614-688-8457 or 800-678-6251.

Participant's Bill of Rights

As a research participant, you have the right:

  • to know that taking part in a research study is always your choice

  • to know the purpose of the research

  • to be told about procedures that you need to follow and you can ask questions at any time during the study

  • to be told of any possible risks, side effects, or problems from being in the study

  • to be told of any possible benefits of being in the study

  • to be told whether there are costs of being in the study and whether you will be paid for your participation

  • to be told who will see the information collected about/from you and how it will be kept confidential

  • to be told about any other choices available to you other than being in the study

  • to be told if medical care is available and who will pay for the care if injuries happen to you as a result of the study

  • to stop being in the study at any time



Be Informed

Questions to Ask

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) suggests some questions to ask before agreeing to participate in a research study:

  • How many other people are in the study?
  • Will there be any costs for me? 
  • Will my records be kept private?
  • What will happen at the end of the study?
  • Will I get a copy of the study results?
  • Will I still get paid even if I leave the study early?
  • Will there be follow-up?

OHRP’s brochure called “Becoming a Research Volunteer”, available in both English and Spanish versions, can be found in Videos and Brochures or by visiting

Mother and children in Family Zone at the Thompson Library

Why I Believe in Research

This digital story is about Barbara Beckwith, a former research participant and member of the Cancer Institutional Review Board. Barbara, a two-time cancer survivor, was passionate about spreading the word on cancer research to the African American and senior citizen communities. Take a few moments to hear Barbara’s interesting story in her own words.

A physician discussing spine with a patient
Human Research Volunteer

Informational Videos