Research FAQs

Through research and your generous participation we can improve medical knowledge and develop new treatments. Thank you for considering to participate in research. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. In addition, you will find some videos developed by the Office for Human Research and Protections ( that provide some basic information about research. For other questions, please contact one of our clinical trial research coordinators: Julie Segura or Jennifer Steshyn

What is research?

This video provides basic information about scientific research, the goals of research, and discusses how clinical research differs from medical care. (3:00)


What are clinical trials?

This video discusses types of human research with a focus on clinical trials, and explains common terms that potential participants should know. (4:20)


What are the important questions to ask prior to participating in a research study?

This video emphasizes that participating in research is voluntary and encourages potential participants to ask questions and get the information they need to decide whether to participate. (4:44)


Click here to get a printable list of questions you should ask.

What is randomization?

This video explains the concept of randomization in research studies and what potential participants need to know when volunteering for a study with a randomized design. (7:25)

What do I gain from participating in a research trial?

You may or may not receive direct benefit from participating in a study, but you will be helping to further research efforts regarding your particular disease. In addition, these studies are investigating cutting-edge therapies and procedure, in the hope that they will improve patient outcome and disease progression.

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials are designed with different goals. These goals are based on a hypothesis developed by a team of researchers. These hypotheses need to be tested in the “real world”, and the scientific way to test these hypotheses is by doing clinical trials. Clinical trials create a controlled and supervised environment to conduct experiments testing new ideas or hypotheses. Some clinical trials aim to improve our understanding of the mechanism of the disease – what causes the disease, how does it progress, what are the risk factors, what can be done to slow the disease process or cure it. Other clinical trial are investigating a new treatment or procedure (such as a new medication or a new form of brain surgery) to determine its effects on the disease and the patient’s state.

In the end, clinical trials are the means by which researchers test their ideas, to make sure that the treatments and procedures that your doctor is recommending help your symptoms and/or cure your disease.

What is the clinical trial process? (consent, screening, research visits)

When you report interest in a research study, a member of our research staff will talk with you about the study and review a document called an informed consent with you.  Research staff will ensure you meet the criteria to be in the study.  If you meet the criteria and agree to participate, you will be scheduled for the required research visits.  Various trials require different lengths of participation time which could last from days to years.

Do I have to pay to be part of clinical trials?

You do not have to pay anything to be part of a trial. A clinical trial allocates funds to cover the expenses related to the trial execution, sometimes in collaboration with your insurance. In all cases, you are not expected to pay to be part of the studies.