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Participate in Making Research Possible

Researchers are working to understand diseases and other health conditions that impact our lives. They also are identifying new treatments and strategies to improve health.

Diseases, drugs, devices and procedures all affect people differently. Only with research can we learn how. And research won't happen without participants. People who volunteer to participate in clinical trials or contribute their medical record information are a vital part of the research process.

It is with people like you that we can all learn answers to help us all feel, function and survive better.

Become a Volunteer

People from all backgrounds must be included in research to make sure new treatments are safe and effective. When you volunteer to participate in a research study, you help improve health for future generations. Health research can range from simple questionnaires and screenings to clinical trials of investigational drugs, devices and procedures.

There are three different ways that you can find more information about research studies:

  1. Sign up through MyChart

    MyChart makes volunteering for research easy. If you are a patient at the University of Kansas Health System, you can sign up to be contacted about studies for which you might be eligible.

    Sign into your MyChart account, then select Health >> Research Studies. The Research Studies page allows you to join the Pioneers Research Registry and select your Participation Preferences. If you are eligible for a research study, you will see invitations here. If you agree to participate in a research study, you can see study information as well.

  2. Find a Clinical Trial

    You can also search for active studies at the University of Kansas without joining a registry. We've made it easier for you to find the information you need with the Frontiers Trials Today website, which allows you to quickly search for local studies available on

    If you are interested specifically in cancer-related clinical trials, The University of Kansas Cancer Center has a list of cancer-specific clinical trials.

  3. Join

    Researchers can find people outside the University of Kansas Health System using ResearchMatch. This free and secure online tool was created by academic institutions and is used across the country. After creating an account and providing some background information about your medical history and study interests, ResearchMatch will email you about studies that may be a good match for you.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect or treat diseases and other medical conditions. Only through clinical trials can researchers (and everyone else) learn if a new drug or treatment is safe and effective.

In a clinical trial, participants receive specific interventions outlined in the research plan, or protocol. These interventions may be medical products, such as drugs or devices; procedures; or changes to participants' behavior, such as diet.

Clinical trials may compare a new medical approach to a standard one that is already available, to a placebo that contains no active ingredients, or to no intervention. Some clinical trials compare interventions that are already available to each other. The investigators try to determine the safety and effectiveness of the intervention by measuring certain outcomes. For example, investigators may give a drug or treatment to participants who have high blood pressure to see whether their blood pressure decreases.

Who can participate?

Although each study has different requirements, anyone can participate in clinical trials Some studies are looking for healthy volunteers. Others are looking for people with a specific illness, disease or medical condition.

Are clinical trials safe?

The risks of a clinical trial will be different from study to study. The risks and benefits are explained in detail during the informed consent process. This process gives you the information you need to decide whether or not you want to participate. This process is also when you can ask any question you have about the clinical trial before you decide to join.

Your safety is always top of mind with research staff. The Principal Investigator, who is the physician or health science researcher in charge of the study, closely monitors participants' safety and any serious side effects. An independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews the research to protect participants' rights, safety and privacy. They carefully review research studies before any person is asked to participate. They oversee the study from the start to finish to make sure that participants' rights and safety are protected.

Last modified: May 21, 2020