Information for research participants

What is “human subjects research,” and how are volunteers protected?

Question marks with people as figurinesIf you are considering volunteering for research, these are great questions to ask! “Human subjects research” is research that involves people, or people’s private information. There are federal, state, and local laws, as well as VCU institutional standards, in place that ensure people who volunteer for research are protected. These regulations and policies require that human subjects research be externally reviewed and monitored by “Institutional Review Boards” (IRBs).

The IRB is also interested in hearing from community members about VCU research. Let us know your thoughts, concerns or questions

We have a few frequently asked questions on this topic. Click on each question to show its answer.

How can I find research studies to volunteer for?

There are various ways you can find out about research studies to volunteer for. You may be approached by a researcher directly, you might see a flyer advertising a study, or you can seek out studies yourself and contact the researchers about volunteering. The links below will take you to a variety of sites where you can find research projects that may be of interest to you, your family, or people you know.

  • VCU Study Finder
    This tool will help you find research that is occurring right here at VCU. Search keywords to find something you’re looking for specifically, or browse all listings if you’re not sure what you want. 
  • Find Massey Cancer clinical trials
    Find cancer-related research to volunteer for here. Search by disease type and/or keywords to find a match for you. 
  • Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry
    Twin research is a vital type of research that can help advance our understanding of many scientific areas. The Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (MATR) is located at VCU. If you volunteer with MATR, you may be contacted in the future to ask if you want to volunteer for a variety of different types of research.
  • Research Match
    Research Match is a tool that helps match potential volunteers with studies that suit their interests or needs. Like the MATR, if you sign up with Research Match, you may be contacted in the future to ask if you want to volunteer for a variety of different types of research.
    This is a database of clinical trials taking place across the U.S. Researchers conducting clinical trials are required to register their clinical trials on this website. You can search for ongoing clinical trials based on disease type and location, and you can find results from completed clinical trials.
  • Department websites. Many departments at VCU post information about open research studies on their websites.

Information for current volunteers

Sometimes, the VCU has information that is relevant to people who are currently volunteering for research. See the resources below to learn more, and keep visiting this website for more updates.