Do Clinical Trials Pay for Travel?

Clinical trials can't move forward without volunteers – but sometimes, clinical trial volunteers have trouble getting to the trials. In one survey, 23% of patients named distance as the top reason they weren't interested in joining a clinical trial. Compensation for travel or other patient travel services can help make it easier for patients to take part in research.

Do clinical trials pay for travel?

Some clinical trial sponsors will pay for participants' travel costs. Payment for travel can take a few different forms. Trials may offer a stipend to participants that may cover transportation costs such as gas money or taxi services. Certain trials may even pay for air travel.

Increasingly, research sites are partnering with services such as Lyft and Uber to coordinate rides to site visits free of costs. There are also patient travel companies trained specifically in clinical research. With these companies, drivers may be trained to answer questions about participation.

How do I know if a trial will pay for travel?

You can ask about compensation for trial costs at any time as you're considering joining a trial. Most interested participants will talk with trial staff over the phone before visiting the site for the first time. This is a great time to ask about compensation and any other questions about the trial schedule you may have.

Before you join a clinical trial, the site staff will share an informed consent document with you for your review and invite you to ask all of the questions you have about the clinical trial. When you sign the document, you officially join the trial, but remember that you're free to leave the trial at any time, for any reason.

Do clinical trials pay for anything else?

Some clinical trial sponsors may also cover other costs of participating, such as paying for meals or for child care. Other trials offer payment for taking part, which patients may receive per study visit or upon completion of the study. Phase 1 trials, which test a potential new treatment for safety, are the most likely to offer compensation for participation, but other phase trials sometimes offer payments as well. Paid trials are often advertised as such, but be sure to ask the trial staff about compensation to learn more about the details.

How do I find a clinical trial?

If you're interested in finding a clinical trial near you, use our search tool below to get started. Simply enter basic information about your condition, symptoms, and current treatments to receive a list of clinical trials that may be the right fit for you in your area.