How to participate in research studies: From searching to enrollment

Participating in medical research is something individuals do for various reasons. Whether a person is interested in contributing to science, accessing potential new treatments, or receiving condition-specific care from experts, there are many benefits to being a clinical trial volunteer — but how does one start the enrollment process?

Searching for a trial, assessing its details, and signing up can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar. Fortunately, some tools make it easier than ever to find something that is a good fit. Check out our tips below for more information.

How to find a clinical trial

For individuals interested in participating in a research study, the first step is searching for clinical trials that may be available. Every clinical trial must be listed on, the FDA’s database for study information. While is available to anyone, it is a resource primarily intended for researchers — and, as such, can be cumbersome.

Fortunately, many other tools are available for discovering clinical trials designed with patients in mind. Tools such as Antidote Match make it easy for individuals to search through a tailored list of studies they may be eligible for and provide information on the next steps for enrollment. 

What to know about participating in research

After finding an interesting study, getting more information will help determine if it’s a good fit. The study listing will provide some critical inclusion and exclusion criteria, such as the age range, medication requirements, and health history of those who may be eligible. It will also include what phase the study is in, what it is investigating, and who is sponsoring the research.

How to enroll in a research study

After getting the basic information, it is recommended to discuss it with the relevant medical care team members to ensure it won’t interfere with existing treatment plans. Next, it is time to contact the research team to provide them with information and ask more in-depth questions about the study. Though this may sound difficult, Antidote’s Match tool provides the details of the site and study team in the search results to make it a seamless process. After this, the next step will be to complete additional screening at the site, typically including bloodwork and other labs to validate eligibility.

Finally, before officially enrolling in the study, researchers will provide potential participants with an Informed Consent Form detailing all the information about the study. Sometimes called IC Forms, these documents are designed to provide all the information about a study in one place for easy reference for volunteers. Typically, it will detail the number of visits required, the compensation structure, and the types of reporting that volunteers will do during their participation. Additionally, this form states what is needed to participate and establishes that those in the study can withdraw at any time and for any reason without penalty.

Are you interested in starting the process of clinical trial enrollment? Click the link below to see the studies that are currently seeking participants.