Information for Research Volunteers
The Human Research Protection Program, which includes two Institutional Review Boards (IRB), is responsible by federal law for ensuring the protection of the rights, welfare, and well-being of participants involved in research studies conducted by Texas A&M faculty, staff, and students.
To accomplish that goal, the IRB carefully reviews research to ensure that it is carried out appropriately. Research studies cannot be started until the IRB has approved the study.
Become a Research Participant
If you would like to volunteer in a research study, please read the Participant Brochure to help you decide whether to take part.
Becoming a research participant comes with rights and responsibilities:
Your Rights as a Research Participant
It is important to understand your rights as a research participant:
- To know why the research study is being done.
- To know what will happen during the research study.
- To know whether any study procedures, drugs, or devices are different from standard medical care.
- If the study involves treatment or therapy.
- To be told about the other non-research treatment choices you have.
- To be told where treatment is available should you have a research-related injury, and who will pay for research-related injury treatment.
- To be told the risks, side effects, and discomforts from taking part in the study.
- To be told the possible benefits from taking part in the study.
- To be told whether there are any costs associated with being in the study and whether you will be compensated for participating in the study.
- To be told who will have access to information collected about you, and how your confidentiality will be protected.
- To be told whom to contact with questions about the research, about research-related injury, and about your rights as a research subject.
- To have enough time to decide whether or not to be in the research study.
- To be able to decide not to take part in the study, or decide to drop out, at any time. Your decision will not affect your right to the usual care not related to the study.
- If you are enrolled in a course or student participant pool, be aware that course credit is available by alternative method(s).
- To ask questions at any time.
- To receive a copy of the consent form.
Your Responsibilities As A Research Participant
It is important to understand your responsibilities as a research participant:
- Completely read the consent form and ask the principal investigator (PI) any questions you may have. You should understand what will happen to you during the study before you agree to participate.
- Know the dates when your study participation starts and ends.
- Carefully weigh the possible benefits (if any) and risks of being in the study.
- Talk to the principal investigator (PI; the person in charge of the study) if you want to stop being part of the research study.
- Contact the PI and/or the Texas A&M Institutional Review Board (IRB) with complaints or concerns about your participation in the study.
- Report to the PI immediately any and all problems you may be having with the study drug/procedure/device.
- Fulfill the responsibilities of participation as described on the consent forms unless you are stopping your participation in the study.
- Keep a copy of the consent form for your records.
Voice a Complaint or Concern
For questions about your rights as a research participant; or if you have questions, complaints, or concerns about the research, please contact the Texas A&M Human Research Protection Program:
- 1.855.795.8636 toll free
- 979.862.3176 fax
The following resources are helpful in understanding research, your rights as a participant, and what you should consider before joining a study.
Office of Human Research Protections
About Research Participation:
- Questions to Ask About Volunteering for a Research Study | HHS.gov
- Human Research Volunteer Informational Videos | HHS.gov
- Regulations to Protect Research Volunteers | HHS.gov
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
National Institutes of Health
Clinical Trial Information
Finding a Clinical Trial – To search for a clinical trial by disease or geographic location, visit: www.clinicaltrials.gov