This is a list of Penn State studies on diabetes and obesity that are currently in need of volunteers. Click on the study title to learn more about the study.
How do I find out if I qualify for a research study?
There are a number of ways to find out if you qualify for a research study. First, review the information posted on studies which are of interest to you. From the general information provided, you can often determine if you fit into the broad eligibility guidelines for the study.
How do I know if a study is safe to participate in?
All research studies using human participants at Penn State are reviewed and must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is comprised of university faculty and staff and community members who represent a variety of professions. These include medical, academic, scientific and spiritual backgrounds and training. The members of this board examine research study proposals very carefully and evaluate the study for safety and risk to participants.
The IRB is facilitated in its work by the Office for Research Protections (ORP), which operates under federal guidelines and regulations. These guidelines and regulations provide a structure for the IRB to evaluate proposed research studies and to make recommendations for changes, if needed.
All proposed studies involving humans (biomedical and social sciences) are assessed and monitored by the Office of Research Protections (ORP) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB). To learn more about the ORP, IRB, and the approval process, click here.
Where do I go for study appointments?
Study appointment locations vary. The study may be conducted at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, University Park (State College) or other Penn State campuses of Penn State, Many studies are supported by the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). There are two GCRC's at Penn State - one at University Park and one at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
How often are study appointments?
Depending on the study, visits may be frequent or spread out over a long period of time. There may be single or multiple visits. Some studies may also include assignments to be completed at home. The length of the visits also varies.
What do I have to do?
Research studies vary widely in the kinds of activities you will be asked to do. For some studies, having one blood draw may be all you have to do. Other typical activities in research studies include completing questionnaires, doing computer exercises, having finger sticks to obtain small amounts of blood periodically, and being asked to eat certain foods, follow a certain diet, keeping logs of diet, exercise or other activities.
Every research study is unique and will be different from other studies in terms of the amount of time spent, number of visits, and activities during visits. The study investigator or study coordinator will explain all of this information to you and it will also be found in the informed consent form. When you understand what is to be expected of you and agree to participate in a research study, you and the study investigator or coordinator will sign the informed consent form. You will receive a copy of the consent form to keep. Your original consent form will be kept on file with the study records.
What if I agree to participate and then change my mind?
Participation in research studies is voluntary - you are in the driver's seat. If you decide to stop participating at any time, you are free to do so. However, researchers are hoping that you will take into consideration the amount of time and activities that you will be asked to do before you decide to participate.
Declining to participate is always an option. In some studies, it is also acceptable to decline to perform certain parts of the study. For some studies, not being able or willing to perform certain parts of the study may result in meaningless data for the researcher. In this case, you would be aware that if you cannot or will not perform certain tasks, you will not be invited to participate or will be asked to leave the study.
Always ask questions while the study is being explained to you and you are reviewing the informed consent. Any question is a good question if you don't know the answer. Also, ask questions throughout the study if there is anything you don't understand. Many research volunteers learn new things through their participation.
Who can I contact about my rights as a research volunteer?
If you have any questions or concerns about your participation in a research study, contact the study coordinator or the investigator or the Office for Research Protections. Contact information for the investigator and study coordinator (if there is one) is always included on the informed consent form. You will receive a copy of the informed consent form before you begin participation in the study.
Do I have to pay for parking?
At the University Park campus, most volunteers will be given free parking passes for the hours they will be involved in study activities on campus. At Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center there is no charge for parking in the hospital center's garage. The study coordinator or investigator will provide you with information about parking before your first study visit.