Research studies play an important role in helping to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. There are different types of studies that all share a common purpose: to help people live healthier lives.
UChicago researchers are working on various COVID-19 projects, including vaccine clinical trials as well as observational research (studies that have no intervention).
These studies are made possible by volunteers like you. By participating in a research study at UChicago, whether for a specific disease or as a healthy participant, you are helping to advance health.
Diseases and health conditions don’t affect us all equally. Communities of color and underserved populations are disproportionally burdened by infectious diseases like COVID-19, as well as chronic conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers.
Minority communities have historically been underrepresented in research due to factors such as lack of representation in the biomedical sciences, mistrust of research, and lack of access to research opportunities.
By participating in research, you can serve these underrepresented communities by helping scientists better understand approaches to preventing, diagnosing, and treating the diseases and health conditions that affect them most.
What is a research study?
Health providers and scientists use research studies to answer questions about health. Research can find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases and health conditions. There are many kinds of research studies. Some test new medicines or devices. Other studies use interviews or surveys to learn about health problems or patient experiences.
Why do people participate in research studies?
Every study is different and the reasons people participate are different. Some reasons people participate in research studies are:
- To help others
- To help advance science
- To possibly improve their own health
- To access treatment options that might not be available outside of the research
- During the pandemic, many people are interested in participating to help advance COVID-19 vaccines
I am not a UChicago Medicine patient. Can I still participate in UChicago Research?
Yes! For many research studies, we welcome persons from Chicago and beyond regardless of their patient status. The IPPH frequently does community-based recruitment to ensure that we are reaching many Chicago communities.
If I am invited to a study, do I have to participate?
No, you are under no obligation to join a research study, and your decision will not affect your medical care at UChicago. Participating in a research study is always completely voluntary. Even if you decide to participate in a research study, you can always change your mind at any time.
Can only people who have had COVID-19 participate in studies?
No, you do not need to have had COVID-19 in order to participate in studies. Research studies are all different, and the eligibility requirements vary from study to study. Some research studies need individuals with specific health problems (possibly including a COVID-19 positive test). Other research studies need healthy individuals. People of all ages and ethnic backgrounds are needed. Every research study has its own eligibility rules, which will determine if you are able to participate. If you are interested in participating, our research staff will work with you to see if you are a fit for a study.
Will my personal health information be protected if I agree to participate in a study?
Yes. It is the legal and ethical responsibility of all UChicago faculty, staff, trainees, students, volunteers, and contractors to protect and preserve personal and confidential patient information. This includes information collected and used for research purposes.
Will I be compensated for my participation?
Some studies offer compensation for participation.
What laws does UChicago comply with when conducting research studies?
UChicago researchers comply with federal regulations, state laws, University polices, and national and international standards for research involving human participants. Additionally, before a study can begin, the UChicago Institutional Review Board (IRB) must approve it. In addition, all UChicago personnel working on a research study are trained in how to protect the rights of research participants.
How do I unsubscribe from the research registry?
If you are no longer interested in being included in our research registry, please mail:
UChicago Vaccine Study Research Registry, 5841 S Maryland Ave, N102, Chicago, IL 60637
I represent a community-based organization that wants to enhance participation of my membership. Who do I contact?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about The Registry
If you have any questions about joining the Research Registry, email us at email@example.com or call us at 773-834-3313
Questions about COVID
If you have any questions about COVID, please can consult many of the free resources provided by the University of Chicago.