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Quick Guide for Participants

Welcome to our website! Whether you are currently participating, participated in the past, or are considering participating in a research study, we appreciate your contribution to the University of Virginia and the research community. The purpose of our office is to review research where the researcher wants to study an individual or a group of people and will gather personal information about each individual. Each study receives careful review by our staff and by our board members under a federally regulated mandate.

Our board is comprised of UVa researchers, community members, and other experts, and it is their job, with the help of our staff, to ensure that each study meets federal regulation, ethical, and best practice standards as well. As a participant, you should expect your researcher to handle your information in a confidential and sensitive manner and to treat you with respect.

For most studies, you will receive information about the study through an initial consent meeting where the researcher will go over the details of the study and provide you with a consent form to sign. For some studies where your name will not be attached to the information you provide, such as an anonymous survey, you may not be asked to sign a consent form but you should expect to receive information about the study and what you should expect if you decide to participate. If you have questions about the study during this meeting, while you are participating in the study, and after it is complete, please don’t hesitate to contact the researcher about your concerns. If you don’t feel like you can talk to the researcher and/or feel concerned about your participation, please contact our office as well. It is our job to advocate for research participants and we would be happy to help you should the need arise. For more information, please see UVa’s website for research participants.