Five Things to Understand Before You Sign Up for a Clinical Trial

Five Things to Understand Before You Sign Up for a Clinical Trial

December 18, 2015

Are you considering participating in a clinical trial? Take a few minutes to learn a bit more about the process and what to expect.

1 What is a clinical study?

Clinical studies determine if a strategy, decide or treatment method is safe for humans. Study participants also receive specific treatments under the direction of a principal research investigator, who is frequently a medical doctor.

2 What is the purpose of a clinical study?

The ultimate goal of a clinical trial is to obtain medical knowledge by examining the safety and efficacy of a medication or treatment. Researchers need to answer important questions regarding side effects and dosages prior to rolling out a medication to the general population.

3 How long does a clinical study last?

The length of clinical studies varies, but participants are always informed of the study duration prior to enrollment. As a general rule of thumb:

  • Phase one typically lasts several months
  • Next, phase two spans several months to approximately two years
  • Phase three make take anywhere from one to four years
  • Lastly, phase four trials occur after the drug has been marketed, to determine its effect on various populations and any known side effects. Clinical studies at OCRC range from just a few days to 6-7 months.

4 Who qualifies for a clinical trial?

All clinical trials have standards outlining who can participate, called eligibility criteria. Furthermore, the average criterion may involve age, race, gender, medical conditions and previous health history.

Certain organizations may wish to isolate people with certain illnesses or conditions, and this information will be made available to enrollees, prior to study participation.

5 Does it cost money to participate in a clinical trial?

Typically, funding for clinical trials is received via the federal government, or by a private organization. Different organizations have different policies, and it is important to carefully review compensation and reimbursement policies prior to enrolling and participating in a clinical study.

At OCRC, study participants receive complimentary treatments and medical care related to the trial. Additionally, participants may be compensated for time and travel. Health insurance is never a requirement.


Learn more about Clinical Trials and the FDA website are both excellent resources for information about clinical studies. Our staff at OCRC is also happy to offer tours at our state-of-the-art clinic to volunteers who meet study criteria.

At the Orlando Clinical Research Center, we are committed to making all of our volunteers feel comfortable while participating in our studies. If you are interested in volunteering, please tell us a little more about yourself in the Contact section of the home page and we will respond to you to determine your eligibility for current and future studies.