Questions to ask the study team

When you’ve found a study that you think may be suitable, your next step is to reach out to the study team to find out more. The study team will be able to let you know if you are eligible to take part. You can find the team's details under ‘contact information’ on the study details pages.

Contacting study teams can be daunting, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are some common questions that teams will be able to answer for you to get the conversation going.

Start with the basics:

  • What is the aim of the trial?
  • How will it help people?
  • What will I have to do if I take part?
  • What treatment will I get if I don't take part?
  • Where is it being held?

About your treatment

Every clinical trial has its own risks and benefits, and it’s vital to understand these before you give your consent. If you’re taking part in a study for a new treatment, your questions might include the following:

  • What treatment will I get if I don’t take part in the trial?
  • What are the possible side effects of my treatment?
  • How may the treatment affect me physically and emotionally?
  • Who can I contact if I have a problem? Will someone be available 24 hours a day?
  • What extra tests or appointments will I have?
  • Will I definitely be given the new treatment if I take part? (Sometimes researchers will need to compare a new treatment to an existing treatment or no treatment at all)
  • What plans are in place if anything goes wrong?

About the commitment you make

  • How long is the study expected to last? And for how long will I need to take part? (Some studies may just involve filling out a survey; others might last for a number of years)
  • How much of my time will be needed – including travel time?
  • Will I need to take time off work?
  • What will happen if I stop the trial treatment or leave the trial before it ends?
  • If the trial is testing a drug, will I have to collect it from the hospital, will it be sent to me by post or will I get it through my doctor?
  • Will I need extra help from family and friends?
  • Will the costs of my travel and parking be reimbursed?
  • Will I have to fill in questionnaires or keep a diary?

About what happens after the trial

If you’re volunteering for a study, you may wish to know what happens after it ends. So, you might want to ask:

  • How long will it be before the results of the study are known?
  • How will I find out about the results at the end of the study?