What is a Clinical Research Study?
A clinical research study sometimes also called a clinical trial is at the heart of all medical advances. It helps
generate the evidence needed to evaluate new treatments, determine best practices in medicine, and compare
the effectiveness of therapeutic and diagnostic alternatives. Treatments tested may be new drugs or
combinations of drugs, new surgical devices or procedures, or new ways to use existing treatments.
Why should I participate?
Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for
others in the future. Participating in clinical research studies is crucial as, for example, it takes the help of over
5,000 study volunteers to compile enough data to get just a single new drug approved.
Reasons people say why they participate include the ability to help others, to contribute to moving science
forward, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from
the clinical trial staff.
Participation in clinical research studies is voluntary and people can withdraw at any time. To understand the
benefits and risks of any clinical research study the study team will provide you with a document called an
informed consent and explain the study protocol to you. The document explains all the essential details of the
study. You will be asked to sign this document after you understand the nature of the study and agree to
UC Davis Clinical Trials Office
UC Davis Institutional Review Board (IRB)
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a group of people who review and approve human research. The IRB includes medical people, scientists, and people from the local community. They review human research to make sure it is well-planned and ethical.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Clinical Research Trials and You
Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP)