Information for Research Participants

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The UTHSC Institutional Review Board (IRB) developed this section of our website to provide information to you if you are currently participating in a research study at UTHSC or if you are considering participating in a research study.  Please remember that participating in a research study is completely voluntary.  You may choose not to participate, or, if you decide to participate, you may choose to stop participating at any time.  The following information may help you understand what an IRB does and whether or not participating in a research study is right for you.  In addition, this section of our website provides helpful links and a glossary of terms you may hear when talking with research staff.

What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

An IRB is charged with protecting the rights and welfare of people involved in research.  There are 4 committees at UTHSC (Memphis) that review research involving human subjects.  Before any research related procedures may begin, the IRB must review and approve the study protocol, the informed consent document(s), as well as any other study related materials.

What is research?

Research is an organized way of finding out about something, including research development, testing, and evaluation that are designed to develop or contribute to general knowledge.

What is a clinical study?

Clinical study. Clinical trial. Clinical protocol. They all mean the same thing - a scientific study of how a new medicine or treatment works in people. Through clinical studies, doctors find new and better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, control, and treat illnesses.