For Research Participants

Study participants play an important role in the groundbreaking research done at UT Austin. Students, staff, faculty and community members may be invited to take part in research studies. This is not required, and a research volunteer can stop at any time. The decision whether or not to participate will not affect relations with The University of Texas at Austin.

There are different kinds of human subjects research. Research could be surveys, questionnaires, or interviews. Some research involves experiments. Participants should consider the level of risk in each study. Researchers can answer questions before, during and after the study.

If you want to talk to someone not connected with the study, contact the IRB Office. You can get information about a research study, ask questions, share concerns or discuss problems. If you don’t want researchers to know about your concerns, the IRB will do their best to keep it secret.


Resources for Kids

Find information for parents of children participating in research.
UT Research with Children (PDF)

Learn how animals help scientists in research and how research helps animals.

Learn how scientists mapped our DNA to discover genes and how they work.
Understanding the Human Genome Project


UT-Specific Resources

Human Subjects Participant FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions about participating in a research study.

Human Subjects Research Participant FAQ (PDF)

Participant Brochure

This handout is for people who may participate in a research study led by UT Austin Researchers. Learn more about the Human Subjects Bill of Rights and questions to ask before agreeing to do a research study.

UT Participants Brochure (English Version)
UT Participants Brochure (Spanish Version)

Participant Responsibilities

Participants in research studies have certain responsibilities once they’ve agreed to participate.

  • Read the consent form and ask the Principal Investigator (PI) any questions you may have. You should understand what will happen before you agree to participate.
  • Contact the PI if you want to stop doing a study.
  • Know the start and end dates of your participation.
  • If you have complaints or concerns, contact the PI or email the Office of Research Support and Compliance at
  • Report any and all problems to the PI immediately.
  • Do the responsibilities of participation as written on the consent forms, unless you stop participating in the study.
  • Confirm that you got extra credit points or monetary compensation.
  • Keep a copy of the consent form for your records.
  • Be honest and ethical in your participation.
  • Request study results if so desired.
  • Carefully weigh the possible benefits of participation (if any) against actual risk of participating.

Bill of Rights

If you are asked to consent be a subject in a research study, or if you are asked to consent for someone else, you have the right to:

  1. Learn the nature and purpose of the experiment (also called study or clinical trial).
  2. Receive an explanation of the procedures and any drug or device to be used.
  3. Receive a description of any discomforts and risks that you could experience from the study.
  4. Learn about any benefits you might expect from the study.
  5. Learn about the risks and benefits of any other available procedures, drugs or devices that might be helpful to you.
  6. Learn what medical treatment will be made available to you if you should be injured because of the study.
  7. Ask any questions about the study or the procedures involved.
  8. Quit the study at any time. Your decision will not be used as an excuse to hold back necessary medical treatment.
  9. Receive a copy of the signed and dated consent form.
  10. Decide to consent or not to consent to a study without feeling force, obligation, or coercion.

Responsibilities of Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator (PI) is an individual who assumes full responsibility for a research study, including but not limited to, the oversight and training of research assistants, administration of informed consent, and protecting participant confidentiality. PIs must:

  • Conduct the IRB approved research protocol
  • Get informed Consent
  • Effectively train and mentor student researchers in the ethical conduct of human subjects research
  • Get approval for any changes, additions, or deletions to the study from the IRB prior to starting
  • Keep research records for three years after study completion date
  • Quickly report all unanticipated problems or injury to the IRB
  • Follow all University of Texas at Austin procedures for the ethical conduct of human subjects research
  • Respond promptly to all participant concerns and questions
  • Maintain subject confidentiality
  • Inform subjects if risks or benefits of study change
  • Maintain cultural sensitivity
  • Design research methodology appropriate to your desired research setting
  • Get permission to use intellectual property and/or private data
  • Different sites have different rules and expectations; know your site and follow appropriate guidelines

UT Health Center

University Health Services provides medical care to undergraduate, graduate and professional students as well as public health leadership at The University of Texas at Austin.

UT Health Center

Subject Pool Participants

Undergraduate subject pools are research conducted with undergraduate students enrolled in particular departmental courses that offer course credit for participation in one or more research projects.

Subject Pool Participant FAQ
Educational Psychology Subject Pool

General Resources

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

The Office for Human Research Protections within the Department of Health and Human Services (OHRP) has developed and compiled these resources to help you make the best decisions for you and your loved ones. They answer some common questions and suggest other questions you may want to ask if you are considering participating in research.

About Research Participation
Videos for Human Research Participants
Becoming a Research Volunteer: It’s your decision (English Version)
Becoming a Research Volunteer: It’s your decision (Spanish Version)
Questions to Ask Before Participating in a Research Study

Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP)
National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials

Explore the basics of clinical trials, including what they are, how they work, and what to expect. Learning all you can about clinical trials can help you talk with your doctor and decide what is right for you.

Clinical Trials information for Patients and Caregivers

Austin ISD Department of Research and Evaluation

Two of the ways that Austin ISD serves its community are through administering surveys and conducting research - the former to collect feedback data from families, students, and employees and the latter to use external resources to improve Austin ISD.

Austin ISD Surveys and Research