Maybe you have seen a flyer advertising an interesting study, or maybe you have been contacted by a researcher inviting you to take part in a study. Feel free to get in touch with the researcher to ask for more information before deciding to join the study. The researcher will always be happy to answer all your questions. They will also give you a Participant Information Sheet that contains all the necessary details, and more. This Participant Information Sheet has been checked and validated by the ethics committee who approved the study, so you can be sure that it contains all the information you must know. If after reading the Participant Information Sheet you have more questions, again feel free to get in touch with the researcher.
When you are ready, the researcher will ask you to complete and sign a Consent Form, either in person or online (depending on the study). This Consent Form has also been checked and validated by the ethics committee, so you can be sure that all is in order. The Consent Form will generally include standard statement such as “I confirm that I have read the Participant Information Sheet” or “I understand that my participation is voluntary”. It is necessary that you consent to these essential consent items to be able to join the study. However, the Consent Form can also include optional consent items, such as “I agree to join the mailing list” or “I agree for my anonymised data to be used for teaching purposes”. It is OK if you don’t want to consent to these optional consent items, you will still be able to join the study. It should be clear on the Consent Form whether some items are optional, but if in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask the researcher.
Once you have completed and signed the Consent Form, you will officially be participant in this study!
The next step entirely depends on the study. Some study can be entirely done online, but most our studies will involve at least one appointment with us. This will have all been explained in the Participant Information Sheet and by the researcher.