Another way you can earn some extra money to help with the holidays, or any time, is to volunteer for medical research studies. I know some of you are thinking that you would never want to be a guinea pig for some untested medication, so it is important to note that there a LOT of studies that do not require you to take any medications. Also, many of the studies that do have the participants taking medications, are giving medications that have already been through many safety tests. Here are some of the benefits, aside from monetary payment, of participating in medical studies:
- You may be able to participate in a study that is related to a disease/illness you have. This could make treatments that are not currently available to others, available to you. This can be particularly helpful if other treatments have not worked.
- You are helping others in the community by helping advance medicine.
- You often receive free medical care and treatment for study related issues. In some cases, this can include diagnosis of a disease you think you may have. It may also include giving you medical devices such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers, scales, etc.
Here are some of the studies we have participated in:
- I once spent 2 weeks in isolation for a study. Isolation sounds scary, but in the age of technology, it was not so bad. I talked to my kids via Skype a few times a day, had wireless internet and spoke to friends and family on the phone often. I also chatted with fellow participants from our doorways. The pay was phenomenal, and I enjoyed the short break from my routine. It was also nice for my husband and kids. He was out of work and it gave all of them a chance to spend time together without me. That helped them grow closer together and increased their appreciation of what I do.
- We are currently in a study where they take cheek swabs from my daughter to test her stress levels. We go twice a year for 3 years. She gets to play games with the tester as well as with my husband and myself. My husband and I have to pretend to have an argument in front of her during one of the visits each year, something we don't usually do, but it is always interesting. The place provides someone to play with our other kids during our visit. The pay is great and each kid gets a nice toy at each visit.
- We just ended a 4 year family flu study. We had to go in twice a year for blood draws. We were free to get a flu shot or not, but that would have been out of our own pocket. During flu season, I had to report online once a week whether or not any one had any flu symptoms. If we did have any, we would go in for nasal and throat swabs. If they came back positive for flu, we would come back for a blood draw. At every visit, each child received a gift card to Toys R' Us and each adult received a check. We also received a grocery gift card at the end of reporting season and thermometers as we needed them.
- My husband has participated in studies where they need a blood draw from a healthy person. The pay is great for the short, easy visit.
So now that you know a bit about what these studies entail, you may be wondering how to find them. There are 2 main ways I have found them. First, read those ads in community newspapers and magazines and second, register with a site like www.researchmatch.org. At ResearchMatch.org, they will help find studies for you in your area. They also have some interesting information based on the diseases/illnesses, if any, that you tell them you have. They will contact you when they find a study that you may qualify for.
I am a participant on ResearchMatch.org, but have not received any incentive or payment for this post. It is simply shared in an attempt to share information with you.