If you've run into the problem faced by many college students today—a lack of spending money and an inability to hold down a job while maintaining your GPA—you may have considered some alternative ways to earn cash, like donating plasma or participating in clinical trials. Because paid participation in clinical trials is generally available only to those who are age 18 and over, college students with fairly flexible schedules can be perfect candidates for a wide variety of clinical trials.
However, it's important to be aware of what risks can come with these types of trials and what you'll want to do to prepare yourself. Read on to learn more about what you can expect when seeking out and participating in a clinical trial to earn some extra cash.
What can you expect from participating in a clinical trial?
Although the scope and depth of a clinical trial can largely depend on the product or medical condition being tested, there are a few common threads. First, you'll be asked to take an extensive survey on your medical and sometimes even mental health history.
You may be asked to sign waivers that will give the researchers the ability to request your past medical records or to speak to your physicians to check on certain information you provide. Taking these surveys before the study begins helps ensure the quality of the results—and in many cases, the more extensive the preliminary testing, the more lucrative the study.
You'll also be provided with payment information up front, although payment may not be made until the study has concluded. In some cases, especially with long-term studies, you may be paid at the beginning and end of the study to ensure you're able to continue attending required screenings.
How can you find clinical trials near you?
Often, many clinical trials are performed or sponsored by a single company—so by locating some companies in your area that are in the business of administering clinical trials, you'll be able to get a list of all the trials available to determine whether you qualify.
In other cases, you may be able to browse online message boards or clinical research forums to determine where clinical trials are being held in your area and how applicants are being sought and screened. Because clinical studies yield the best results when they use a broad cross-section of individuals, most are advertised widely to ensure a broad pool of candidates.