Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you accommodate non-business hour visits?

 A: The general answer is no. Our clinic is open for visits Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. We can accommodate the occasional visit outside of these hours but generally your study participation will need to take place during these weekday business hours. Occasionally, a study visit is especially time sensitive and may require you to come in on a weekend, evening or holiday. Off hour visits are only for time-sensitive data purposes and not based on study coordinator or participant preference. 

Q: When will I get paid for my participation?

A: Upon completion of a study visit, you may receive payment via a debit card, cash, gift card or check. 

Q: What should I do to prepare for my appointment?

 A: You can prepare for your visit in two ways:

  1. Review the Informed Consent document ahead of time. While reading this document, it can be helpful to highlight sections you're unclear about or jot down questions that come up while you're reading. At your first appointment, study staff will review this document with you and you'll have a chance to get all questions answered. 
  2. Allow yourself an extra 10-15 minutes to get here for your visit (this is a good rule of thumb for all visits). OHSU can be confusing to navigate so giving yourself some extra time will help you find where to park and where our clinic is located. 

Q: What if I need to reschedule?

A: Rescheduling is fine but we ask that you give us as much notice as possible, preferably 24 hours, so that we can adjust our clinic and staff schedule accordingly. Please call or email our office at 503-494-3666,

Q: Is the money I receive reported to the IRS?

A: If your study participation results in compensation of $600 or more in one tax calendar, you will receive a 1099 Misc form and that income is taxable. If your participation in one or multiple studies, throughout the year is less than $600 you will not receive an IRS 1099 Misc tax form. Regardless of whether you receive a tax form, your social security number (SSN) is required to receive payment. If you do not have a SSN, you can give an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

Q: Where is the Women's Health Research Unit?

A: The Women's Health Research Unit is located in the Multnomah Pavilion on the Marquam Hill OHSU campus in Portland, Oregon. For detailed instructions on how to get to our clinic, please visit the directions page.

Q: Where should I park?

A: Parking can be daunting at OHSU but we're here to help! The best place to park in relation to our clinic is in the Physician's Pavilion parking garage. As you drive towards Multnomah Pavilion the parking garage will be on your right. You can self-park, or take advantage of OHSU's complimentary valet parking service. Additionally, if you have frequent visits for your study we can direct you to our reserved parking space for our participants. 

Q: Can I request special accommodations?

A: It's important to us that you feel comfortable during your study visits. If there is something you will need, please let us know ahead of time and we will do our very best to accommodate your requests. In terms of requesting a doctor (female, male, or a specific doctor), due to scheduling constraints we aren't always able to guarantee that you'll be seen by the provider of your choice. Having your schedule with you at appointments and willingness to schedule in advance can help us get you the doctor you prefer.

Q: Do I have to pay to use the tram for visits?

A: No, we have tram passes that we can provide you if you'll be coming from the South Waterfront. If you would like a tram pass for your first visit you will need to tell us several days in advance so that we can mail you a pass or you can come to our clinic and pick it up prior to your first visit. For more information about the Portland Aerial Tram, click here.

Q: How do I find out about inclement weather?

A: For those of you who have visited OHSU in the winter, you know that it can sometimes be a challenge to get up the hill. However, OHSU does a great job of keeping our employees, participants, and patients up-to-date with the OHSU Alert Line. If you have any doubts about how weather conditions will affect your ability to get to your appointment, call 503-494-9021. For more information, view the Inclement Weather page.

Q: Will I have to pay for parking?

A: No, as a participant you are like any other OHSU patient and so you will not need to pay for parking.

Q: How long do visits take?

A: Visit length depends on the particular visit and the study. The average study visit is approximately 30-45 minutes. However, you can always count on the very first study visit of any study to be at least an hour because the coordinator will review the Informed Consent document very thoroughly with you and answer any questions you have about the study. Your study coordinator will provide you with visit lengths at the beginning of the study so that you can plan your schedule accordingly.

Q: Can I bring my kids to the visits?

A: Yes, kids are always welcome to come to visits. We have some coloring materials and toys for children to play with in our clinic. Any exceptions to this will be discussed with you in advance of the study visit. If you do plan on bringing your children (especially young children) please let your coordinator know ahead of time so that arrangements can be made. We usually try to have two coordinators available at these visits to ensure that the visit goes smoothly for everyone involved.

Q: Will I be told the results of the study?

A: The research process is a long one. It can take years to get results, but we do our best to make results available to study participants. If you're interested in learning about the results of the study you're in, make sure to communicate this to your coordinator so that they can make a note of it. Be sure to give them a reliable way to contact you too, whether that's a phone number or email that you know will be valid in years to come. Additionally, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletter which is emailed out with new study participation opportunities and results from previous studies.

Q: What is a randomized trial?

A: A randomized trial is a type of scientific experiment that is often used for clinical trials in medical settings. In a randomized trial, study participants are randomly assigned to one of several different groups in a study. For example, a study might be testing a new medication for fibroids. A third of the participants will be randomly selected (like the flipping of a coin) to take the high dose of the medication, the second third of participants will be randomly selected to take the lower dose of the medication, and the last third of the participants will be randomly selected to take a pill that contains no medicine (placebo). The randomized trial is often considered the gold standard for a medical study because it provides for unbiased results.

Q: When will I know if I got the treatment?

A: You won't know which group you were assigned to until after the data has been analyzed, which can take quite a while. This information is usually given out upon request. This is withheld from you, the study coordinators, and the study staff to make sure that no one inadvertently biases the data. However, if there's a medical or safety concern, we can always access this information quickly.

Q: How "risky" is the study?

A: Each study is carefully reviewed by the Institutional Review Board here at OHSU (to learn more, see "What is an IRB?" below) to ensure that the study is safe for participants. Each study has its own specific risks and benefits. Prior to signing the consent form and agreeing to participate, the study staff will review the risks and benefits of the study thoroughly with you. Not sure what questions to ask the study staff? See our "What questions should I ask?" section below so you feel well-equipped to understand what you're participating in.

Q: Can I stop participating at any time?

A: Yes, absolutely! You are free to change your mind at any point during the study. If you decide to stop participating you will not be penalized in any way. Study participation is always voluntary and the Informed Consent document you sign when you begin a study is not the same as a contract. Your signature on that document indicates that you understood the document and are agreeing to participate at that time. We always do our best to make sure you have all the information you need to be prepared and informed before starting a study, however you can always choose to discontinue your participation at any time. You are never giving up your rights.

However, if you do choose to stop participating, we ask that you notify your study coordinator of your decision. This is incredibly helpful to us for study purposes. It will also ensure that you're not being contacted unnecessarily since we will then know that you no longer want to be a part of the study.

Q: Will I get paid if I don't finish the study?

A: Yes, each study has a "total" compensation that is divided among visits based on what occurs during those visits. For example, you may have seen that you can "earn up to $1,000." This means that if you attend all visits you'll receive $1,000. Some of the individual visits  may have varying compensation amounts, such as $25 for a basic visit and $50 for a more involved visit. If you partially complete a study, the amount of compensation you receive will depend on the compensation amount of the individual visits that you attend.



Q: Can completed labs be sent to my doctor?

A: Yes, most of the time it is possible to send labs that were done for a study to your doctor. Ask your study coordinator for more information if you would like labs transferred.

Q: Will my insurance get billed?

A: Generally speaking, no, your insurance will not be billed and you will not be charged any money for study visits. There are however rare instances where certain procedures may be billed to your insurance. Occasionally, condition-specific studies may require that you have already been diagnosed with the condition being studied. If you haven't received a diagnosis you may be asked to see a doctor on your own time before you can be considered for the study, this visit would be billed to you and/or your insurance. Additionally, some study visits may be combined with clinical visits, in these instances your insurance would still be billed for the clinical portion of the visit. If one of these examples is relevant to you, this information will be included in the consent discussion before you agree to participate. If you're unsure about whether your participation would fall into one of those examples listed above, you can always ask the study staff if your insurance will be billed or if you will incur any costs by participating. 

Additionally, if you need medical treatment outside of the study visits, that is you need medical assistance for something unrelated to the study, you and/or your medical insurance may be billed. If you have questions about this, feel free to ask the study staff.

What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

 An IRB is a group of people who review research to make sure it will be done safely and that the benefits of the research outweigh the risks to the participants. Each IRB should have at least five members, with varying backgrounds. The IRB panel cannot be comprised entirely of men or women, there should be at least one scientist, one non-scientist, and one member not affiliated to the institution. IRBs also include members of the community, who have varying backgrounds and diversity including, gender, race, cultural backgrounds, and sensitivity to such issues as community attitudes. IRBs follow the rules mandated from the federal government, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What does the IRB do for you (participants)?

 The OHSU IRB's sole function is to protect human subjects by ensuring safeguards are in place for each study. The IRB does this by reviewing all research activities affiliated with the University (even international trials). Research activities cannot begin at OHSU until the IRB has given full approval. The IRB also serves as a place for participants, along with research staff and employees, to report any complaints or suspicious activities related to the research study. 

You may talk to the IRB at 503-494-7887 if: 

  • Your questions, concerns, or complaints are not being answered by the research team. 
  • You want to talk to someone besides the research team. 
  • You have questions about your rights as a research subject. 
  • You want to get more information or provide input about this research. 
You may also submit a report to the OHSU Integrity Hotline online or by calling toll-free 877-733-8313 (anonymous and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). 

What questions should you ask?

If you're interested in participating in a clinical trial, it's important that you feel informed and knowledgeable about the study you're considering. It's equally important that you feel as though you can comfortably discuss your questions and concerns with the study staff and receive answers that you understand. If this is your first time considering participation in a research study though, you might not know what questions to ask; that's why we've compiled this list of questions that can help start a conversation between you and the study staff. While all of these questions will be reviewed at your first appointment, it's important that you know these details ahead of time so that you can make an informed decision. Once it's confirmed that you are eligible, only you can determine if the study is something you'd like to participate in and something you can feasibly incorporate into your life. 

  • What is being studied?
  • What is the goal of the study?
  • What are the possible interventions/treatments that I might receive during the trial?
  • Will I know what intervention I get?
  • Are there risks, side effects, and benefits to participating? What are these?
  • Are there tests and procedures involved?
  • How often do I have to visit the clinic?
  • How long will the study last from start to finish?
  • Who pays for my participation? How much will I be paid to participate?
  • If I benefit from the intervention, will I be allowed to continue receiving the treatment after the trial ends?
  • Who will oversee my medical care while I am in the trial?
  • What are my options if I experience a side effect during the study?

The information for this page was created using the expertise of our study staff but also by, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, that provides comprehensive information about clinical trials and procedures.