Skip to main content

Healthy Volunteer Study FAQs


A healthy volunteer study is a clinical research study. It includes people who are generally in good health. These people are called healthy volunteers.

Healthy volunteer studies are designed to gain new knowledge, not to benefit the people taking part in the study. Healthy volunteer studies may also be called healthy volunteer clinical trials or healthy volunteer protocols.

St. Jude has several healthy volunteer studies, which are conducted on the hospital campus in Memphis, Tenn. You can find open volunteer studies and eligibility guidelines at Healthy Volunteer Clinical Trials.

  1. Healthy volunteers play a vital role in the research process. Without healthy volunteers, many clinical research studies would not be possible.

    Healthy volunteers are often given the same tests, procedures or drugs as study volunteers who have a specific illness or disease. Researchers then compare the two groups. The results may help scientists better understand a disease. The researchers may also learn why healthy people stay healthy, while others get sick. Such studies can also help researchers test the safety of new medicines or find out how well a new medicine works.

  2. Medicines used every day to prevent or treat disease were developed through clinical trials. In fact, almost all of today’s medicines were once part of clinical trials. These studies are the only way to find new and better ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure diseases.

  3. Choosing to take part in any kind of clinical trial, including a healthy volunteer study, is a personal decision. People who take part in healthy volunteer studies do so for various reasons. One aim is to help others and to contribute to medical progress. Healthy volunteer studies often offer some type of compensation. Talk with your doctor and your family to find out if a healthy volunteer study is right for you.

  4. St. Jude has several healthy volunteer studies. If you are in generally good health, you may qualify for one or more of these studies.

    Find a healthy volunteer study at St. Jude >

  5. Each study is different. If you meet the requirements for a clinical trial and would like to take part, contact the study staff. You will discuss the study’s purpose, the risks and what is involved. You will sign a consent form saying you understand the risks and benefits of joining the research study. Be sure to ask questions before and during the study. Talk to the research staff about how much time the study will take before you decide to join.

  6. Most studies offer some sort of compensation for your time. This differs for each study. You would not be charged for any routine medical tests related to the study.

  7. Each study has its own guidelines. Generally, St. Jude healthy volunteers must be in good health and live in the Memphis area. If you take part in a study, you should commit to coming to St. Jude for necessary study visits and follow-up appointments.