Clinical research trials are at the heart of all medical advances. Researchers enroll women, men, and children in clinical trials to test new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Studies often enroll people with a specific disorder but some also accept people without health problems to provide baseline information on overall health.
To learn the basics about clinical trials, check out NIMH’s Clinical Research Trials and You: Questions and Answers brochure or visit the NIH Clinical Trials and You website.
Why Participate in Clinical Research?
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.
Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.
Join a Study at NIMH
NIMH, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports research studies through its Intramural Division on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. These studies enroll eligible participants from across the U.S. You can also learn more about studies conducted at the NIH using the following links:
- Join a Research Study: Adults
- Join a Research Study: Children
- Frequently Asked Questions About Participating in NIMH Research Studies for Adults & Children
To receive periodic updates on mental health research: news, resources, educational events, and clinical research studies conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, please subscribe and select Intramural Updates.
Find a Study Near You
NIMH funds a large number of research studies through grants to researchers around the country. Find ongoing studies that are currently recruiting participants:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Studies Recruiting Only Men
- Studies Recruiting Only Women
- Conditions Related to Mental Disorders
Other Ways To Find a Clinical Trial Near You:
- Talk to your health care provider about local studies that may be right for you.
- Search www.ClinicalTrials.gov, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Library of Medicine’s registry of federally and privately funded clinical trials conditions at NIH and across the country for a variety of diseases and conditions. You can also learn more about how to participate, refer a patient, or learn about results of studies. Please contact each research study team to learn more specifics. If you qualify for a study, then a study-related evaluation, treatment and, in some cases transportation to NIH is provided without cost to you or your health plan.
- Join a National Registry of Research Volunteers, such as ResearchMatch. This is an NIH-funded initiative to connect 1) people who are trying to find research studies, and 2) researchers seeking people to participate in their studies. It is a free, secure registry to make it easier for the public to volunteer and to become involved in clinical research studies that contribute to improved health in the future.
- For more information about clinical trials conducted at NIMH, visit: Join A Study.
- For questions about participating in research studies that are being conducted at the National Institutes of Health and where to find them, contact email@example.com (link sends e-mail).
- For a listing of clinical trials being conducted around the country by NIH and others, be sure to check the www.clinicaltrials.gov website.
Free NIMH Brochures and Fact Sheets
- Clinical Research Trials and You: Questions and Answers: Brochure discusses what a clinical trial is, who participates in clinical trials including patient and healthy volunteers, why people participate in clinical trials, and guidelines. Also available en español.
- Questions to Ask When Deciding Whether or Not to Volunteer for Research (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- MedlinePlus Clinical Trials Information: English and en español
- What Are Clinical Trials and Studies? (National Institute on Aging)
- Federal Government Programs and Clinical Trial Coverage
Information for Researchers
- Watch: Addictive Behaviors: Carl Lejuez, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Director of the Center for Addictions, Personality & Emotional Research, discusses translational research — studying the basic internal processes that lead people to addictive behaviors.
- Watch: National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) The National Database for Autism Research provides a way for scientists share data on human autism studies. Families with autism can accelerate discoveries by participating in research and consenting to have their data shared.
- Watch Videos Sobre la Investigación Clínica, a series of Spanish-language NIH videos about participating in research.
- Watch the Participating in Research Video Series developed by the HHS Office for Human Research Protection about participating in research.