About the Clinical Research Process

Clinical trials (also called “clinical studies” or “research studies”) help determine if medicines, medical devices, and tests are safe and effective. Without clinical trials, it would be impossible to develop new medicines, treatments, and cures.

There are clinical trial opportunities for healthy people and for people with the condition(s) being studied. Your age, gender, medical record, and treatment history may affect your ability to join a study.

Who can join a clinical trial?

Clinical research offers a way for almost anyone — regardless of their background — to help improve human health and wellbeing.

Healthy volunteers often participate to help others and contribute to moving science forward.

Participants with an illness or disease join studies to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

What are the potential risks or benefits?

Every effort is made to ensure the participant’s safety during a study. The ethics and laws that govern medical practice also apply to clinical trials. However, clinical trials involve investigational products that could be ineffective or cause serious side effects.

Clinical trials are overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Clinical trials also follow strict plans called protocols, which are reviewed by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to make sure patient rights are protected.

Each study is different, but the informed consent process ensures you understand what will happen. You’ll learn about the product being studied, your role in the trial, potential side effects, and the visits required.

Why Join a Clinical Trial?

Get Early Access to New Medicines

Clinical studies offer more care options for patients suffering from common, unique, and rare health conditions.

Help Move Science Forward

Clinical studies offer a way for almost anyone — regardless of their background — to help improve human health and wellbeing.

Receive Compensation if You Qualify

Most Meridian studies offer payment for time and travel. We'll let you know what to expect during your first phone call with Meridian.

Give Hope to People Worldwide

Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

The Clinical Trial Journey

1: Joining a Clinical Study

To apply to participate in a clinical study, you can either enter your information on the Meridian study sign up page or call the phone number referenced on the study notice or advertisement. No matter how you contact Meridian, an enrollment specialist will be available to answer questions and find the most suitable study for you.

2: After You Apply

An enrollment specialist from the Meridian contact center will call you and ask a few questions about you and your medical history. This phone screening will help determine if the study is right for you. Even if this study is not a fit for you, a Meridian enrollment specialist can help you find a more appropriate study. At this time, you’ll also be able to ask questions about the study process.

3: After You’re Accepted

After a successful phone screening, you will visit a Meridian clinic for a physical screening. You will need to bring identification information to confirm your identity and medical history. This is a necessary part of every study, and is for your safety.

4: Informed Consent

Each study is different. The informed consent process ensures you understand what will happen in the study. You’ll learn about the product being studied, your role in the trial, potential side effects, and the number of visits required. After you fully understand your role in the study, you may sign an informed consent form. You may withdraw your consent from a clinical study at any time.

5: Getting Screened

You will receive a physical exam that will vary depending on the study. As an added benefit of participating, you may receive specific exams or tests — the results of which will be shared with you.

6: Medication Administration

When you are given an investigational medication, Meridian’s clinical staff will closely monitor your health. You may undergo additional tests to assess the medicine’s effect and/or to safeguard your health. Each Meridian clinic is staffed by healthcare professionals who make your safety a top priority.

7: Payment/Compensation

You may be compensated for participating in a study. You can learn more about study compensation during your first phone call with Meridian, or you can ask during your in-office screening.

8: Following Up

Some studies require several visits to the clinic. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your time and travel for each visit. Any follow-up necessary for the study would be detailed in the informed consent process so you’re never surprised by what a study entails.

Do I need insurance to join a study?

Will I be paid for my time?

What are the potential benefits or risks?

How long does a study last?

Will I get study-related care from a local doctor?

What studies are open now?


Talk to a Meridian Enrollment Specialist...


(402) 934-7563

Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-Noon (CT)

South and East Coast

(912) 623-2240

Mon.-Th., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET)

Common Questions and Answers

To learn more about clinical research, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

Clinical trials are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for new drugs, medical devices, or treatment techniques. Depending on the type of product and the stage of its development, healthy volunteers and/or patients enroll into small pilot studies initially, followed by larger scale studies in patients that often compare the new product with the currently prescribed treatment.

As positive safety and efficacy data is gathered, more patients are typically involved. Clinical trials can vary in size from a single center in one country to multi-center mega-trials across several countries.