Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please click on any question to see the answer. Have a question that you don't see here? We may be reached at (614) 298-8086.

Getting to the Research Unit

What to expect at your screening appointment

Staying at the Research Unit

Participation and Payment

Getting to the Research Unit

Q: Where is the Research Unit?

A: The Reserch Unit is located across the Olentangy River from the Ohio State University campus. Click here for a map of the Research Unit's location.

Q: Where can I park at the Research Unit?

A: Free parking is provided in front of the building. If necessary, additional parking is available behind the building.

Q: Can I take the bus there?

A: Yes. The Research Unit is conveniently located near stops for the #5 (W. 5th Ave) and #3 (W. Mound St/Northwest Blvd) COTA bus lines. See COTA website for more information.

What to expect at your screening appointment

Q: What is a screening appointment like?

A: Every study requires different procedures at screening, but the majority will involve a physical exam, blood test, urine test, and ECG (electrocardiogram). There may be additional tests and procedures, if necessary for the specific study. Before any procedures begin, you will be given a document called an Informed Consent Form. This document describes the details of our research, to make sure that you fully understand and agree to what will be involved in the study. Our staff will go over the Informed Consent Form with you, and a licensed physician will be available at all times to answer any questions you may have. No procedures of any kind will be performed on you if you decline to sign the Informed Consent Form.

Q: What kind of ID will I have to show at my screening appointment?

A: Please bring a government-issued picture ID that shows your date of birth, such as a driver's license or passport. If you do not have a government-issued picture ID, a birth certificate combined with most types of picture ID (e.g., student ID or workplace badge) should be acceptable. You may also use a state identification card. Click here for information on how to obtain a state identification card in the state of Ohio.

Q: I have to "fast" before coming to my screening appointment. What does that mean?

A: Fasting means not eating any food or drinking any liquids, except water. When fasting, you must not take in any calories. For the majority of our studies, you may be asked to fast for 8-12 hours before your screening appointment, and again at certain points during the study. Usually most of the fasting period occurs overnight. Please note that items such as candy and gum are considered "food," so please do not eat candy or chew gum while fasting. It is, however, recommended that you drink all the water you want during your fasting period.

Q: I know I’m healthy. How could I possibly fail the screening?

A: A failed screening does not necessarily mean that you are unhealthy. It simply means that you do not fit the criteria established for study participants. For example, some long-distance runners have unusually low heart rates as a result of intense training; a heart rate that falls outside the standard range is sometimes a cause for exclusion from a study.

Q: What if the screening procedures indicate that something is wrong with me?

A: If the results of your screening show something that the doctor feels is clinically significant, we will contact you. We’ll send you a copy of your results, so that you may follow up with your family physician. Of course, if the doctor feels that your results indicate an emergency situation, we will advise you to go to the nearest Emergency Room immediately.

Q: You said on the phone that anyone currently using (drugs, alcohol, nicotine) cannot participate in your current study. How will you know if a person has been using those things?

A: Virtually all studies will involve tests for recreational drugs. The presence of recreational drugs in someone’s body could impact the results of our research, so we cannot include people who are using them. Please note that drugs such as marijuana may cause you to test positive up to 35 days after use.

Some studies may also require you to abstain from alcohol for 72 hours prior to screening procedures, as well as during the study itself. If this is the case, you will also be tested for alcohol at screening and study admission.

Most studies also cannot include people who use nicotine. These studies will involve a cotinine test at screening and study admission; this test identifies people who use nicotine. Nicotine is found in cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, nicotine patches, and nicotine gum.

Q: I don't consider myself a smoker, but I do smoke occasionally when I'm out with friends. Does this count as "using nicotine"? Will it keep me out of your study?

A: For most of our studies, the use of any nicotine in the 30 days before screening will disqualify you, even if you are not a regular user. Certain studies may require that you have not used nicotine-containing products for several months. Such products include cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, nicotine patches, and nicotine gum. Please ask your recruiter if you are unsure whether recent nicotine use will disqualify you.

Staying at the Research Unit

Q: Your current study involves an overnight stay. Where will that be?

A: Volunteers stay at the Research Unit, located one block west of the intersection of West 5th Avenue and Olentangy River Road. Click here for a map of the Research Unit’s location.

Q: I have a class I can’t miss. Can I leave the Research Unit while the study is going on?

A: In general, you will not be permitted to leave the Research Unit while the study is taking place. We understand that this is difficult for many people to schedule.

Q: Will I have my own room during my stay at the Research Unit?

A: Depending upon the study, you may have to share your room.

Q: What will I eat when I stay there? Do I have to pay for my meals? Can I bring my own food?

A: Meals are catered during our studies; you do not have to pay for them. Please note that outside food and drink are not permitted in the Research Unit, so you will not be able to bring your own items.

Q: What is there to do while I’m staying at the Research Unit?

A: Volunteers are welcome to bring items such as books, magazines, video game systems, personal music players, and laptops to help pass the time. In addition to our wireless internet network, cable television is available in every room, and a pool table is available in the lounge. You may also have visitors between the hours of 1:00 pm and 8:30 pm. Please note that outside food and drink are not permitted in the Research Unit. Certain other items (such as weapons) are also prohibited at all times.

Participation & Payment

Q: I am not a US citizen. May I still participate in a study?

A: You do not have to be a US citizen to participate in our studies, but you must show proof that you are authorized to work in the USA.

Q: How and when will I get paid for my study participation?

A: Payment is by check only; for most research studies you will be paid on the last day of your participation in the study. In some cases, your check may be mailed to you after the study.

Q: Is my payment from study participation taxable?

A: Yes, but taxes will not be taken out of your immediate payment. Earnings, however, will be reported to the IRS.