Financial compensation to research participants

Are you interested in participating in a clinical trial and get financial compensation?

Are you curious about what it’s like to participate in a clinical trial, and want to know what kind of financial compensation you can get? The short answer is that it varies from study to study. The longer answer is that it can be everything from a free treatment or a movie ticket, to cash-in-hand. Usually, studies with higher demands on the participants, for example studies with many mandatory visits, come with higher financial compensation. But that’s not always the case. 

Sometimes, no financial compensation is given, however, as a participant you gain access to new treatments and tests and get follow-up-meetings with qualified personnel. You also help making new scientific progress!

Do you want to participate in a study? Here you can see all current studies that are looking for participants, and read more about the different criteria and potential financial compensation. You can also follow us on social media to get updates, or join the Trialy panel for research participants.

Are you conducting a clinical trial?

How do you get people to participate in your research?

Maybe your first though is to maximize the financial compensation? To get money for participating in a clinical trial can be a motivational factor, but it’s not quite that easy. Let us explain further.

 Internal and external motivation

In motivational research, you usually divide motives in internal and external. Meaning: do we do something because it aligns with our values, inner goals and interest (internal), or do we do it to get an external reward or to avoid some kind of punishment (external)? Research show that they often interact – a person might join a study simply because of the promised compensation, but as they study goes on they start to value their contribution to science. In any case – it’s important to take in to consideration both internal and external motivation.

Why do people participate in clinical trials?

There are many different reasons as to why people chose to participate in different studies. We were curious about these reasons, so we asked our previous participants. 

The survey clearly shows that even though financial compensation can be an important motivating factor for some (52 % of the survey takers), 84 % of them answered that they want to help research make new progress and 64 % said that they want knowledge about a certain heath issue or their own health. From what we know from precious research regarding motivation, the last two motives tend to stay the same over time. So to sum up – there are many different reasons as to why people join clinical trials, and both external and internal factors play a role.

So, how to go about it then?

Our experience tells us that external motivation, such as financial compensation, might help getting people to participate in studies. If one do chose to use financial compensation, one should take into consideration the amount of time the participant is expected to put into the study, as well as potential uncomfortable exams or risks in participating.

But even more important is the internal motivation. Ask yourself the question:

  • Why is this study important?
  • How does it contribute to society?
  • What is the value for the participator? 
  • How can we communicate this value to the public?