MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory

FAQs about volunteering

What happens in studies and how long are the study visits?

We have a variety of studies being conducted at MRC EWL. Including studies on bone imaging, vascular measurements and dietary work, such as making a few small changes to what you eat. Studies can range from one day to up to a year in length.

Who volunteers for our studies?

We have a volunteers that are both male and female and of all ages participating in our research,, ranging in age from 3 months to over 90 years of age.

What will happen if anything goes wrong?

Studies are closely monitored by the research team and the volunteer suite team. If something happens during an investigation day, any procedures will be stopped and you will be seen by our Senior Medical Advisor. Your involvement in the rest of the study may be stopped.

If you have any other problems, illnesses or concerns during the study please be assured that you can discuss these with the investigator.

Any complaints you have about this study will be fully investigated. For research carried out at MRC EWL, participants would be in the same position as if public liability insurance had been taken out. If you wish to make a complaint you can contact our Head of Operations & Logistics – Ms Polly Page.

Will my taking part in a study be kept confidential?

Any information that is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. With your permission, your GP will be notified that you are participating in a study.

What will happen to the study results?

We will inform you and with your permission, notify your GP of your study results and any abnormal results. Often, samples from the study will not be processed until the end of the study, therefore your results may not be available immediately and in some cases this may be for several months.

The overall results may be presented at scientific meetings or published in a scientific journal. You will not be identified in any of these presentations or publications. We will be happy to discuss the results with you when the study is completed, and will let you know where you can obtain a copy of the published results.

Will I be reimbursed for my time?

In recognition of your time commitment, you will be paid an honorarium for taking part. Reasonable travel expenses will also be paid.

Who is organising and funding the studies?

Studies are organized by one of the research groups or teams at MRC EWL. The funding of our studies comes from a variety of sources including the Medical Research Council and external sponsors such as Public Health England, the Food Standards Agency and the EU. Staff and students at MRC EWL will be carrying out the studies.

Who has reviewed the studies?

All of our studies have been reviewed by the Research Review Board of MRC EWL and by a Research Ethics Committee


The MRC operates within legally required national standards and all volunteers will be required to give written consent before participating in a study.

Can you give me nutrition advice?

We are unable to provide guidance on individual clinical queries. We would suggest you contact your GP or a dietitian. A dietitian can be contacted via your GP surgery or local hospital. Alternatively, you can write to the British Dietetic Association to receive a list of registered dietitians working in private practice in your area, just send a stamped addressed envelope to the following address:

Private Practice
The British Dietetic Association
Charles House,
148/9 Great Charles Street
B3 3HT
Tel: 0121 200 8080