Becoming a research subject

Patients can sometimes participate in research. You might be asked to participate in medical scientific research. People participate on a voluntary basis. You are, therefore, never obliged to participate. In some cases healthy volunteers can participate in research.

More information

A leaflet on medical research from the Dutch goverenment is available. Do you intend to participate in research? If so, you should study your rights and obligations. You will always be given written information before the research starts. Please read this information carefully. In additon, you will usually be given general information on medical research from the Dutch government.

Reflect and talk

Are you considering participating in research? If so, talk about it with your partner, family, friends or GP/physician. You are entitled to a period of reflection before you decide whether or not to participate. You only officially become a research subject if you have signed the declaration of consent. You can even change your mind after that.

Researchers impose requirements on people who want to participate. They look, for example, for people with diabetes, certain types of cancer, or high blood pressure, or research subjects who are actually healthy. Sometimes a medical examination will be carried out first.


Men are asked to be research subjects more often than women. Women of reproductive age may be pregnant. For that reason they are not allowed to take part in many types of research. Women's hormone levels also change and that can influence a lot of research and make it difficult to measure effects properly.

Would you like to know whether there is any research which you can participate in as a patient? Your GP or specialist can advise you. Often, patient associations' websites also contain information on research for which research subjects are needed. The CCMO does not mediate between researchers and research subjects. This is because it is independent.