Why participate in research?

In the Netherlands approximately 1,800 studies are started each year which involve the participation of research subjects. The issues are extremely diverse. Studies are conducted among adults, children and the elderly, as well as among ill and healthy people.

All these studies have different goals. Some are used to determine whether a medicinal product works, whether an operation has improved, or to establish what happens in the brains of children with ADHD.


People participate in research for various reasons. Most research subjects are patients. Their hope is that they are going to get better (more quickly), or be troubled less by their illness. Although you may benefit from a new treatment, sometimes you will not. Participating is then a way of contributing to a better future for others. Research is, however, different to normal treatment. Consequently, research involving research subjects has to comply with strict rules.

Healthy volunteers

Healthy research subjects can also participate in research. Often they help test new medicinal products.