Projects are advertised in the local media (newspapers, radio, ad inserts) and by email to a mailing list to which you can subscribe for free. These ads show the project title and its objectives, the eligibility criteria, the name of the principal investigator, the ethic committee’s approval number, and information on the person to contact if you want to participate in the project.
To take part in the study, you must meet the eligibility criteria indicated in the ad. These criteria, which vary from one study to another, are determined in order to answer specific research questions. Participants are selected on the basis of the characteristics required for each project (age, gender, blood cholesterol level, whether or not certain drugs are being taken, etc.).
If you meet the eligibility criteria and want to participate in the study, you must contact the project coordinator, who will ask you some additional questions to determine if you are eligible. If so, you will be invited for a screening visit where more precise measurements will be taken (blood samples, height and weight, etc.) to confirm whether or not you can take part.
Once your acceptance into the study is confirmed, you must sign a consent form affirming your desire to participate in the study. This consent is voluntary and you are free to change your mind at any time.
You must then follow the research protocol guidelines for the duration of the study. Each study has its own protocol that dictates the type of intervention, the tests and measurements to be performed, recommendations to follow during the study, the number of visits anticipated, the post-study follow-up, etc. The study may last a few days or several months according to the research protocol.