Are you thinking about participating in a research project?

Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) is committed to taking the appropriate steps to minimize the risks to research participants while maximizing the knowledge that comes from innovative research.  Our job at the WCM Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to ensure the safety and welfare of research participants; a key component of this is to inform potential participants of their rights and help to safeguard those rights during the time enrolled in a study.

The resources available on this page are intended to answer common questions you might have about the types of research conducted at WCM, what enrolling in a study entails, and your rights as a research volunteer. 

What Types of Research Are There?

Weill Cornell Medicine is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in medicine to improve the human condition. There are many different types of research being conducted at our institution, but we can generally separate them into two groups: Social and Behavioral Research and Biomedical Research. 

Social and Behavioral Research

In contrast, Social Behavioral Researchers are those who focus on the study of human responses to environmental stimuli. This type of research applies the principles of behavioral and social sciences to human behavior.  

Biomedical Research

Biomedical Researchers are those who focus on the study of the human body and the diseases that affect the human body, as well as the possible treatment of disease in the human body. Put simply, biomedical research applies the principle of the physical sciences to medicine.  Given the nature of this type of research, most involve clinical trials and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with few exceptions. At Weill Cornell Medicine, the Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO) helps investigators design and initiate their studies.  The JCTO also connects patients with ongoing medical trials; visit their Patient Information site if you are interested in joining a clinical trial. 

Regardless of the type of research, it is important that you know about your rights as a research participant and who to conatact if you feel your rights have been violated, what things to consider before volunteering for a research study, and what it means to enroll your child in a study.