The Research Process

Deciding whether or not to participate in research is a big decision. We have created this step-by-step guide in order to help facilitate the process. Please read below in order to learn what participating in a RAD Lab study may look like for you.

Always remember, participation in research in voluntary. That means you can change your mind at any time! 

Step 1: The Initial Screen

The research process begins with a brief conversation with one of our team members, most likely a research coordinator. Potential participants who are under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian to be present for this step. During the initial screen, the coordinator will give you more detailed information about the study, and will collect demographic and background information to check for eligibility. 

Step 2: Your First Visit

Your first visit will take place at the Ambulatory Research Center (ARC) located in the Department of Psychiatry. Directions will be provided by your coordinator prior to the first visit. 

The Consent Process

Research participation always begins with consent. The consent process involves a conversation between you and a member of the research team to make sure that you are aware of all study details, and that you want to participate. Remember, participation is voluntary and you can always say no! 

Psychiatric Assessment

A member of the study team trained in clinical assessment will sit down with both you and a parent for an interview about your physical health, mental health, and demographic information. This assessment takes anywhere from 1-3 hours.

Step 3: Additional Study Visits 

The study that you participate in will determine the number of additional visits and the tasks that you complete at each. Some common examples include completing a speech task, playing computer games, and MRI appointments. 

MRI Visits

Many of our studies include an MRI. An MRI machine is a large magnet that can take pictures of your brain. The MRI visit will take place at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota. When you arrive, you will be greeted in the lobby by a research team member. You will change into scrubs and complete some questionnaires. After this, you will start the scan in the MRI machine. During the scan you will do a number of things including resting, listening to music, playing games, and more. You will be able to communicate with the study team at all times. 

Brain Picture