UserLinker helps prospective participants find paid clinical research studies by zip code
Expected pay: Varies by study
Commissions & fees: NA
Requirements: Vary by study
UserLinker solves the geographic problem that many people have when they’re looking for paid clinical research studies.
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The geographic problem is this: Most clinical research companies have facilities in just a few locations. And, since the typical clinical study requires multiple follow-up visits, traveling long distances to participate is often impractical. Thus, instead of searching for studies by topic, UserLinker searches by zip code.
How it works
What UserLinker does is contract with dozens of medical research companies to essentially advertise their open studies. It helps consumers find these studies by simply plugging in their zip code. Some of the studies offer compensation to participants. Others simply provide free care and medication for a disease ranging from cancer to diabetes. The type of compensation, but not the amount, is listed in a short summary about the available studies.
To find all the details, participants need to click through to the site that’s doing the research.
Both the studies available and the companies offering them change all the time. So anyone interested in doing clinical research might want to check back in every month or twodirecto to see what’s new.
When we recently reviewed the site, for instance, there were opportunities to participate in studies about ADHD, obesity, autism and Parkinson’s Disease in Los Angeles. Washington, D.C., residents were offered studies for asthma, endometriosis and ulcerative colitis.
No cost middle-site
Notably, however, UserLinker isn’t conducting the studies nor taking applications for them. Instead, the site simply allows you to click through any given study to find out the details about what it takes to qualify and what the study pays.
If you’re still interested and qualified, you’ll provide your contact details directly to the research company that’s conducting the study.
Consumers pay nothing for the UserLinker’s service. Any fees paid to UserLinker are paid by the researchers.
What’s paid clinical research?
Hundreds of companies around the world test drugs and treatments for everything from cancer to the common cold. These companies constantly need humans — both healthy and sick — to test the efficacy and safety of their products. And they’re often willing to pay generously — frequently hundreds of dollars per hour — to get consumers to do so.
Many studies, particularly the early stage studies that involve first-time human tests, pay for both your time, travel and inconvenience. Several studies that were ongoing at the time of writing this post (Sept. 2023), for instance, promised pay ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 for about a month’s worth of part-time “work.”
The highest payments usually go to healthy individuals who are testing out the safety and tolerability of new drugs and treatments. These tests are specifically looking for drug reactions and side effects. Many of these tests require overnight stays for a week or more, so that participants can be monitored and treated for any side effects.
When trials include overnight stays, participants are provided with meals, snacks, drinks and perks, such as free wi-fi, movies and games.
Later-stage trials generally seek afflicted patients — people who have the disease or condition that their drugs treat. These trials want to see whether the medication or treatment is effective and they test dosages to see both what can be tolerated and what is most effective.
Generally speaking, the biggest part of compensation in these clinical trials comes from getting the medical care and treatment, which could cure what ails you. However, in many cases, these trials will also pay you to participate.
However, the risks of clinical trials are sometimes significant. Although trials are regulated by the FDA and many steps are taken to ensure that patients are kept safe, the early-stage trials pay a lot partly because they don’t know the range of potential side effects the drug might cause.
Of course, every clinical trial is different. Some present relatively modest risks and minor inconveniences. Others are incredibly risky and could involve a variety of painful tests. It is extremely important to read and understand the disclosures that are provided prior to participating in a trial.
It’s also important to note that you can leave a clinical trial at any time. If you feel that the trial is affecting your health and the clinicians are not addressing your concerns, quit the trial and see your physician.
With the draw of thousands in participation fees, some people participate in clinical trials regularly. You can literally make a good living — five and six figures — by strategically volunteering for the highest-paid trials.
But, if you’re not a professional patient, proximity matters. And most clinical trial companies have only a few offices or clinics where they conduct their research. Thus, you’re generally limited to finding trials offered at facilities near you.
You can seek out local opportunities by Googling “clinical trials near me.” Or you can use UserLinker’s zip code tool.
We see little downside to using UserLinker and give this free service a better-than-average Husl$core. The only thing we don’t like is that the site is vague about the precise amount you earn with the paid studies. You’ll learn the pay before you participate. But, you’d have to provide personal information to find out if you qualify before getting the compensation information.