Aaaaah, Uni Summer holidays! Several months of freedom to enjoy lazy sunny days, international travel, catching up with friends… or (more likely) fighting your classmates for a 4-hours-a-week contract at your local bar or coffee-house! Have you considered making this year the year you do something really different by volunteering for a paid clinical trial? Besides the fact that you’ll receive from £100 per day for your time, here are 5 reasons to give it some serious thought.
1) Bragging Rights
The vast majority of clinical trials conducted at Covance Leeds are very uneventful. In fact, we’ve been conducting studies here for the last 30 years with no major incidents.
However, this shouldn’t let this stop you from using your experience on a drug trial as a wicked conversation starter!
Lap up the attention as your housemates ask you strings of questions like:
“Weren’t you nervous about it?”
“How many needles did you have?”
“Is it true that you spent half your time playing Xbox?”
“You got paid HOW MUCH!?”
It beats hearing about that time Pete pulled a pint for some bloke off Emmerdale (again!).
2) Low-Cost Living
It’s the Catch-22 of every student’s Summer. You want to stay in your Uni home, you get a job in the city, you barely earn enough to pay rent and eat, let alone pursue any of the fun activities which made you want to stay in the first place.
Most of Covance’s clinical trials involve a residential stay. This can be anything from 1 night to 30 nights – it’s entirely up to you how long you’d feel comfortable staying. But however long, for the duration of your stay you’ll not only be earning money, but saving it too. Full board and 3 square meals per day are provided for all volunteers; you can use all of our facilities including fast wifi and Sky Sports + Movies, and if you stay for 10 days or more we’ll even do your laundry!
Residential volunteers are required to stay within the clinic grounds at all times, so there is nothing you need to spend money on. But relax, you can always order from the internet if you really need a retail fix!
3) Getting Ahead in your Uni Studies
Okay, maybe you weren’t planning to spend Summer doing Uni work, but you’ll be glad you did during term-time when everyone around you is freaking out over their workload.
As well as our large, comfy rec room, we have a couple of self-contained quiet spaces for our volunteers to use. In between clinical functions you can always retreat to one of these to make a start on next year’s reading list or plan your dissertation without any distractions.
4) Getting the Lowdown on your Health
Here in Leeds, we specialize in Phase 1 clinical trials – the early stages of testing in healthy adults. We have different criteria for each of our studies, but as a general rule you must be in pretty decent health to make it onto a study panel.
When you call to register your interest in medical testing, we’ll take you through a detailed health questionnaire. Don’t worry – you certainly don’t need to be Usain Bolt to qualify, but to see if you’re eligible we need to know about any notable medical history or ongoing health issues. (We’ll also speak with your GP, so don’t worry if you forget anything at this stage!)
If everything checks out, we will invite you in for screening, which is a bit like a health MOT. Typically, we perform tests like blood and urine sampling, ECG heart monitoring and a physical examination. The results of these tests tell us (and in turn, you) about anything that’s going on under the surface. Usually, if test results are out-of-range, this is down to something simple like dehydration or your body fighting off an infection. But whatever the outcome, it pays to know exactly where you stand with your health.
5) Actually, Really, Properly Making a Difference
Phase 1 clinical trials in healthy adults are an essential part of bringing every new medicine onto pharmacy shelves. Without healthy volunteers taking part in these studies, there would be no ibuprofen, no inhalers for asthmatics, no antibiotics, no insulin pumps, no vaccines, and no chemotherapy drugs, to name but a few. So next time you brew up a Lemsip, say a small ‘thank you’ to the volunteers who made it possible!
Covance works with many of the biggest names in pharmaceuticals who have their sights set on a vast range of conditions. In the past 2 years, we have worked on treatments for:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Eczema/ Psoriasis
Amongst many others. We couldn’t have done this without our volunteers, who are all heroes in our eyes!
Taking part in Clinical Trials is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it’s not for everyone. But if you are interested in taking part you can apply here, or if you’d just like to know a little bit more to help you make up your mind, you can always call us on 0113 394 5200.