From that painful post-Christmas credit card shock to an unexpected car repair bill, there are plenty of times in life when a random cash boost would be very welcome. However, if changing jobs or taking on a regular part time commitment just isn’t feasible, what can you do about it?
One solution is to look for ad-hoc or one off earning opportunities such as paid research studies, which are generally in the medical or pharmaceutical fields. Before new drugs are released to the general population they must go through many stages of testing. At the very end of this process they are given to human beings, who are volunteers rewarded with ‘expenses’. These vary depending on the stage of drug testing involved and the length of the study period, but month long residential trials could pay £3-4,000.
Is everyone eligible to apply?
Age isn’t a barrier as long as you are over 18 and considered able to give consent, but some studies restrict or actively recruit participants based on factors such as gender, age, weight, smoking history and both current and previous medical conditions. Overall, then, most people are eligible for some sort of trial, but few qualify for everything available.
What happens after you apply?
Before a trial starts, volunteers have a health check to make sure they are suitable to participate. This may involve things like measuring blood pressure and weight, or checking blood and urine samples. Qualifying candidates can choose to continue or opt out completely – there is never any obligation to continue. If you go ahead then the research tests begin.
Does it mean staying in hospital?
Some trials take place at a special medical facility and require volunteers to move in for anything from a few days to a month or so (of course you would know the timescale before applying). Others involve visiting the research centre on certain days while you live at home as normal. If you are in a residential trial then everything you need is provided, including food, entertainment facilities and so on.
How can I get involved?
You can ask at local hospitals, or contact a specialist agency like trials4us.co.uk, who recruit for such trials.
Medical trials may not be for everyone, but if you are keen then there’s definitely some money to be made.