Join a research study

Join a research study

Make your mark on science

Many researchers at the Beckman Institute study how humans interact with the world. Volunteers are crucial for their research. You can get involved in a variety of ways.


As a bonus, you might have the chance to visit our spaces, get to know our researchers and their work, or be compensated for your time.

A researcher talks to a subject on a treadmill
  • Adults with a history of TBI needed for memory study

    A colorful graphic depicting two humanoid profiles looking at one another, noses pointed toward the center of the screen, with rainbow watercolor elements adding a splash of color.

    You are invited to participate in a study to better understand the long-term outcomes of traumatic brain injury.

    Participants will be compensated at a rate of $20/hour, and will be asked to complete questionnaires, paper-and-pencil tasks, and computer games. Participants will also complete an MRI scan. 

    To be eligible for the study, you must be between the ages of 18-55, have a history of traumatic brain injury, and be able to complete an MRI scan. 

    For more information, contact the team at or fill out the online screening form.

  • Do healthy arteries allow us to grow old gracefully?

    A cartoon heart holds the hand of a cartoon brain, guiding it forward as if to suggest a positive relationship between the two.

    Do healthy arteries allow us to age gracefully?

    We are looking for native English speakers between the ages of 50 and 70 to help answer this question. This research will involve five to six measurement sessions now; we plan to invite you back for five to six more sessions after two-and-a-half years to track how your arterial and cognitive health change over time.

    Participants will be paid $15/hour for their time. You can read more about this study on our website. Additionally, you can email or call call 244-1619. Please provide your name and phone number, and indicate your interest in the “aging study.”

    This research is approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Illinois.

  • Parents with infants needed for at-home study

    Images depict a parent joyfully holding a baby above her head in play, a parent laughing and cuddling with an infant, and a parent curiously observing an infant. The banner reads,

    Help researchers learn more about children's development from the comfort of your own home! Families with children between one and 12 months may be eligible to join an Illinois-led study. Participating families will receive an Amazon eGift Card totaling $100.

    Families will be required to:

    • visit the Beckman Institute for one 60-minute session, during which you will spend one-on-one time with your child while they wear a mobile sensor;
    • use the mobile sensor for two days of at-home recordings while you and your child go about your everyday routines; and
    • complete online questionnaires.

    For more information, contact the team at or 217-244-2945.

    Learn more about the research at

  • Role of arterial stiffness in cognitive control with age

    A cartoon brain, confused, looks quizzically up at tiny question marks and exclamation points suspended above it.

    Seeking participants between the ages of 25 and 75 in order to investigate the relationship between arterial health and aging and how this relates to changes in cognitive control (e.g., multi-tasking) throughout the lifespan. There will be four sessions lasting between two to four hours. This includes a neuropsychology session that assesses cognitive and motor functions, an MRI, an EEG, and an optical imaging session. Parking is provided and participants will be compensated $15/hour. We very much hope that you will be able to help us explore this relationship between brain/arterial health and age-related cognitive changes.

    If you would like to participate in this study, please email or call (217)-300-3171. We look forward to talking with you more about this exciting study!

  • Seeking children aged 5-8 for speech MRI study

    Young boy playing in a Kindergarten classroom smiles at the camera.Healthy children aged 5-8 are sought for participation in a speech MRI study.

    The study will take approximately two hours of your time. You will be compensated with $15 for participating in the initial screening and receive up to $85 for your child’s participation in the one-hour MRI study. This means participation in the study can result in up to $100 compensation.

    The primary goal of this study is to develop an atlas-based dynamic MRI tool to characterize and assess the motions of speech structures among individuals with repaired cleft palate compared to noncleft participants, aged 5-8 years.

    If you are interested in participating, please contact Brad Sutton at

  • Seeking healthy participants for multi-modal brain imaging

    The logo for the Connect Lab depicts a minimalist sketch of a human brain, connected with graphics indicating a network.Learn more about the CONNECT Lab through their website.

    The CONNECT Lab at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology seeks volunteers to participate in studies of behavior and/or brain function, using behavioral tasks at a computer, functional neuroimaging methods, and electroencephalography.

    Eligible participants between the ages of 18 and 45 must:

    • Be a native English speaker with a high school diploma
    • Be right-handed
    • Not have history of neurological disorders or disease (e.g., head injury, epilepsy, seizures, brain tumor, brain surgery, stroke, etc.)
    • Not currently be taking or have taken medication for psychiatric disorders or disease (e.g., depression, anxiety, autism, etc.)
    • Not have a history of heavy alcohol consumption, defined as more than 14 standard drinks per week for males and more than seven standard drinks per week for females
    • Not have a history of recreational drug abuse
    • Have no pacemaker; metal implants; prosthetics; pins; plates; tattoos near head, neck, and shoulders; or have ever had metal fragments enter your eye (regular dental work is okay)

    Note: participating in this study involves undergoing three fMRI scans. All participants will receive a $200 reimbursement for participation after three scanning sessions.

    For more information, please contact: the laboratory of Sepideh Sadaghiani (CONNECT Lab) at 217-300-2566 or 

  • Seeking participants: Champaign-Urbana Population Study

    A CUPS flier image showcases headshots of diverse individuals, referencing the diverse representation sought for in this study.

    Carle and the University of Illinois are conducting an innovative community study to better understand the brain’s structure and function. The Champaign-Urbana Population Study is the largest of its kind and uses the latest MRI technology. It will lay the foundation for exciting new insights and medical treatments here and around the world, opening new chapters in both basic and medical research.

    As part of the study, you'll be asked to:

    • Complete several questionnaires about your general health, medical history, and physical activity.
    • Participate in a brief cognitive function assessment and up to three 2-hour MRI brain scans at the Carle Illinois Advanced Imaging Center.

    To participate, you must:

    • Be 18 or older.
    • Not be pregnant.
    • Be able to complete up to three 2-hour MRI brain scans.
    • Wear MRI-safe, comfortable clothing to your scans.

    The university will provide participants $20 per hour.

    To participate in this study or to learn more, please fill out the interest form, referring to study #20IMG3191. The interest form is located here:


Two researchers, one behind a computer, talk to a research subject on a treadmill.Beckman labs are always looking for volunteers to participate in studies.
The Illinois Health and Engagement through the Lifespan Project, or I-HELP, is a group of people from the community who play an important role in science by working as research participants. Learn more about I-HELP. You can also email us, or call us at 217-300-3586.