How to find a clinical trial

Searchable online databases

All active and completed clinical trials can be found online on public databases. Don’t hesitate to browse these online databases by entering key search terms. Clinical trials can be found on registries, which are centralized databases that present all ongoing and completed clinical trials.

You can also get recruited in a clinical trial through your healthcare provider such as your general practitioner or your specialist.  Some healthcare providers are involved in clinical trials or know some actively recruiting trials. During a medical appointment, you can ask about clinical trial options eligible to your profile. 

Important: If your healthcare provider offers you to participate in a clinical trial, you do not need to say yes. Your decision to participate will not impact the quality of care that they provide you.

Search parameters

You can use parameters to filter and refine your search. You can select the location, age, clinical trial active status, study phase, demographics, medical condition, and other factors. This will help ensure that you find appropriate clinical trials tailored to your profile. 

Once you find a suitable clinical trial for you or if you ever have any questions related to one, you can contact the research team behind the study. Contact information can be listed on the clinical trial page where you can find a name, email address or phone number. The name of the person provided in this section is the administrative contact between participants and the research team. At all times, you can inquire with this person about the status of the study or any other questions you may have.

Eligibility requirements

Every clinical trial has eligibility requirements, which is a set of characteristics that every participant needs to have to be enrolled. Eligibility requirements include inclusion criteria, which are required characteristics, and exclusion criteria, which exclude participation. Eligibility requirements can be focused on the following: 

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Disease severity
  • Health status
  • Medical history
  • Ethnicity
  • Demographics (e.g., location)

For instance, certain studies can evaluate the effects of a treatment on a certain group of patients aged between 18 and 30 years old. The inclusion criteria in this example would be to be aged between 18 and 30 years old. If the participant was aged below 18 or above 30, it would be considered an exclusion criterion. 

It is important to respect all eligible criteria before joining a clinical trial. You will also verify with a person from the research team that you meet them. 

If you want to learn more on clinical trials

  1. What Are the Different Types of Clinical Research? | FDA. Accessed April 10, 2023.
  2. Clinical trials and drug safety - Accessed April 13, 2023.
  3. Basics About Clinical Trials | FDA. Accessed April 13, 2023.
  4. Clinical Trials Canada | Clinical Trials Canada. Accessed April 13, 2023.