Research participation opportunities

Our employees are involved in groundbreaking research – and you can participate! Below are research studies currently seeking participants.

COVID-19 vaccine study

USC employees are invited to participate in the Trojan Pandemic Response Initiative, a new study that will survey 8,000 students, staff and faculty, and follow some of them over the course of a year to better understand attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines. To learn more, visit the www.cprc.usc.edu/tpri or contact TPRI@usc.edu.

Culture of Learning Survey

Researchers in Applied Psychology are asking for volunteer participation from non-academic employees in a study on learnings styles. Responses will provide the USC Talent and Organizational Development department with information on how to better personalize future learning opportunities and continue to build a culture of learning. Click here to take the survey.

Caregiver training study

Do you have a family member with memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s? The USC Roybal Institute on Aging is seeking volunteers for the Southern California Caregiver Study to test two different types of classes to test how beneficial they are in helping caregivers care for a family member with memory loss. Participants will be randomized into a 2-hour class that takes place once per week for three weeks or six weeks. All classes are provided online through our community partner, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles. You must be age 18 and older and able to read English. Participants are compensated for completing surveys with USC Roybal Institute research staff. For more information, email uscroybal@usc.edu.

HeartSteps study

The Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research is looking for participants for the HeartSteps Study, which is looking to help adults become more physically active. Participants are given a Fitbit Versa Lite to use for one year, and during that time they’ll complete short daily surveys on an app developed for this study. In order to participate you must be between 18-65 years old and be overweight but otherwise healthy. The best part is participation is completely remote and participants are compensated. For more information, email Rebecca Braganca at rbraganc@usc.edu.

Social media study

The USC Social Media Analytics (SOMA) Lab invites volunteers to complete a one-time survey for a research study on media exposure and health behaviors among young adults. To be eligible to participate, adults must be 18-24 years old, fluent in English, and current California residents. Study participation is held online. Participants are compensated. To begin, fill out an online, confidential screening survey. After you complete the survey, SOMA Lab researches will contact you by phone or email. Contact somalab@usc.edu with any questions.

Child language development study

Researchers at the USC Language Development Lab in the Dornsife Psychology department are studying how children learn about different aspects of language. Parents with infants under the age of 12 months and children 2-6 years old are invited to participate in the studies. Studies take place at UPC and most last between 5 and 15 minutes, with visits to the lab lasting about 20-30 minutes. During the study, infants and children watch videos or listen to sounds while they are with their parents. For participating, children receive a T-shirt, book or small toy. A free all-day parking pass is provided. For more information, contact langdev@usc.edu or (213) 740-2396 or sign up online.

Down syndrome dental cleaning study

Researchers at the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in collaboration with the Dental Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) are looking for 16 children with Down syndrome (DS) ages 6-12 to receive a free dental cleaning at CHLA in a special sensory friendly environment. The dental office will be modified to include visual effects on the ceiling and reduced bright lights, music, and a blanket to help children relax during dental cleanings. This study will include two visits; one at the parent’s home, library or CHLA, in which the parent will complete questionnaires about his/her child’s oral care and sensory issues, and the other at the Dental Clinic of CHLA where the child will get his/her teeth cleaned in the sensory friendly environment. The family will receive compensation for participation. For more information please call at (323) 442-1864 or email sade2@usc.edu, or visit the Chan website.

Menopausal therapy and hardening of the arteries

The Atherosclerosis Research Unit at Keck School of Medicine is studying whether a new FDA-approved menopausal therapy can slow hardening of the arteries, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease in women. If you are a woman between 45-59 years of age, have not had a hysterectomy and do not have heart disease or diabetes, you may qualify for the NIH-funded study, Advancing Postmenopausal Preventive Therapy. Participation includes noninvasive ultrasound scanning of the neck arteries, cognitive (memory, thinking, mental function) testing, mammograms, electrocardiograms (EKGs), and more. For more information email appt@usc.edu or call (323) 442-2257, or see the study website.

Facebook use research study

Researchers at Dornsife Psychology are studying how and why people use Facebook and other social media sites. The study is seeking currently active Facebook users, posting publicly to Facebook at least twice a week on average. Participants will let researchers view their public Facebook profile and posts for one week. Participants will complete a short (10 minutes) onboarding session at the beginning of the week by phone, Skype or laboratory visit, followed by 4-question daily surveys (5 minutes maximum, daily), and lastly a brief exit survey at the end of the week (15 minutes) – resulting in total time commitment of one hour. Participants receive $10 compensation at the end of the study. For more information, email hupshaw@usc.edu.

LEARNit study

Researchers at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging are recruiting for a research study funded by the National Institute of Health that examines the effects of lifestyle activities, such as exercise and healthy living education, on brain health. There is no cost to participate, and participants are compensated for their time. Men and women who are between 55 and 80, are able to walk without assistance and are fluent in English may be eligible to participate. For more information email LEARNstudy@ini.usc.edu or call (323) 442-0141.

NeuroRider virtual reality study

Researchers at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging are studying the impact of a brain and body training program on the effects of aging on the brain. The program involves a virtual reality headset and a stationary bike incorporating both cognitive and physical activity simultaneously. No previous virtual reality experience is required to participate. Adults ages 50-85 years old that are fluent in English, are not claustrophobic, do not have ferromagnetic metal in their body and are capable of engaging in moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise can participate. ​The study calls for participants to visit the HSC lab three days a week for about 45-60 minutes each session for the course of 12 weeks. Parking is covered at every visit. All study procedures are free of charge. For more information email Joy.stradford@loni.usc.edu or call (323) 865-1707.

Target BP 1 study for uncontrolled hypertension

Researchers at Keck School of Medicine are seeking adults ages 18-80 years with a systolic blood pressure of 150-180mmHg who are taking at least 2 hypertension medications. The study is to help improve blood pressure in hypertensive patients via renal denervation using alcohol. For more information, email puiyan@med.usc.edu or call (323-422-3426).

Smoking and mood study

The Psychosocialbiology of Women’s health and Emotion Research (POWER) Lab is seeking smokers over the age of 21 to participate in a study about understanding the effects of depression or mood on smoking behavior. The study focuses on depression as it may increase smoking dependence. Participants do not need to exhibit depressive symptoms in order to participate. Participants can earn up to $255 in compensation. The study takes place at HSC and parking validation or a day metro pass is provided. For more information email powerlab@usc.edu or call (323) 442-2788.

App to help older adults stay active

Researchers at the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy are seeking adults ages 65-84 to participate in a study testing a smartphone app to help users stay active and healthy. Participation includes surveys, walking tasks and monitoring, interviews, and app use. Compensation is available for successful completion of study visits. For more information, visit the study site or contact Jeanine Blanchard at jeanine@chan.usc.edu or (323) 442-1827.

Omega-3 supplements and Alzheimer’s Disease risk

The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Keck School of Medicine is studying if omega-3 supplements can help those at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. Adults ages 55-80 who have at least one of the follow: high blood pressure, high cholesterol or little to no weekly exercise, or who are overweight – are eligible to participate. Participants are compensated. For more information, contact Carla Cañas at cic_341@usc.edu or (323) 442-0209.

Changes in the brain associated with aging

Researchers in the department of neurology at Keck School of Medicine are seeking healthy adults, age 35-55, to participate in a study looking at changes in the brain associated with aging. Participants must be in good overall health without any significant history of disease, psychiatric disorder, substance or drug abuse, or history of head trauma. Participation involves one study visit which includes one MRI scan of the brain, clinical assessments including a blood draw, brief cognitive and neurological assessments, and answering questions about medical history. Participants receive a $25 reimbursement for parking and transportation costs related to the study visit. For more information, contact Genevieve.Rodriguez@med.usc.edu or call (323) 442-1333.

Heart rate biofeedback study

Davis School of Gerontology researchers are seeking adults ages 55-80 to participate in a study investigating whether heart rate biofeedback helps to improve cardiovascular control systems – that help regulate emotions, improve well-being and reduce stress, anxiety, and depressed feelings. Over 7 weeks, participants daily practice heart rate biofeedback and come in for weekly group visits to the lab. Additionally, participants complete several emotion and cognitive tasks and undergo an MRI scan at the start and end of the study. For more information and to sign up, visit healthyminds.usc.edu/biofeedback. Contact uscemotioncognitionlab@gmail.com or (213) 740-9543 with any questions.

All of Us Research Program

Researchers at USC are working on a historic NIH-funded program called “All of Us” that hopes to enroll one million participants. The purpose of the program is to collect data that will accelerate research and improve health over time. We are looking for adults 18 and over who reside in the U.S. to complete a health questionnaire, give a blood and urine sample and provide access to the participant’s electronic health record. The study takes place at HSC and parking validation is provided. Participants are paid $25 for completion of the study visit. For more information, contact allofus@usc.edu or call or text “AOU” to (323) 572-5740

Lung cancer early detection study

The department of Radiology at Keck School of Medicine is seeking current and former smokers ages 50-80 who have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, to receive free low-dose CT scans for early detection of lung cancer once a year for three years in exchange for blood samples and questionnaires. For more information and to get scheduled, email radstudy@usc.edu or call (323) 442-7672.

Alzheimer’s disease vaccine or oral medication prevention study

The Keck School of Medicine is seeking adults ages 60-75 years with normal cognition to participate in a study exploring whether a vaccine or oral medication can delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Participants undergo genetic testing for the apolipoprotein e4 (APOE4) gene, which is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Qualifying participants are randomized to either a vaccine, oral medication, placebo vaccine or placebo oral medication and may receive the study medications for 5-8 years. For more information, email ndiaz@usc.edu or call (323) 442-7600.

Impact of culture and genetics on Hispanics with multiple sclerosis

The Keck School of Medicine is seeking Hispanics who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis within the last two years to participate in a study examining the impact of acculturation, cultural perceptions and genetics on disease severity. For more information, email andrea.martinez@med.usc.edu or call (323) 442-6817.

NEST study with the department of Psychology

The department of Psychology NEST lab is seeking couples expecting their first child for a paid study at USC. The child must be the first for both members of the couple, and they must be living together and planning to continue living together after the birth. For more information and to set up a screening call, email nestlab@usc.edu or visit the NEST lab site.