Research participation opportunities

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

Cognition and Affect Regulation Study

The Cognition and Affect Regulation (CAR) Lab is recruiting young adults between the ages of 18-30 for the Cognition and Affect Regulation Study (CARS). Eligible participants will either have a history of depression or no psychiatric history. Participation in CARS involves completing a clinical interview, wearing devices and completing questionnaires on your phone, completing computer tasks in the lab while your heart rate and breathing are measured, and completing an fMRI scan. Participants will be compensated for participation. If you are interested in participating or learning more about the study, click here to take the confidential survey or email carstudy@usc.edu with any questions.

Proximal Affect Regulation and Cognition Study

The Cognition and Affect Regulation (CAR) lab is recruiting young adults between the ages of 18-30 for the Proximal Affect Regulation and Cognition Study (PARCS). Eligible participants will have experienced thoughts about death or suicide recently. Participation in PARCS involves completing a clinical interview remotely, wearing devices and completing questionnaires on your phone, and completing computer tasks in the lab while your heart rate and breathing are measured. Participants will be compensated for participation. If you are interested in participating or learning more about the study, click here to take the confidential survey or email parcstudy@usc.edu with any questions.

Infant speech and language development study

The Bottjer BABY Lab in the Dornsife departments of Biology and Psychology on the UPC campus is investigating how infants develop speech and language abilities.  Parents with infants between 7-18 months of age are invited to participate; our NIH-funded study includes infants with either typical hearing or hearing loss.  For more information, please contact bottjer@usc.edu or visit their website here.

Harassment Prevention Training Survey

USC managers who have completed the Harassment Prevention training are invited to participate in a short, anonymous survey that explores experiences with the USC Harassment Prevention training program and its application in the workplace. Results will be aggregated and used to identify recommendations on how to improve learning and behavior in relation to the program. Participation is voluntary, and the survey should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. At the end, you have the option to submit your contact information and participate in an interview. This is optional and survey responses will remain anonymous. To participate, please click here.

Suicide prevention study

Researchers in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work are trying to improve suicide prevention by studying the life events prior to a person’s suicide. They seek individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide in the past year or two. Participation involves a 30-60-minute interview via telephone that includes questions about the loved one’s health history, life events, and people they may have talked to about their life events. Participants will receive a $25 Amazon gift card at the end of the study. If you are interested in participating, please email blosnich@usc.edu​, call (213)-740-3523​, or sign up at http://bit.ly/USCSuicidePrevention. For more information, please reach out or visit our official website https://uscsuicideprevention.com.

Advance care planning study

Doctoral candidates in the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology are seeking participants who identify as lesbian or gay adults, ages 50 and up, to complete a survey about advance care planning and their healthcare experiences. Contact Meki Singleton, MSW at mekiayls@usc.edu for more information.

Child development study

USC Brain and Creativity Institute is conducting a child development study that aims to learn more about how language and extracurricular activities impact the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children. It is funded by the National Institute of Health and approved by the University of Southern California Board of Ethics. For more information, visit the Brain & Music Arts site or call (213) 740-0928. 

Research on hearing and hearing loss

USC Auditory Research Lab is currently running an NIH-sponsored study of hearing and hearing loss and you are invited to participate. Click here to learn more about the study or to volunteer.

Advancing postmenopausal preventive therapy

Researchers at the Atherosclerosis Research Unit at Keck are looking for volunteer women between 45-59 years of age who have not had a hysterectomy and do not have heart disease or diabetes for the NIH-funded study. Click here for more info or to volunteer.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.