Finding a Trial

How to Find a Clinical Trial

Today, there are numerous resources to help find clinical trials. And with more clinical trials being conducted by independent, community-based physicians, there is a far greater chance that primary and specialty care physicians and nurses will be able to help find the right clinical trials.

The resources mentioned below can be helpful when trying to find a clinical trial. It can also be useful when family and friends help to find and narrow down options to a few targeted opportunities.

The goal when trying to find a clinical trial is to be as thorough and comprehensive as possible. Every piece of information that is found and every individual along the way could help in tracking down the right clinical trial.

Once a research study is located, it is important to ask the study staff questions about the trial before making the decision to participate.


Online search engines are very beneficial in your search for a clinical trial.  You can typically find the most recently updated listing of clinical trials.  The following are a list of suggested search engines:

There is also a wealth of disease specific websites that keep up to date lists of current clinical trials for a specific disease or condition. You can find these organization’s websites and contact them to find out if they know about research studies that are enrolling volunteers.

CenterWatch offers a free service where you will receive automatic email notifications when a clinical trial is posted. Click here to go to the CenterWatch website.

By phone

Sometimes an online search can get overwhelming, or you just aren’t getting the results you had hoped.  As part of CISCRP’s Search Clinical Trials service, you can call 1-877-MED HERO to speak with our staff.  We will gather your information, conduct a search for you and email or mail you the results. You can also request a search now by filling out this form.

Research centers

Plan to contact local clinical research centers with expertise in your medical condition. Some of these centers may be advertising for trials that are currently recruiting volunteers. You can identify research centers in a variety of ways. Your physician or nurse, and even friends and family, may know of reputable centers. The phone book may also contain listings. Many research centers have their own websites and they may be linked to academic health centers if they are an affiliate.

Health Professionals

Primary and specialty care physicians and nurses, in particular, may have access to some specialized (and expensive) medical journals and online databases where clinical trials, and study drugs, are routinely discussed topics. These professionals are also worth consulting after you’ve found some initial sources of information.