What all students should know before taking part in drug trials

Between books, living expenses and having fun, students always seem to be short of money. There are many different jobs and ways of making some extra cash, with taking part in drug trials often seen as a good way to generate some income that doesn’t take too much time away from their studies.

The process

If you decide to take part in paid research studies, the rates can be quite good; however, you first need to be tested to see whether you are appropriate for the study. In a phase 1 clinical trial you will be taking a drug that has not been used on humans before. You will need to be examined thoroughly and may need to spend a few days in a clinic, for which you will be paid. Staying for a few days in a clinic could mean earning £1,000 or more. 

Drug trials are incredibly important as part of medical research and in the process of taking a new drug to market. The Guardian explains how the way of reporting the results of drug trials is being updated to reduce publication bias.

Safety first

The risks or side effects of the dug should be explained to you, and you will need to sign a document indicating that you understand these. There is a legal obligation to ensure the safety of those taking part in any trials, with drugs vetted by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before they are approved for trial. In addition, proposed trials are taken to an Independent Ethics Committee to check that testing them is in the interests of the medical community and general public. 

If you are interested in taking part in paid research studies, you might want to check out a leading authority in the area, such as http://www.trials4us.co.uk/, to obtain more information, advice and tips. 

Drug trials are valuable research; for students, they could be a great source of income for paying off some of those fees. Do your research and make sure you understand what you are signing up for when you take part, although stringent medical examinations will generally exclude anyone who should not be participating. For many students, medical trials are an easy way of making money.

Trusted companies to consider

1.Trials 4 Us

Trials 4 Us is the largest clinical trial organisation in the UK, testing drugs for various conditions and illnesses.

They promise accommodation with unlimited gaming and internet access, as well as rates of up to £120 a day. You can earn a further £90-£350 on top of this for referring friends to also take part.

Trials 4 Us also offers money for blood donation (provided you fit the right blood category) and some trials involve paid psychological studies as opposed to drug-taking.


One of the big names in clinical trials, Covance will hold around 30 trials a year, offering a selection of phase one and phase two tests.

You can expect to be paid between £500 to £3,000 for your time, depending on the type of trial.
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