This is how it works

How does it work to participate in a clinical trial?


Find a trial that suits you and for which you match the target group, and sign up. Don't see anything for you? Then register with ICON so we can inform you of suitable trials.

Want to know what to expect after registration? Watch the explanation video.

Foto van een deelnemer die formulieren invult

This is how registering works


Immediately after registration, you will receive a confirmation email. That confirmation email clearly explains the entire registration process.

We will call you within two working days. We will go over your information and discuss the requirements you have to meet to be able to participate in the trial. If you meet the requirements, then we will make an appointment for your medical screening.

This contains a medical questionnaire, the information and informed consent form and extensive information about the trial and your stay at the research center, among other things.

Medical screening

We want to be sure that you meet the requirements of the trial before you start the trial. That is why you will undergo a medical screening. The medical screening takes place at our screening center in Groningen or Utrecht.

Prepare well for your medical screening, watch the explanation video.

Foto van een verpleegkundige en een deelnemer in het keuringscentrum van ICON

This is how the medical screening works


You will carefully read the information pack and make a note of any questions you have so that you can ask them during the screening. Also complete the medical questionnaire at home in advance and check whether you have to meet certain requirements before the screening. Often you are not allowed to eat or drink for a few hours beforehand. You can find the requirements in the appointment confirmation. Make sure to adhere to them. Otherwise, it is possible that the screening cannot go ahead.

One day in advance, we will text you an appointment reminder. We recommend checking again which requirements you have to meet.

You come to the screening center. There, a member of the staff will check your identification and whether you have completed the medical questionnaire in full. Then the screening starts. It will take around three hours and consists of:

  • A conversation with the doctor or nurse
  • Explanation of the trial
  • Physical examination
  • A number of measurements (heart tracing, height, weight)
  • Collection of blood and urine

After the screening, you will be given something to eat and drink. Then you can go home.

We will call you two to three working days after the screening. Then you will hear whether you have been approved and can take part in the trial.

The trial

The clinical trial is conducted at ICON's research center in Groningen. There you will eat, sleep and stay during the trial.

Prepare well for the trial, watch the explanation video.

Foto van een deelnemer aan het tafeltennissen in de binnentuin van ICON

This is how the trial works


We will call you no later than two working days before the start of the trial. We do that to let you know whether the trial will in fact start on the agreed day. We recommend reading through all the information once again. That way you'll know what you have to bring to the research center and the requirements you have to meet.

You will come to the research center in Groningen on the agreed day. You will be given an explanation of the trial, shown around and introduced to the other participants.

You will be screened briefly on this day as well. We do that to make sure that there have been no changes to your health since the medical screening. You receive the result of this examination the next day. Then the doctor determines whether you can in fact participate in the trial.

It is possible that you are rejected after all. This could be because the lab results show that you don't meet the requirements of the trial after all. You might also become a reserve. That means that you will not participate in the trial unless a prospective participant drops out.

You will be given the study compound. You will have to do something a few times a day, such as a test or health check. Sometimes you have to stick to a fixed schedule for the day. Read more about what happens during the trial.

You will have a lot of time to yourself between the trial procedures. You will find lots of entertainment options at the research center like televisions with Netflix, Playstations, board games and a ping pong table. But you could also use your free time to work or study. 

A follow-up screening always takes place after the trial. Sometimes this is on the last day of the trial, but usually you come back to the research center again for the follow-up screening. The follow-up screening is a short medical examination: We check whether you are completely healthy and that the medication is completely out of your system. The follow-up screening completes your participation in the trial. You have contributed to the development of new medicines!

During the trial

We want to study a medication as well as possible. That is why we document as much as possible and complete tests or measurements every day.

Foto van een verpleegkundige in het onderzoekscentrum

This is what happens during the trial


Administering the medication, tests and examinations, as well as sleeping, getting up and eating: it all happens at fixed times in the research center. All these times are stated in the daily schedule. We will give you this at the start of the trial.

During the telephone conversation and medical screening you will hear about the tests that are part of the trial you have registered for. Besides the tests needed for the trial, we regularly check your blood, urine, temperature, breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. Finally, we talk about how you are feeling. This is how we keep an eye on your health.

At the start of the trial, you will usually have a cannula inserted in your arm. This is an infusion needle that can remain in a blood vessel for an extended time. It means you won't need to keep having a needle inserted when we want to take a blood sample during the trial. There are some tests when it is necessary to draw blood from a different part of your body.

Without research no new medicines

New research would not be possible without participants like you. And that would mean there would be no new medicines for patients.