The Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Newcastle is looking for the answers to your questions! There are many ways to get involved, why not help us?
How can I do my bit?
Getting involved is so simple and yet so vital to further advance our research. Perhaps someone you care about suffers with an illness or disorder and you would like to do something for them. It could be that you have an interest in the brain and want to satisfy your curiosity. Whatever your motivation is, being a volunteer is amongst many things both satisfying and interesting.
Everything we do is controlled by the brain. There are always more questions than answers ...How do we see? What do we see? How do we make decisions? How do we speak? How do we hear? How do we move?... The brain is a truly fascinating subject. With your help we can find further answers and at the same time provide you with some very interesting facts.
What am I committing to?
The testing of participants is painless and harmless. Volunteers will be given a simple explanation of what the experiment involves and easy-to-follow instructions on the day. All research environments are participant-friendly and safe. Every research project must follow strict ethical guidelines.
What will I be asked to do?
Experiments usually take place Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 6pm, but Volunteers could be accommodated outside of working hours. Being a volunteer can involve taking part in computer tasks, undertaking brain scans, or taking part in studies on vision and hearing and, in some cases, may involve testing the effects of different drugs. The kind of equipment used and methods of testing varies from one experiment to another.
Will I be rewarded?
In a personal sense, definitely! In addition, volunteers who have paid to travel will be reimbursed. In some cases, a fee will be paid to the volunteer relative to the time they have spent helping the Institute. Fees are determined by the length and complexity of an experiment. Experiments can last between several minutes and several hours, or in fewer cases over a number of days at home.
As a valued volunteer your membership benefits, aside from the enjoyment you will experience, will include a quarterly ION newsletter and an invitation to attend our annual Brain Awareness Event.
If you would like to find out more about how to get involved or have reservations about taking part that you would like to discuss, please feel free to put your questions to Suzanne Pinkney, Research Volunteer Co-ordinator, by e-mail or on 0191 222 5090. Information on how to get here can be found in our 'About' section.
If, on the other hand, you are ready to become an important part of what we do, you can register to volunteer online now.
What happens next?
Following the submission of your registration form, you will firstly receive confirmation when your details are added to our secure database. When a suitable experiment arises you will be contacted by telephone or e-mail to ascertain your interest. There is never any obligation to participate and you may opt to accept or decline. It is important that you feel comfortable with what you are committing to and in fact there is no reason why you shouldn’t.
Make a difference!
Get the family on board and tell your friends about what we do. Thanks for your support.