Diversity Matters

Moving Medicine Forward … TOGETHER.

Participant diversity is essential to successful clinical research and helps drive health innovations for all individuals. Did you know that all medications and devices have to go through clinical trials first? Think about all of the medications, vaccines, and devices on the market. That is a lot of clinical trials!


Clinical trial participants should represent the types of patients who will use the medication, vaccine, or device, but this isn’t always the case. We need to fully understand how a medication, vaccine, or device will affect a range of individuals, so our ability to provide better healthcare to everyone improves with more diverse participation in our clinical trials.


The University of Wisconsin–Madison and UW Health partner to bring important clinical trials to Wisconsin. Some of these trials may be options when you are sick and others are to help us gain knowledge that can be used to develop new innovations to improve people’s health, but all of it is to help move medicine forward.


Whether healthy or battling an illness, individuals from all walks of life and of every race, age, ethnicity, ability, and sexual orientation are encouraged to explore if clinical trial participation is right for them.


Why Diversity Matters for Clinical Research:



A Patient/Participant-focused Approach


The University of Wisconsin Clinical Research Office actively works to ensure that the research we do respects the rights and desires of our participants. Our patient-centric approach acknowledges that research at UW cannot happen without our participants, so we work hard to make sure our patients have all of the information they need to ensure a positive experience through every step of the process.


We believe these efforts will lead to more successful clinical trials and the discovery of more effective medications, devices, and medical procedures for the prevention, detection, and treatment of diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and COVID-19.


A Matter of Trust.


We understand that participating in a clinical trial is a big decision and requires a great deal of trust on the part of the participant. We don’t take this for granted and work hard to provide our patients the most complete information available and the best care while respecting their privacy and input throughout the process. The bottom line is we aim to make clinical trials safe and meaningful for all of our patients.


Download our bilingual (ENG/SPA) ‘Diversity Matters’ flyer (pdf) …

Should I Join a Clinical Trial?

Learn more about the importance of participating in clinical trials and why individuals should consider joining, especially those who are in underrepresented communities.



Can anyone participate in clinical research?

Yes! We invite everyone to explore the possibilities of engaging in exciting clinical research. Whether you have participated in the past or are new to clinical trials, we welcome you to learn more on our website and/or contact us with questions.


Please note that not every trial is right for every person, but we make every effort to help match a patient/participant with a trial that is a good fit for them.

Who will have access to my medical information?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a law that protects patients’ private medical information from distribution. This law outlines the rights all patients have to privacy of their personal medical information and the authorization necessary to use any private medical information.


An important part of clinical research is sharing the results of trials for the development of drugs and medical devices. However, study teams must obtain consent from participants, explaining how they will protect and use any private health information gathered through the study. Typically, clinical trials will remove identifiable information, such as names, social security numbers, addresses, and dates of birth prior to releasing any information.


Prior to enrollment, the study team will make you aware of how your personal information, if any, will be used throughout the course of the clinical trial. Be sure to ask questions if you are unclear. Learn more about your participation rights under HIPAA.

Will I have access to the results of the clinical trial?

As part of the patient-centered approach, we believe in sharing a study’s overall results with the participant partners who contributed. The timeline and delivery of results is on a study-to-study basis. This is a great question to ask of the study team when you are considering participation.



The Wisconsin Institute for Clinical Trials, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is a partnership between the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health. Click the logos below to learn more about each organization’s policies, mission, and the overall importance of diversity to the UW community.

Logo for UW Health
Logo for the University of Wisconsin–Madison