Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to fast before my appointment in the HNRU?

This depends on the study you are participating in, be sure to check your study information package and/or emails for specific guidance. 


What are the benefits of participating in a study?

Participating in a study can be rewarding for many reasons. Of course, the specific tangible benefits will vary from study to study. Sometimes there will be financial compensation after participation, such as a cheque, gift card or lottery draw for a prize. Sometimes you will receive feedback from your study results and learn something new about yourself. All of the study benefits will be explained to you during the informed consent process. Be sure to ask your study team if you are unsure.

All of our HNRU studies contribute to student learning and training, which is valuable in itself. As a participant, you are also helping to advance scientific knowledge. Our participants enjoy getting involved in research in the HNRU because they are part of our study team!

What are the risks to participating in a study?

Every study in the HNRU is unique, and there is no generic answer to this question. Some studies may be a questionnaire or others may be more invasive. Part of the study consent process will be to fully explain any and all potential risks to you. These risks could include something physical like the brief pain of a needle for a blood draw, or potential for bruising afterward. It is important that you understand the risks of the study you are interested in and ask lots of questions to your study team. All of our study protocols have been reviewed by the University of Guelph's Research Ethics Boards and all risks have been considered and minimized to the best of our ability. 

What if I can't make my scheduled appointment?

Study visits typically involve a lot of coordination of personnel, so it is very helpful to know ahead of time if you need to reschedule an appointment. We understand that even with the best intentions, there may be unforeseen circumstances. We really appreciate if you can give us advance notice when you cannot make your scheduled appointment, or you are going to be late. Please reach out to your study team directly. Email is typically the best way to reach most study teams, but if it's the morning of your appointment, you may also want to call our HNRU phone directly at 519-824-4120 x56314.  

What should I wear for my study visit?

This is a good question. You will want to dress comfortably. Short sleeves are always a good choice if you are having your blood pressure measured or a blood sample taken. You may want to bring a sweater if you are staying with us longer than 1 hour, so you have an option for layering. 

When can I expect to receive my compensation?

Each study approaches compensation in a different way, but there are a couple of common points to share. If you will be compensated for your participation in a study, be sure to check with your study team about your expectations. Generally speaking, if you are receiving a lump sum of money, cheques will be prepared by the University of Guelph's Financial Services and mailed to you directly. This process can take up to 6-8 weeks. Other studies may choose to compensate with gift cards, and these are typically given directly to you at a study visit. 

Where can I park for my study visit?

There are both metered and permit parking spots near the HNRU. Each study may handle parking costs differently. Sometimes meter money is reimbursed or a parking pass provided for regular study visits. Sometimes the cost of parking is reimbursed through your payment at the end of the study, and you are expected to pay as you go. Please direct your questions regarding parking payment to your study team.

The map below shows  where the parking options are located for metered (green) and permit (orange) near the HNRU:

For your information, the current metered parking options and rates are as follows:

Meters (only accepts toonies, loonies and quarters) for $2.75 per hour. Paybyphone@Meters is $2 per hour ($0.35 transaction fee).

Why am I being asked to fast before my study appointment?

A lot of our nutrition studies will ask you to be fasted overnight. In other words, avoiding all foods and drinks other than water. This is because we commonly want to measure compounds in the blood before a meal is consumed, such as fasting blood sugar or cholesterol. These are standard blood markers with well known healthy ranges we can compare to. These fasted samples could also be used as baseline reference to see how these markers change over time after eating.

Eating a meal, even a few bites, could change those blood markers, so it is best to be honest with your study team if you forgot to fast. Most studies will also encourage you to be well hydrated, especially if you will be providing a blood sample in the HNRU. The most important thing is that you are familiar with what the study team is asking of you and that you ask questions to them directly, if you are unsure. And remember it is always your right to withdraw from a study for any reason.