Do you have questions?

Find the answers easily

Do you have questions about participating in drug research at QPS? Below you will find answers to questions we regularly receive from our participants. Is your question not listed? Please feel free to contact us at vrijwilligers@qps.com of 050-8200483.

Drie deelnemers spelen een kaartspel aan tafel in de QPS kliniek.
Drie deelnemers spelen een kaartspel aan tafel in de QPS kliniek.
Compensation
How is the amount of compensation determined?

This depends on the length of your stay and on the number of treatments carried out during the research. The compensation is determined per study and approved by the Medical Ethics Review Committee (MERC).

Do I have to pay tax on the compensation?

The tax authorities consider the compensation to be income from employment. QPS is therefore obliged to declare this. You will receive an annual statement from us. Whether you have to pay tax on the compensation depends on your personal situation.

When do I receive the research study compensation and the travel allowance?

You will receive your study compensation and travel allowance within 4 weeks of fully completing the research study and submitting the required documents. If it turns out that, based on the medical examination, you are not allowed to participate in the research study in question, you will only receive a travel allowance.

Will I be paid for introducing a new participant?

Yes, we are very grateful for every person you introduce and who actually participates in a clinical trials at QPS. You will receive €300 for every person you introduce. Do you know anyone who might want to participate? Register them now. For more information, go to our Member-get-member page.

How is the travel allowance calculated?

The travel allowance is €0.19 per kilometre, with a maximum of 420 km one way. To determine the allowance, we use the ANWB route planner to calculate the number of kilometres between your home address and the clinic. If that is 100 km to the clinic and 100 km back home? Then you will receive 200 km x €0.19 = €38. You will get this allowance for every visit* to QPS (the clinic and the screening centre). (*Travel expenses will not be reimbursed if you are rejected due to drug use).

Will I get a higher compensation if I run a higher risk?

No, the amount of your compensation is based on the time you spend at the clinic. The longer the clinical trial and the more often you have to come back to the clinic, the higher the compensation. Compensation has nothing to do with the level of risk. Read more about the structure of the compensation here.

How much compensation will I get if the clinical trial stops early or if I leave the clinical trial early?

You will get paid in proportion to the time you have invested. Your compensation will be paid on the basis of the number of days you were in the clinic and visited on individual return days.

What net amount remains of the gross compensation?

What remains differs per person. Compensation is considered income from work, on which you have to pay income tax. What percentage this is depends on your total wage on an annual basis, so also what you earn with your permanent job or flexible work.

Can I participate in a clinical trial while retaining my (unemployment/disability) benefit?

As benefits are regarded as income, participation affects the amount of your benefit. You can certainly participate, but to get a clear picture of what this means for the amount of your benefit, we recommend that you contact the UWV Employee Insurance Agency. This concerns a personal situation about which we cannot give specific information.

The research clinic
Where do I stay during my participation?

QPS Nederland has 2 research clinics in Groningen. Our main research clinic is on the grounds of the University Medical Centre Groningen. While our second clinic and screening centre is located opposite the main entrance of the hospital.

Is there a garden, or other outdoor space?

When you participate in clinical trials at QPS, you will be staying in our clinic during the study period. Depending on the clinic where the clinical trial takes place, there may be a garden. If you stay in our clinic for a longer period of time and the clinical trial allows it, we will regularly go for a walk outside for exercise and fresh air.

Are men and women separated?

Some clinical trials are open only to men or only to women. In all other cases, men and women will not be entirely separated during participation. We will, however, try to take this into account with the distribution of the beds.

What will I get to eat and drink?

This, and how free you are in what to eat and drink, differs per clinical trial. Sometimes the protocol stipulates how many calories you must eat. You can always indicate dietary requirements, for example that you do not eat pork or that you are a vegetarian. You are not allowed to consume your own food and drinks in the clinic. If you brought food or drinks with you, we will keep this for you until you leave the clinic.

Depending on the clinical trial, you may have to follow a special diet, but in general you have a choice of wholemeal bread, rusk, crackers, rye bread, yogurt, muesli, low-fat margarine, jam, honey, peanut butter, apple syrup, fruit sprinkles, sliced chicken, smoke-dried beef, ham, cheese spread, cheese, milk, buttermilk and Cup-a-Soup for both breakfast and lunch.

The afternoon snack consists of two pieces of fruit (usually apple, pear, banana, orange or kiwi) and juice (apple/orange juice and Crystal Clear) or coffee/tea*. The evening snack alternates between crisps, peanuts, a Snelle Jelle slice of spiced cake, syrup waffle or Sultana with a glass of juice or coffee/tea*. (*in most clinical trials, you are not allowed to drink caffeine). There will be decaf coffee.)

Dinner is very diverse, for instance pasta bolognese, fried rice with satay, kale mash with sausage. There are sufficient vegetarian options and you will always be offered a raw vegetable salad. There is yogurt or custard for dessert.

Contact with the outside world; can I make and receive calls whenever I want?

Absolutely. You can spend your free time – the moments when we are not actively examining or treating you – as you wish. For instance by calling or FaceTiming with friends and family. When doing so, be considerate of other participants in the clinic and do not cause any nuisance. If a procedure is planned as part of the clinical trial, that takes priority over making a phone call.

May I smoke during my stay?

No, smoking is not permitted during your stay at the research clinic.

How much privacy do I have during my stay?

In the clinic you share a bedroom with other participants. Sometimes there are two of you in a room, sometimes you share with several people. However, you always have a place to safely store personal items and you can curtain off your bed.

I am travelling to QPS by car. Where can I park?

The clinic does not have a dedicated car park. You can park in the immediate area (paid parking) or in one of the nearby parking garages. As parking costs are included in the travel allowance you must pay them yourself. You can park outside the city, or come by public transport: the clinic is easily accessible!

An alternative is to use one of the Park & Rides near Groningen (P+R Transferium Haren/A28 or P+R Transferium Hoogkerk/A7), from where you can continue by bus. Parking there is free; you only pay for public transport. For more information, see our directions.

Is there good WiFi in the clinic?

The internet facilities are good enough to watch your favourite Netflix series, work and scroll through your Instagram or TikTok. As you can see on klantenvertellen.nl, previous participants are very enthusiastic!

What can I do to spend my time in the clinic?

What CAN'T you do? You can binge-watch your favourite series on Netflix, work, study, play games or board games with other participants or finally finish that book you started a while ago.

What does a day in the clinic look like?

The exact details of your stay at the clinic differ per clinical trial. However, all studies have a number of elements in common. Most importantly, every clinical trial has so-called 'treatment days' and 'regular days'. On a treatment day, you will be administered the drug to be tested, after which blood will be taken on multiple occasions throughout the day. Other common elements are the group introduction, breakfast, lunch and dinner moments throughout the day, and the wellbeing reports we draw up every day. For that, we have a brief talk with you, ask you how you are feeling and check your vital functions. Read more about a day in the clinic here.

Participation
Where will the medical screening be performed?

The medical screening takes place in our screening centre at Zielstraweg 2 in Groningen. This is opposite the main entrance to UMCG; you can find exact directions here.

Can I use my own medication?

Due to the type of clinical trial, the use of other medication is usually not allowed. This applies to both prescription medication and over-the-counter medication. Do you want to know for sure before you register what is and is not allowed? Then please contact us.

What procedures can I expect during a stay in the clinic?

During your participation you can expect many standard recurring procedures. These include blood sampling, an ECG (heart film), heart rate and blood pressure measurements and a physical examination by the doctor, if necessary. In addition, a clinical trial may require specific procedures, such as an EEG (brain video) or MRI (body scan). This is always specifically mentioned on the website and in the comprehensive information you receive from us before participation. Click here for what a day in the clinic may look like.

Can I leave the study when I want?

Absolutely, participation is completely voluntary. If you decide to stop participating for whatever reason during your stay in the clinic, you can leave the clinic immediately after seeing the doctor. (You will not receive the full compensation, but will be paid a proportional amount).

Can I leave the clinic in an emergency and come back later?

No. You can stop your participation at any time and leave the clinic. You cannot, however, return once you have left. This in connection with the continuity and quality of the trial.

Can I exercise during my stay?

Just like eating, exercise is also 'controlled': all external elements and environmental factors must be the same for all participants. This means that you are not free to exercise on your own (such as fitness). To get some fresh air and exercise, we do go outside regularly for a walk.

When will I be informed about the drug that I have been given?

Six months after the study has been fully completed, we are allowed to disclose whether you have been given the research drug or a placebo. Clinical trials are often divided into different groups, spread over a longer period of time. If you participated in the first group of the clinical trial, you may have to wait a little longer (the study only ends when all groups have finished).

Can I stay at QPS the night before the clinical trial starts?

Unfortunately not: Often, another clinical trial is still under way in the clinic, of which participants take up beds. If it is not possible to travel on the day itself, for example due to the distance and travel time, we recommend staying overnight in a hotel or B&B. Costs of this overnight stay are not reimbursed.

Are medical staff always present?

Yes, our (medical) staff is continuously present during your stay.

Selection procedure
I have my birthday during the clinical trial period, as a result of which I will be just outside the age limit. Can I still participate?

The age limits for a clinical trial are laid down in the clinical trial protocol. In most cases, this concerns the age at the time of your screening. Please indicate this during the telephone intake and the screening visit itself, so that we can check with the doctor.

What does it mean being a 'reserve' participant and can I register as a 'reserve' participant?

To make sure that we can start the clinical trial with a full group, we invite more people than necessary. We do this because it is possible that someone is unexpectedly unable to come or because it turns out that someone no longer meets the conditions of the clinical trial. You will be told upon arrival whether you are a participant or 'reserve' participant; you cannot choose this yourself. If you are a reserve participant, you will be informed the next day whether or not you will actually participate after all. If, as a reserve participant, you do not need to participate after all, you will receive a full travel allowance and appropriate compensation. This 'compensation for reserve participants' is stated in the ICF that you sign at the time of your screening visit.

What happens if the doctor decides I will be a reserve participant?

Whether you are an actual or reserve participant is determined by the doctor (within the context of the quality of the trial). This happens after check-in at the clinic, when everyone has gone through a final check. If you are a reserve participant, you will stay in the clinic until administration of the first dose, just to be sure. For this you will also receive so-called 'compensation for reserve participants' (in addition to your travel allowance). This compensation for reserve participants is stated in the ICF that you sign at the time of your screening visit. In most cases you can move on to the next trial group (depending on the start time, you may have to undergo another medical examination) or participate in another clinical trial.

Will I be given priority in a new trial group as a reserve participant?

Where possible, yes. As you may have read, a final check for eligibility takes place upon arrival at the clinic. At that time, it is determined at random who is a reserve participant and who will actually participate. However, if you come from another group where you were designated as a reserve participant at the time, you will now be given priority for participation, provided you are equally eligible based on the latest checks.

I was found unsuitable for participation based on my medical screening. Should I contact my GP now for further examination?

People are often shocked when they hear that, based on the medical screening, they are not suitable for participation. We understand the concern, but you need not be worried: the fact that you are not suitable just means that one or more values do not match those of the protocol. That could be something as simple as a heart rate of 49 when it should be at least 50, or the fact that you drink more glasses of alcohol per week than the protocol allows. So there is no reason to worry, but if you want to know more about why you were rejected, you can ask for it by email. If there is really something that we are concerned about, we will always let you know and contact your GP.

I read that I can't participate more than 4 times a year. How is this checked?

The European VCT (Verified Clinical Trials) system keeps (blinded) online records of how many studies you have participated in and which medicines were studied. This helps prevent you - accidentally or deliberately - from participating more than four times a year. In addition, this way we can be sure that a medicine from your previous study will not affect the results of a subsequent study. Both aspects are important for your own safety and the quality of the clinical trial.

Clinical trials and work/residence permits, what about that?

In the Netherlands, the compensation you receive for your participation in clinical trials is regarded as income from work. This means that if you are not a Dutch citizen, the same rules apply to participation in clinical trials as to any other work. If you are a citizen of a member state of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland, you can work freely in the Netherlands and you do not need a permit. Citizens of all other countries need a Dutch residence permit from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) that states that work is freely allowed. A work permit for non-EU nationals ('TWV') or a combined work and residence permit ('GVVA') is not valid for participation. These are requested by the employer and are only valid for the work for which they were requested.

Other
Who can I contact if I have a compliment or a complaint?

We do our best to make your participation as pleasant as possible and are always open to improvements. Do you have a question or suggestion? Then send an email to vrijwilligers@qps.com. You can submit complaints by email to klachtencommissie@qps.com.

Are you satisfied? Then tell us and others, by writing a review on klantenvertellen.nl.

My question and answer are not listed, where can I go?

You can find contact details and an explanation of when it is best to call or email on our contact page.

I am considering participating in a study that states that a radioactive substance is being used, is that dangerous?

We understand your concern, but can reassure you: the amount of radiation is minimal. In fact, if you fly back and forth from Amsterdam to New York, in many cases you will be exposed to more radiation. 

What kind of people participate in clinical trials at QPS?

All kinds of people! Participants are at least 18 and often no more than 70 years old. People who stay at the clinic are students, entrepreneurs who work remotely, adults and senior citizens. Some participate sporadically, others four times a year. Together, they make their stay as pleasant as possible.

Why are drugs tested in healthy people?

The research we do focuses not so much on how the drug works, but on tolerability and possible side effects. This means that doctors examine how your body reacts to the drug and a certain dosage.

Are participants satisfied with QPS?

Yes. Participants give us an average rating of 9.1 out of ten Read their experiences here.

Get in touch
Is your question not listed? Please feel free to contact us.

Hilma klinisch verpleegkundige QPS geneesmiddelenonderzoek
Hilma Hamming
clinical nurse since 2008
"You basically only need to bring some clean clothes and toiletries. Everything else is here. As many clean towels as you need, your bed made, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some participants bring a PlayStation or their own board games, but we have plenty of those here anyway!"