University of Iowa Center on Aging
The STAR Registry is a database of Iowans over age 50 who are interested in volunteering for research studies at the University of Iowa (UI), and live within a two-hour driving radius of the university.
Older adults are typically under-represented in scientific research, making study results less helpful to the older population. STAR was created to:
• facilitate the inclusion of older adults in UI research studies
• help increase the quantity and quality of research relating to older adults
STAR matches research volunteers with studies for which they are likely to qualify, using information provided by each volunteer. STAR volunteers fill out a four-page registration form about general medical history, behavioral and demographic information. All data is secure and kept strictly confidential according to guidelines established by the University of Iowa Institutional Review Board.
Who is eligible to join STAR?
Any Iowan age 50 or over can enroll in the STAR Registry. People with medical problems, as well as healthy people, are invited to participate.
Why should I join STAR?
Joining STAR gives you the opportunity to:
• Learn about the research process
• Receive information about healthy aging and University of Iowa research studies
• Receive compensation, provided by many studies
What types of research studies are offered to people in the STAR Registry?
Studies may ask you to participate in a clinical trial, use a device such as a driving simulator, receive a test such as an x-ray, or share your opinions in a focus group. Some studies simply send you a questionnaire that you can fill out at home and return by mail.
What if I join STAR but then change my mind?
Participation in any research study, and in the STAR Registry, is completely voluntary. You may decide to leave the study or the registry at any time.
How is my privacy protected?
The STAR Registry is confidential, and is regulated by the University of Iowa’s Institutional Review Board. Only members of the STAR research team have access to your registration information, which is kept locked and in a secure, protected database.
What happens after I join STAR?
When a university researcher asks for STAR volunteers, we will use information they provide to search our database for volunteers most likely to qualify for their study. Volunteers who appear to match the needs of a study may then receive a mailing containing recruitment materials from the STAR Registry staff. If you receive information about a study and think you might want to volunteer, you can contact the researcher directly to get more information. Researchers will not have your name or any information about you unless you contact them yourself, and then they will only receive information that you provide to them at that point.
Can I join STAR even if I am sick?
Yes. STAR needs people who have illnesses and medical conditions, as well as people who have no health problems. All are welcome.
How often will I be contacted by STAR about research opportunities?
How often we contact you depends on what any given study is looking for and whether you happen to match its criteria. You may not hear from STAR for months, or you might receive recruitment information for several studies in a short period of time. Overall, we expect that you might receive several recruitment mailings per year at a minimum.
How do I join STAR?
To request a registration packet, you may:
Email email@example.com, and include your name and mailing address,
Call locally: 319.335.7569, or
Download the STAR Registry brochure (pdf) and mail your request to enroll in the STAR Registry to the UI Center on Aging.
Contact information for the STAR Registry at the University of Iowa Center on Aging is available on our Contact page.
Laura Scheetz, MS
Visit the STAR Registry Contact page.