Volunteer Research Opportunities

Approved Opportunities for Participating in Clinical Research

If you would like to participate in clinical research, please browse the list below for opportunities that you may be eligible for.

Study Location
Online Only

Research Objectives
The purpose of this survey is to examine the physical activity and fitness trends of lower limb amputees to establish a benchmark for the population. The goal is to use these results to assist in developing new ideas for patient care.

Eligibility Criteria
Anyone with a lower limb amputation(s) of any-level (i.e. toe, partial foot, Symes, transtibial/ BK, rotationplasty, knee disarticulation, transfemoral/ AK, hip disarticulation, hemipelvectomy is eligable to participate.

Compensation Details
None

Enrollment Closes
December 31, 2024

Time Commitment
Approximately 15 minutes

Contact Person
Noah Krichau | Email : nkrichau@emich.edu  | Phone: 515-979-8955

How to Participate
Click Here to take the survey. Please contact Noah Krichau if you have any questions regarding this study.

Study Location
Online Only

Research Objectives
The purpose of this research survey is to determine if the commonly portrayed images that depict prosthesis users are encouraging or discouraging to people with limb loss along their journey of rehabilitation following amputation.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must have limb loss (amputation) or limb difference of 1 or more limbs.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must be able to understand the survey questions and informed consent in English without an interpreter.

Compensation Details

  • There will be no compensation for completing this survey.

Enrollment Closes
Jul 31, 2024

Time Commitment
Approximately 5-10 minutes.

Contact Person
Ms. Lisa Marie Abernethy | Email: Lisa.Abernethy@bcm.edu.

How to Participate
The survey can be completed online at: https://bcmop.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9vlPNRDV5OIyxM2

Study Location
North Carolina State University – Raleigh, NC

Research Objectives
Powered robotic prostheses have the capacity to mimic the motion of biological joints, but do not consistently lead to improved gait performance due to an unoptimized intelligent controller. In this study, we will design different control algorithms for a variety of walking tasks and compare their performance.

This study will require participants to wear their own prosthesis and our experimental powered prosthesis to walk on level ground, ramp/stair ascent/decent, and step over obstacles. These activities are demonstrated on our webpage: https://nrel.bme.unc.edu/.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be between 18–70 years old
  • Must have a unilateral (single-sided) above-knee amputation
  • Body weight must not exceed 250 lbs.
  • Must use a prosthesis regularly (3+ hours daily)
  • Must be able to walk independently without the use of mobility aids ( e.g. canes, walker, crutches)

Compensation Details

  • $25 per hour (3-5 sessions, 4 hour max. per session)
  • Travel and lodging reimbursement may be available for eligible participants

Enrollment Closes
Mar 5, 2029

Time Commitment

  • 3-5 visits each lasting 2-4 hours.

Contact Person
Laura Rohrbaugh | Email: nrel.ncsu@gmail.com | Phone: 919-515-5218

How to Participate
Contact us by email, phone, or visit us online at https://nrel.bme.unc.edu/get-involved/ to fill out our online intake form. We will contact you to discuss what is involved in being a subject for this study and to address any questions or concerns that you may have.

Study Location
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI

Research Objectives
Powered leg prostheses can greatly assist individuals with above-knee amputations, but these devices are currently designed for a limited set of activities. This study aims to validate a new way to control powered prosthetic devices to restore walking ability in many different activities.

The study protocol will require participants to walk with their existing prosthesis and with an experimental powered prosthesis during sit-to-stand, level-ground walking, stair ascent/decent, and stepping over obstacles. This video demonstrates these activities: https://youtu.be/sBC12VDbaes

Eligibility Criteria

Participants may be eligible if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Adults between 18-70 years of age
  • Body weight is 250 lbs. or less
  • Has a single leg above-knee amputation or limb difference

Compensation Details

  • Participants will receive $40 per hour (2-3 sessions, 4 hours each)
  • Travel and lodging reimbursement may be available for eligible participants

Enrollment Closes
February 1, 2029

Time Commitment

  • Study will involve 2-3 sessions (with the option for additional sessions)
  • Each session will take no longer than 4 hours after setup

Contact Person
Robert Gregg, PhD | Email: rdgregg@umich.edu | Phone: 734-763-1156

How to Participate
Interested participants may enroll through the UMHealthResearch web posting here: https://UMHealthResearch.org/studies/HUM00230065. For questions about this study, please email UM-Locolab@umich.edu. Additional information can be found on the Recruitment Flyer.

Study Location
University of Maryland – College Park, MD

Research Objective
To determine if, in comparison to using a standard socket-based transfemoral prosthesis, an osseointegrated prosthesis reduces the metabolic cost of walking, improves the symmetry of walking gait and/or reduces loading of the intact limb and lower back

Eligibility Criteria
We are seeking individuals with unilateral (single leg) above-knee limb loss who walk with a prosthetic limb, either a traditional socket-based prosthesis or an osseointegrated (bone-anchored) prosthesis.

Additional eligibility criteria are:

  • Must be between 18-65 years of age
  • Must not be diagnosed with hypertension or metabolic syndrome
  • At least 18 months since most recent amputation or revision surgery
  • Must be cleared medically to walk with no assistance other than a prosthesis
  • Must not have any major chronic issues other than limb loss that affect walking ability
  • Must have at least six months experience with current prosthesis used for walking
  • Must be assigned a K-level 3 or 4

Compensation

  • Participants receive $500 cash immediately upon completing the study.
  • Additional lodging and travel compensation is available (some restrictions apply)

Enrollment Closes
6/30/2026

Time Commitment
2-hour session (in person)

Contact Person
Ross Miller | Email: rosshm@umd.edu | Phone: 413-259-5667

How to Participate
See recruitment flyer or contact Dr. Ross Miller

Study Location
University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, IL

Research Objective
The goal of this project is to assess the feasibility of maximizing user comfort by personalizing parameters of a novel ankle-foot prosthesis. Through this technology, we aim to enhance the understanding of ankle-foot parameters on socket pressure, user comfort, and perceived effort.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Adults between 18-75 years of age
  • Have single leg limb loss at the transtibial (below-knee) level
  • Leg amputation or revision surgery must have occurred at least 1 year ago
  • Must have the ability to walk unassisted for 20 minutes without undue fatigue or health risks
  • Must have habitual experience using a lower limb prosthesis for at least 6 months
  • Must have a comfortable prosthetic socket

Compensation
$100 per visit with parking reimbursement available

Enrollment Closes
01/31/2025

Time Commitment
4 in-person research sessions (2-3 hours per session)

Contact Person
Michael Jacobson | Email: mjacob38@uic.edu | Phone: 630-890-0837

How to Participate
Contact Michael Jacobson

Study Location
Louis Stokes Cleveland Medical Center – Cleveland, OH 

Research Objective
The goal of this study is to make upper limb prosthetic devices more natural and useful for Veterans who have lost an upper limb by providing proprioceptive feedback about prosthesis postures and movements. By doing this study we hope to characterize proprioceptive sensations elicited by peripheral nerve stimulation and investigate the mechanisms of stimulation-evoked proprioception. Participants do not need to be local to the Cleveland area. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a Veteran of the US military, age 18 or older 
  • Must have unilateral upper limb amputation above or belowtheelbow with fully healed and healthy surgical sites. 
  • Must have viable peripheral nerve function in the residual limb as well as volitional activity of the residual muscles in the amputated limb. 
  • Must be determined medically fit to undergo anesthesia. 
  • Must be fitted with a prosthesis by a CPO and have at least one month experience 
  • using the prosthesis. 
  • Must be willing and able to follow the study protocol.

Compensation

  • $50.00 per day (4-6 hours each day) in the lab once enrolled in the study. 
  • Travel can also be provided 

Enrollment Closes
09/01/2025

Time Commitment

  • Trial lasts approximately 18 months 
  • Participants come to the lab once every 45 days for 1-3 days of testing.

Contact Person
Chris Cowen | Email: Christine.Cowen@va.gov | Phone: 216-791-3800 ext. 63801 

How to Participate
Contact Chris Cowen

Study Location
Louis Stokes Cleveland Medical Center – Cleveland, OH 

Research Objective
Our research aims to restore sensory feedback and provide volitional prosthetic control to those living with lower limb loss. This requires an outpatient surgical procedure to implant a device that would activate the nerves to produce sensation as if it were arising from the missing foot and record muscle activity which would direct the movement of the prosthetic joint. We are also studying how this technology can impact limb health and potentially slow the progression of vascular illnesses such as those caused by diabetes.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Lower limb amputation
  • Adults aged 18 or older
  • Healthy residual limb
  • Absence of autoimmune disorders

Compensation

  • $50.00 per day in the lab once enrolled in the study
  • Travel and stay expenses can also be provided

Enrollment Closes
Dec 31, 2025 

Time Commitment

  • Trial lasts approximately 18 months
  • Participants come to the Cleveland lab once every 45 days for 1-3 days of testing

Contact Person
Aarika Sheehan PT, DPT | Email: aarika.sheehan@va.gov | Phone: 216-791-3800 ext. 65832 

How to Participate
Contact Aarika Sheehan

Study Location
Louis Stokes Cleveland Medical Center – Cleveland, OH

Research Objective
The goal of this study is to understand the critical factors associated with outcome acceptance following upper limb loss and to understand the psychosocial experience of upper limb prosthesis use. We must understand the relationships between prosthesis functional and sensory capabilities, the subjective experience of the prosthesis, and outcome acceptance following limb loss, in order to provide better prosthetic device options and improve rehabilitation outcomes. Study results will enable clinicians and researchers to evaluate and predict patient outcomes following limb loss based on user priorities and to design interventions that improve outcomes.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be able to provide verbal informed consent
  • Must be able to speak and understand English
  • Must have acquired a single upper limb amputation of the forearm (transradial) or above-the-elbow (transhumeral).
  • Amputation must have occurred at least six months prior to study enrollment
  • Must be a current or past user of an upper limb prosthesis
  • Must have at least six months of experience using a prosthesis

Compensation

  • Up to $40 ($20 per phone call)

Enrollment Closes
December 31, 2024

Time Commitment

  • Phone Interview (1 hour)
  • Phone Survey (1 hour)

Contact Person
Jessica Jarvela | Phone: 216-791-3800 x 63801

How to Participate
See further instructions in the Recruitment Flyer.

Study Location
Penn Medicine Rittenhouse – Philadelphia, PA

Research Objective
This study will evaluate the feasibility and function of an adjustable socket for children ages 7-18 with lower limb loss through questionnaires, gait analysis and socket pressure data. Participants will be fit with an adjustable prosthesis for a home-trial lasting two-months. Participants will be evaluated using various data collection methods including surveys, gait analysis and pressure analysis technologies.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be between 7-18 years of age
  • Have lower limb amputation(s) at or above the ankle (Symes, BK, AK)
  • Amputation(s) must have occurred at least 4-months prior to study enrollment
  • Must be ambulatory (with or without assistive devices)

Compensation

  • Up to $400 ($100 per visit, $200 for final visit)

Enrollment Closes
August 31, 2024

Time Commitment

  • Initial visit ( 1 hours)
  • Fitting visit (2-3 hours)
  • At home trial (8 weeks)

Contact Person
Jessica Kenia, MS | Email : Jessica.kenia@pennmedicine.upenn.edu  | Phone: 215-893-2678

How to Participate
See further instructions in the Recruitment Flyer.

Study Location
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) – San Diego, CA

Research Objective
Primary Aim: To test the hypothesis that it is safe and effective to administer psilocybin to individuals who experience phantom limb pain. Secondary aim: To determine behavioral and neural pain responses during noxious stimulation and at rest before and after psilocybin therapy.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Between 18 and 75 years of age.
  • Must have had an amputation of one extremity (upper or lower limb).
  • Experience phantom limb pain (for 1+ months) rated in intensity of at least 3 out of 10.
  • Must be fluent in the English language.
  • Must adhere to the medication/drug use protocols for the duration of the study (more information can be found on our Clinical Trial Webpage).
  • Must tolerate an MRI scan procedure without sedation.
  • Women of childbearing potential must agree to practice effective means of birth control throughout the duration of the study.
  • Must be accompanied by another individual who can provide transportation to and from the study visits.

Compensation

  • $600 (upon completion of all required study visits)

Enrollment Closes
September 1, 2027

Time Commitment

  • Approximately 45-60 minutes.

Contact Person
Email: phri-recruitment@ucsd.edu| Phone: 619-432-5278

How to Participate
Please visit our Clinical Trial webpage to speak with a researcher and determine your eligibility.

Study Location
Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute – Philadelphia, PA

Research Objective
This study is a randomized controlled trial to determine if virtual reality (VR) treatments can reduce phantom leg pain. Group 1 will test our Active VR treatment (which involves virtual gaming with leg movements and visual feedback of the missing leg). Group 2 will receive a commercially available VR pain treatment (Distractor VR). Our findings will be used to develop and assess the feasibility of a home intervention program using the most efficacious intervention, either Active VR or Distractor VR. MRI imaging will be used in both studies to attempt to identify biomarkers that can predict the efficacy of treatment.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Unilateral Above-knee Amputation
  • Unilateral Below-knee Amputation
  • Experiences Phantom Limb Pain

Compensation

  • Up to $180 (12 visits – 8 treatment sessions and 4 questionnaires sessions /$15 per visit)
  • Additional $80 (two MRI scans)
  • Paid Travel Costs

Enrollment Closes
September 2026

Time Commitment

  • 8 twice-weekly VR treatment sessions (1 hour each), 4 sessions of questionnaires (before and after treatment, plus two follow-up sessions).
  • Two Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans.

Contact Person
Elisabetta Ambron, PhD. | Email : eli.ambron@gmail.com
Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania

How to Participate
See further instructions in the Recruitment Flyer.

Study Location
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital – Cambridge, MA

Research Objective
This study is designed to test the effectiveness of a home-based treatment intervention for phantom limb pain. This treatment protocol combines a non-invasive brain stimulation called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and somatosensory training in a home-based setting. We will compare patients randomized to this combined strategy vs. usual care alone to examine differences in perceived pain.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Have limb amputation(s), any level
  • Experience chronic pain of the amputated limb(s)
  • Must be at least 18 years of age

Compensation
$345

Enrollment Closes
March 2027

Time Commitment

  • 22 visits during the 4-week treatment protocol (1-hour sessions)
  • 1 follow-up visit at 8 weeks post-treatment

Contact Person
Spaulding Neuromodulation Center | Email: epichardo@partners.org

How to Participate
See further instructions in the Recruitment Flyer.

Study Location
Pittsburgh, PA

Research Objective
This study aims to quantitatively evaluate the impact of socket fit on comfort and function in individuals with transfemoral amputations. Through this study we aim to achieve a greater understanding of what socket characteristics influence mechanical factors (i.e. skin strain, residual femur motion, socket pressure) and full body kinematics and kinetics. Furthermore, we intend to understand how these factors are associated with patients’ perceptions about their prosthetic sockets. With this information, we aim to streamline the socket design process and help individuals with limb loss and limb difference find a prosthesis that fits their needs more quickly and efficiently.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Unilateral Transfemoral Amputation (Above-Knee)
  • Must be between 18-80 years of age
  • Must weigh less than 125kg (275 lbs.)
  • Must utilize a conventional socket for ambulation for at least 1 year
  • Must be able to walk without an assistive device (cane, walker, etc.)

Compensation

  • Up to $300 (CT scan $50, ultrasound $50, lab testing $100 per session)
  • $10 parking available if needed
  • $25 provided if participant is determined to be ineligible after the in-person screening

Enrollment Closes
September 14, 2024

Time Commitment

  • 2 visits (4-hours each)
  • 1 CT scan and 1 ultrasound appointment (30 minutes each)

Contact Person
Shelly Barbosa | Email: biodynamics@pitt.edu

How to Participate
If you wish to enroll in this study please contact us by calling 412-713-1602 or email: biodynamics@pitt.edu. Learn more about this study by visiting our website: https://bdl.pitt.edu/

The research studies listed on this page have completed all the necessary documentation to assure that the human subject protocols have been approved through a recognized Institutional Review Board and have provided a statement that there are no commercial conflicts of interest. This listing does not imply endorsement of the Amputee Coalition. Research projects are listed as a service to researchers and to our members of the limb loss and limb difference community. The Amputee Coalition is not responsible for the conduct of the researchers. The sponsoring institution assumes responsibility for researcher’s conduct. If you have questions about a study listed on this page or if you would like to determine your enrollment eligibility for a study, please reach out to the Contact Person listed for that study.