Research Participant Opportunities

Research Policy

As a component of the University of Pennsylvania, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center recognizes the importance of research to expand knowledge. The Center is committed to protecting human subjects engaged in research conducted or supported by the University and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Prior to initiating any research on human subjects at or associated with the LGBT Center, investigators must first obtain the approval of one of the University IRBs through their established policies and procedures. Only research approved by Penn’s IRB and the Center’s professional staff will be permitted on-site. The exception is if it is a Penn student-based research practicum or directed/independent research project.  To clarify if you qualify for this exception, please see the IRB guidelines. Off-site research soliciting participants via e-mail must also have IRB approval from the researcher’s home institution.

For more information on Penn’s research policies please go to the IRB web site.

To initiate any research involving the Center or if you have questions, please contact Jake Muscato.

Research Participant Opportunities

These studies are not endorsed by the University of Pennsylvania LGBT Center. Studies have IRB approval from University of Pennsylvania and their home universities. The LGBT Center follows strict research protocols.


Test a smartphone app

Test a smartphone app​ Flyer


We are looking for mentors and mentees to test a smartphone app together for 1 month.

We are looking for male mentees that: -Are ages 15-24 -Live in the U.S. -Identify as African American/Black -Have a sexual interest in men


Call or text (410) 929-5097 Email Kate

Resiliency of transgender students who have joined fraternities and sororities

This study is being conducted by Meredith Bielaska under the direction of Dr. Tara Hudson at Kent State University.

Participation includes:

  • A video interview with me over Zoom. The interview will last approximately 2 hours in length.
  • Four weekly electronic reflective journal entries.  Each journal entry will take approximately one hour to complete.
  • For each portion of the research study you will be provided with compensation, up to a total of $20, to be provided electronically through gift cards to the email provided in your participant registration.

Eligibility criteria for this study includes the following:

  • Are you currently enrolled as a student at a college or university/ or have you graduated within the last 3 calendar years?
  • Are you at least 18 years old?
  • Are you currently an active or alumni/ae member of a fraternity or sorority?
  • Did you join your fraternity or sorority during college?
  • Would you describe your gender identity as aligning with any of the following:
    • Transitioning (which refers to the process of changing one’s gender presentation and/or sex characteristics to accord with one’s internal sense of gender identity),
    • Have transitioned from male to female (MTF) or from female to male (FTM),
    • Identify as transgender (which refers to people whose gender identity  or one’s inner sense of being male, female, or something else differs from their assigned or presumed gender at birth)
  • If you answered “yes” to the above criteria, then you are eligible to participate in this study.

The research team has also attached the consent to participation form for you to review. If you decide you would like to move forward with participation, we will schedule a short pre-interview meeting for us over Zoom to review the consent form and procedures, discuss the participation timeline, and schedule your interview. If you have any additional questions you can contact Meredith Bielaska at (717)723-8825 or


Intersections of Identity (gender and race and ethnicity) and identity-based experiences and health

“Hello! We are a team of queer and trans-identified investigators at the University of Minnesota’s Program in Human Sexuality. We are conducting research on the intersections of identity (gender and race and ethnicity) and identity-based experiences and how that may relate to a variety of health and well-being outcomes among trans and gender diverse (TGD) people. To participate, we are asking you to click on the following link in order to enter a phone number so that we can contact you for a very brief (~1min) pre-screen phone call or text message conversation to ensure that you meet eligibility criteria and to limit access of the survey to bots. After the pre-screening, we will send you a unique link to the online survey that will take approximately 45-60 minutes to complete, though for some it may take less time and for others a little more. You will be compensated $25 in the form of an Amazon e-gift card for completing the survey.” Click Here

HIV Prevention Studies

HIV Prevention Studies Flyer

Phase I HIV vaccine study we are conducting here at UPenn. To help end the epidemic, contribute to science, receive compensation, and other personal reasons. Call (610) 324-8943

Project iMPPACS is a research study that tries to understand the perspectives of Black and African American youth and young adults in Philadelphia in order to make a social media campaign that supports youth to make healthy, informed decisions when having sex. This campaign is part of the effort to end the HIV epidemic, especially in Black and African American communities that are affected most by HIV. Those of all genders and sexual orientations are encouraged to participate.

Participants will be compensated $45

Click Here to sign up!

Therapeutic writing to enhance body image and well-being among transgender people

Therapeutic writing to enhance body image and well-being among transgender people Flyer

We are conducting research regarding therapeutic writing to enhance body image and well-being among transgender people. In order to participate, you must a) identify as transgender (e.g., trans woman, trans man, non-binary, gender queer, etc.), b) be 18 years of age or older, and c) live in the United States. 

If you are interested in participating, you will be asked to complete a brief (10 to 15 minute) writing task and several short surveys. Your participation should take 20 to 25 minutes, one time only. Participation is entirely voluntary. If you are interested in participating, please click on the following link: Here

Or, if you would like further information, please email Laurel Watson at

Once completing the survey, you are eligible to enter a raffle to win one of four $25 Amazon gift cards. This study, protocol number 2016887, has been reviewed by University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Institutional Review Board. If you have any concerns about your rights as a participant your concerns please call 816-235-5927

Share your story about being estranged/distanced with a parent or parents because of their gender/sexual identity

Researchers from the University of Washington and La Salle University are recruiting participants. We are inviting participants to share their story about being estranged/distanced with a parent or parents because of their gender/sexual identity. Specifically, we are interested in your experience with being distanced from your parents and how you coped with that distance. This research could help other people better understand and make sense of their difficult family relationships.

To participate in the present study, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  1. Are between the ages of 13-19,
  2. Feel comfortable speaking English,
  3. Live in the United States or Canada, and
  4. Identify as being estranged /distanced from at least one parent because of their sexual/gender identity.

If individuals choose to participate, they will be asked to take a short demographic questionnaire and share their story with an interviewer for about 45-60 minutes via Zoom or phone.

After the interview is complete, participants will be compensated with a $50 gift card that you can use at a variety of businesses of your choosing such as grocery stores, amazon, restaurants, etc.

If you are interested in participating, please contact: Kyle Kubler, at

If you have any questions about this study, please contact Dr. Kristina Scharp (

Power in Bisexual Women's Relationships

Are you a woman, 18 years or older, who identifies as bisexual?

If you answered yes to this question, you may be eligible to participate in a new study aimed at improving our knowledge of bisexual women’s same-gender relationships. The purpose of this research project is to gain a better understanding of how power dynamics in these relationships affect them. Eligible participants will participate in three phases: 1) a 30-minute online activity; 2) a second 30-minute online activity; and 3) a Zoom-based 90-minute one-on-one interview with the researcher.

Participants will be compensated with a $10 gift card for the first activity, a $15 gift card for the second activity, and a $40 gift card for the interview. If you are interested in participating, please take our eligibility screener Click Here

If you have any additional questions, please contact Taylor Reid at 810-620-1277 (call or text) or at

Penn UBelong Study

The Risk and Resilience Lab in the Penn Psychology department is conducting a study to understand how Penn undergraduate students’ experiences on campus are associated with day-to-day emotions, behaviors, and end-of-semester grades. Please see the flyer to the left for eligibility requirements and how to sign up. You will be compensated up to $75 for completing the study. You may also sign up Here

Grindr Use and Mental Health Study

Are you gay, bi, or a man who has sex with men (GBMSM) living in the US, 18+ years of age and currently use Grindr?

The University of California, Davis is running an IRB-approved study looking at why GBMSMs use Grindr. This study will allow researchers to better understand people’s beliefs about and attitudes towards online geospatial dating applications like Grindr.

To learn more about the study and participate, Click Here

Participants in this study have the opportunity to win one of four (4) $100 Amazon gift cards.

Pitt Intersectional Stigma Project

The University of Pittsburgh is doing a research project to understand
intersectional stigma in HIV-related healthcare settings.

This work will support the development of a media campaign to reduce stigma experiences in Pennsylvania.

You may be eligible if you are:

  • Working in HIV-related healthcare (e.g., clinicians, case managers, front desk staff, medical care team),
  • Living with HIV engaged in care at a Ryan White facility,
  • or In a leadership role at a Ryan White facility


  • Work or receive care in the AACO region of PA (Bucks, Chester, Delaware,
    Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties)

If you participate, you will do a one-time phone interview with a researcher from the University of Pittsburgh. Those who are interviewed will receive a $35 Amazon gift code

For more information:

Contact Harley Roth at 878-600-1485 or

STARS Suicide Prevention Project​

We are recruiting participants who are:

  1. Young adult between 18-24 years old
  2. Living in the Philadelphia metropolitan area
  3. Identifying as a member of a sexual and/or gender minority
  4. Reported past-month thoughts about suicide, and
  5. Have access to a smartphone

What is the study about?

This research study is being conducted to see if a WebApp called STARS can improve the health and well-being of emerging adults who identify as a member of a sexual and/or gender minority. This study is also exploring the efficacy of safety planning and peer mentorship in the reduction of suicidality among LGBTQ+ young adults.

What does participation entail?

Participants complete an online screener attached to the recruitment ad. Eligible individuals will be contacted by the team for a safety phone screen and to schedule the enrollment visit. Study participation will include the following:

  • Day 1: Participate in an in-person interview and complete a survey at location ( 1.5 hours). Enrolled participants are assigned to one of two groups and complete a Safety Plan (45 – 60 min).
  • Days 60 and 120: Participate in a survey and brief remote interview (30 minutes).
  • Day 180: Participate in a final survey and remote interview (approximately 1.5 hours).

Will all participants get to use the app?

Half of participants in the study will be randomized to use the WebApp and half will not. If assigned to the STARS WebApp group, participants are asked to use the App for 20 minutes each week during the six months of enrollment. These participants will engage in 6 peer mentorship sessions (30 mins weekly) addressing emotional health and safety, psychoeducation, and skills practice.

What is the compensation schedule for this study?

Participants will receive up to $170 for participating in the study. In addition, we offer complimentary rideshare (Uber) for the intake visit, or reimbursement for transportation.

Who can I contact with questions about this study?

The STARS team is happy to talk with you further about the study and answer any questions you have! For general inquiries or to request flyers and palm cards, please email

Understanding Climate Anxiety in University Students

Do you want to help researchers better understand the impact of climate change on students? Climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, director of Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and Media, and a team of Penn researchers are seeking your participation in this study.

There are two ways to participate:

  1. Join a focus group (2.5 hrs, includes same questionnaire as option 2)
  2. Fill out an online survey (20-25 mins.)

In-Person Focus Group: March 27-31, 2023 (Sign-up link: here)

Online Survey Link: Coming Soon!