2022 Study Descriptions

Principal Investigator(s) Study Title Description
Adams, Tolan & Choi The Great Minnesota Earwax Study What’s in your earwax? We will show you the inside of your ear as we photograph it with a tiny camera and will ask you about your ear cleaning habits and health. We will gently take a sample with a cotton swab to learn what bacteria naturally live inside your ear canal. The information you provide will help us design new ways to promote healthy ears and to treat infections.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Anand & Rao Judge Comedians! Win a painting! Come judge a few comedians we might invite to a UMN event! In exchange, win a UMN bag and a chance to win a painting! All you have to do is see some stand-up comedy clips and answer a few questions.
Eligibility: Age 18+, American citizen
Austin, Rajamani & Marquard What’s in your App? The objectives of this study are to understand the various types and use of health, fitness and well-being related apps. We will also explore the opinions of consumers regarding sharing of health data app with providers, healthcare, family/friends and their understanding of data exchange using apps.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Benbenek Patients Engaged! The purpose of this descriptive survey study, D2D Patients Engaged! is to gain understanding of patient experiences and perspectives on expectations, preferences, barriers and satisfaction regarding the delivery of primary care health services in Minnesota.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Borofsky Time to Talk About Overactive Bladder Overactive bladder (OAB) a common condition that affects how, when and how people urinate. Dietary factors such as caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages can affect this. We want to know what you know about this common condition that can be improved with simple lifestyle changes. Take a brief survey to help us understand your knowledge!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Butler Heathcare Multiverse The Project for Advancing Healthcare Stewardship (PAHS) is a collaboration aimed at creating a community engaged in conversations about health and health care. We want to understand how others define the idea of stewardship. We will be collecting data via a survey and an audiotaped interview.
Eligibility: Adults age 18+, Able to make their own medical decisions
Covington Remember This! Come test your memory! You will complete a memory test that takes less than 15 minutes and fill out a brief survey. We want to improve how we test memory in healthcare settings. Try our new test and tell us what you think!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Dusenbery People Helping People: Better Understanding Sarcoma This study is in conjunction with Rein In Sarcoma Foundation, and aims to survey the State Fair population to collect information on current awareness of sarcoma as well as to understand the ways in which fairgoers prefer to learn about rare medical conditions such as sarcoma. After survey completion, the study aims to educate participants on sarcoma and answer questions that may arise.
Eligibility: Age 18+, MN resident
Duval Let Us Knock Your Socks Off! We plan to obtain survey data from volunteer participants aged ≥60 years regarding their knowledge of peripheral artery disease (PAD), its risk factors, symptoms, and outcomes. We will also collect demographic data from participants to allow calculation of a risk score for the presence of PAD. In addition, we will offer to perform a non-invasive screening (e.g. measure their ABI, PVR, and/or similar screening), to assess for PAD.
Eligibility: Age 60+
Ellingson & Abbott LIMBERjack: Come Test your Joint Mobility! We are trying to understand how joint mobility and joint function are related to improve lives of people with chronic pain.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Finestack Kid Talk: How Do Kids Use Language? English is complicated! How do kids learn to use this complicated language? In this study, kids will play some some listening and talking games, parents will provide information about their child’s development, and kids will receive a prize!
Eligibility: Kids age 5-8 years, Typically developing, English is child’s first language
Flynn Tooth or Consequences How does your experience of dental care impact your quality of life? Help us find out by completing a brief survey and quick visual dental check. Spin the wheel to win a thank you gift!
Eligibility: Age 18+ survey & quick dental check with no instruments
Griffin – hands Lend a Hand to 3D Scans Get your hand 3D scanned! YOUR HAND is crucial to improving the fit, function, and innovation of products for hands! Help us improve the design of gloves, tools, and the countless products that your hand touches daily.
Eligibility: Age 15+
Griffin – mask Does Your Mask Fit U? Help us understand mask fit! Get your head 3D scanned and see how you fit a common N95 mask.
Eligibility: Age 5+
Grundman & Larsen To Vax or Not to Vax? Your Choice, Your Voice! In a global pandemic, we want to know: Who was the first to roll up their sleeves? Who was more cautious? From everyone we want to know why you did or didn’t. From women we want to know if you saw it affect your period, or were worried about the jab harming your pregnancy, fertility or all of the above!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Guzmán You Can Save Oak Trees! Like humans, trees also suffer diseases. Many times we can save trees from diseases or slow down the disease propagation among them by knowing the symptoms and treatments. This study aims to quantify the widespread knowledge of the oak wilt disease through surveys, an invasive fungal pathogen that kills thousands of trees every year across the US. In retribution, we provide an educational video to participants that can be freely distributed where they will learn how to detect oak wilt and perhaps how to save your tree and your neighbour’s tree.
Eligibility: All ages welcome! Kids under 12 must have a parent / guardian present
Herbers & Johnson Let’s Check Your Balance! Balance is an important aspect of everyday life; we need it for walking on a tight rope just as much as we need it for standing up from a chair. This study will use wearable sensors to assess how well you can balance during a variety of tasks. We encourage everyone over 18 to participate, and we specifically are looking for people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s to participate in the study.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Honebrink & Peterson Sink or Swim: Surveying the Depths of Minnesotans’ Desire for Locally Grown Seafood Minnesotans love fishing, but do they have an appetite for locally grown seafood? Our team will survey fairgoers to determine your thoughts and preferences on seafood consumption. You will have an opportunity to learn about the emerging world of Minnesota aquaculture and sample a locally grown aquaculture product.
Eligibility: Age 18+, MN resident
Hooke & Tucker How Does Your Child Mooove? Physical activity is an important part of health. In our study we want to learn more about physical activity in young children ages 3 to 7. We will ask young children do some physical game activities and measure how many seconds it takes to complete them. We will ask their parent to complete physical activity survey questions about their child and their own physical activity. We will be analyzing how these measurements relate to each other.
Eligibility: Parent of child age 3-7; Child ages 3-7; Child able to follow simple directions
Huang & Quick mHealth and Traumatic Dental Injuries The purpose of the research is to develop and evaluate the use of a smartphone camera in remote assessments of dental injuries. We request you to let us take some photographs of your (or your child’s) teeth with a smartphone. The dental photos will be stored securely in clouded storage, and a dental professional will review photos later as part of the research. The study could provide a foundation for implementing an online emergency support scheme, benefiting not only rural populations but also urban residents when access to health care is limited by factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligibility: Fairgoers are invited to participate in the study if responding to the question Have you ever experienced injuries to your tooth? with a yes. Only (a) those aged 6 or older, and (b) able to provide informed consent (≥ 18 years of age) or parent permission (6-17 years of age), will be included.
Johnson This is America Kids, here’s a chance to use your artistic talent to illustrate how you see America. You pick the drawing materials-crayon? markers? colored pencils? Then use your creative talent to show others how you see this country. This is America. What do you see? Draw a picture and be part of an international study that spans 40 years.
Eligibility: Children ages 9-12
Karnik Looking for a Career Switch? Is this your dream job? You have heard the great resignation wave. Well, this great resignation wave has not spared public health departments. We want to understand what you value in a job, so try and make public health jobs more appealing and satisfying to you.
Eligibility: Age 18-35, Less than 5 years of full-time work experience, Bachelors degree or less, No prior work experience with a local public health department / agency
Kowalewski Handheld Drawing Robots Experience the future of handheld robotics. Draw a fine line nearly impossible for a human to draw. Tell us about your experience.
Eligibility: Age: 18+ for survey; Age: 0-99 for the experience!
LaLiberte & Piescher Child Protection – Are we getting it right? Child abuse has an enormous negative impact on children, their families, and on our community. Do you know what child abuse and neglect are? How do you think the community should respond? Who should be responsible for responding? And, how are those who are currently responsible doing? Come tell us your thoughts.
Eligibility: Age 18+, MN Resident, Not currently employed in state, county, or tribal child protective services
Lieberz & Borstad Learn What Your Numbers Predict! The purpose of this study is to further develop the Mobility Checkup, a preventative model of physical therapy care for older adults. The Mobility Checkup has two parts, measurement of physical performance and education. In previous studies we learned older adults prefer a short duration visit with an emphasis on balance assessment. In this study we will evaluate physical performance and educate participants regarding the meaning of their results. Participants will complete a survey to share their knowledge and opinions about the education received. The information will be used to further develop the Mobility Checkup.
Eligibility: 55 years of age or older, Walk with or without an assistive device
Looman & Geiger-Simpson Tip Top Kids 3 We want to know how kids are feeling about their life in general, and how much this changes over time. We’re asking teens and kids to draw a line to show us the ups and downs of their quality of life over the past year, and to answer a few survey questions about how they think and feel in general.
Eligibility: Kids and teens ages 8-17 (kids under 16 must have a parent present)
McCarty & Anderson Judge the Jab Vaccine hesitancy is currently a critical public health topic, with large variations in hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccination across the state of Minnesota. The purpose of this study is to quantify perceptions, knowledge, and actions about vaccination to inform efforts to improve vaccination rates in Minnesota.
Eligibility: Age 12+, MN resident
McGee Sun’s Out, Thumb’s Out The thumb is what makes the human hand so unique and useful, but how far it can normally reach/stretch away from the hand is not known. Occupational therapists and hand surgeons need to know these values to set goals and evaluate the success of their treatment for people with hand weakness. Let us measure your hand to better understand thumbs!
Eligibility: Age 4-21, No history of hand problems
McGovern I like to move it, move it: Come walk with us! Our research study aims to better understand balance and walking in healthy adults as a means to compare data to patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). This study uses small wearable devices that attach to your clothing and can measure your body’s location while performing walking and balance tests. This will help us understand how your body responds to these tests. You’ll even get to see your own avatar-like person within our software!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Misono & Weinstein Your VOICE matters! Our voice is our identity ,and issues with it can affect our lives in a big way. Unfortunately, studies have had a hard time figuring out who is having voice issues. By filling out a brief survey, you will help us know how people use their voice from day to day, and if and when their voices are giving them trouble. Whether you like to sing in a choir, or prefer to be quiet, we want to hear from you! This information can help us learn to identify those with voice disorders so they can get the care they need.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Morris & Craig Shuttle ahead! Follow or pass? The study will assess drivers’ decision making on whether they will wait after or pass by a shuttle bus with advanced features.
Eligibility: 18 years or older, Licensed Driver
Pianosi Short of Breath during Exercise? Breathing difficulty during physical activity is common in adolescents and may continue into adulthood. There are many causes for exertional dyspnea (EID) other than asthma. We wish to estimate prevalence, characteristics, & consequences of exertional dyspnea among MN youth.
Eligibility: Ages 12-24
Radomski Got Purpose? Your sense of purpose and meaning in daily life is important to your health and well-being. Take our 15-minute survey to help us explore how people like you think about purpose and meaning in everyday life.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Saini & Ludewig Shoulder Junction: What’s Your Function? Test your shoulder muscle function with us! See your muscle activity in real time using our specialized stick-on electrodes. It’s quick, easy, painless, and FUN!
Eligibility: Adults 18-60
Sasisekaran Speaking and Thinking: How it works? The Speech Fluency Lab is seeking participants, both children and adults, to participate in research studies. Participants will engage in computer tasks and assessments, and give a speech sample.
Eligibility: Interested in joining us on the Twin Cities campus at the Speech Fluency Lab? We want you!
Schorr & Theesfeld Know Your Numbers to Control Your Risk! Rate your cardiovascular disease risk first. Then you will be provided with educational materials on steps you can take to reduce your cardiovascular disease risk, as well as receive an estimated risk for heart attack and stroke based on a series of questions and measurements. Spin the wheel for a chance to walk away with a Garmin activity tracker!
Eligibility: Age 30+
Spector 10,000 Families Study 10,000 Families (10KFS) is a study of family health in Minnesota. 10KFS invites families to participate over time with the purpose of understanding the influences of genetics, lifestyle, and environment on health and illness. We are committed to welcoming families from every community across Minnesota and to taking participation opportunities on the road to greater Minnesota. Come find out about our new environmental exposures project, and join us in this discovery adventure that will improve health for future generations!
Eligibility: 1st participant: 18+ living in MN; Other family members must live in MN, ND, SD, IA, or WI and can be any age.
Strutt Finger Blood Flow, on a (selfie) stick A harmless, needle free smartphone application that measures finger blood flow to help diagnosis conditions such as dehydration in kids. Help us determine normal values of finger blood flow in kids aged 1 month to 17 years.
Eligibility: Kids aged 1 month – 17 years
Thielen Got Snot? The goal of our study is to understand how the microbes that live in your child’s respiratory tract, specifically in the nose, affect his or her risk for ear infections, colds, pneumonias, and other types of respiratory disease caused by viruses. For more info, go to z.umn.edu/minnelove
Eligibility: Children less than 5 years old as of November 1, 2022
Toff What on Earth Do You Mean? We want to hear what you think about the environment! This brief public opinion survey is designed to better understand what people think about environmental issues and public policies aimed at tackling such matters. Our project is designed to investigate not only what people think and why but how different ways of communicating about environmental issues affect people’s opinions about these topics.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Tracy COVID-19: Tell Us Your Story Did you have COVID-19 in the past year? Tell us about your symptoms, lasting effects and things that helped you recover.
Eligibility: Positive COVID-19 test within the past 12 months AND Had at least one symptom AND Age 18+ at the time
Vinogradov All Aboard the Brain Train Our ability to learn, remember, think about things, and solve problems is a very important aspect of our daily lives. These processes are known as cognition, and doctors often consider their patients’ cognitive abilities during evaluation and treatment for both physical and mental health conditions. In the CoTIPP Lab, we are very interested in discovering new ways to measure cognitive abilities and their changes over time. We are studying games on an iPad or laptop that test various aspects of cognition, such as attention, memory, and reaction time. These games will take less than 15 minutes to complete.
Eligibility: Aged 18-50, No history of moderate to severe TBI (requiring hospitalization), No use of alcohol or illicit substances in the last 8 hours
Warlick & Borofsky Prostate Cancer 101 Have you talked to your doctor about prostate cancer screening recently? Don’t worry! We are here to give you all the information you need on prostate cancer screening in a short and entertaining video. We will ask you to fill out a survey to test your knowledge of the subject before and after de video. This study aims to assess the value of the educational video on expanding the knowledge of men about prostate cancer screening.
Eligibility: Males age 40+
Whitwam Create a Healthier Future! Have you ever participated in a health research study? Volunteers play a key role in research and make new discoveries possible. Advancing health and healthcare for everyone means that we need people from different backgrounds, ages, genders, races, and ethnicities to participate. Some research studies need volunteers with certain conditions and some are open to healthy volunteers. Talk with us about how to get involved in University of Minnesota research and spin the wheel for a prize!
Eligibility: All ages
Williams Calling all STRONG Women! We are interested in gathering anonymous opinions and views on the receipt of care concerning health screenings and mental and emotional well-being from women age 18 years and up. Participants will complete a survey for a range of topics unique to women’s health care from menstruation to pregnancy and beyond. Results will be used to inform future clinical studies on the receipt of healthcare for women of all ages and backgrounds.
Eligibility: Women aged 18 years and older