2021 Study Descriptions

Principal Investigator(s) Study Title Description
Adams, Chieffe & Zuniga The Great Minnesota Earwax Study! What do you do with your earwax?  Clean it out with a cotton swab?  Rinse it? Or, nothing at all?  We will ask you some questions about your ear cleaning habits and earwax knowledge.  Then you will get to see the inside of your ear canal as we photograph it with a tiny camera. The information you provide will help promote healthy ear hygiene habits for all Minnesotans.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Aseeri Interest Survey for Virtual Reality Experiments Are you interested in Virtual Reality (VR) technology? The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota conducts studies using VR in various research disciplines. We aim to collect as much data as possible to add them to our mailing list for later requests to participate in future VR experiments. We encourage all ages over 18, including seniors, to participate.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Austin, Rajamani & Monsen Show Us Your Strengths! MyStrengths+MyHealth is a whole-person assessment used to understand what you think of your own strengths, challenges, and needs related to health. MyStrengths+MyHealth seeks to understand all aspects of health including the physical and social environments in which we live and our physical health.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Bader, Tessier & Gill Eating for Two? We commonly hear that during pregnancy, women are ‘eating for two’; is this true? We want to know your thoughts about recommended weight gain in pregnancy and physical activity during pregnancy. No personal identifying information is collected. We will give you a small gift for your participation!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Men and Women
Benbenek Got Shots? In these uncertain times, are you likely to get vaccines or not? If you have children do you or will you vaccinate them? What concerns, if any, do you have about vaccines? Come share your thoughts on vaccines!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Bowyer The F5 Storm: What’s our opportunity? The F5 storm – numerous factors have created tremendous career opportunities in Food, Fuel, Feed, Fabrication, and Finance. These good job openings in agriculture continue to go unfilled creating issues for employers and the supply chain. This study examines participants’ thoughts and outlook on the future of food and agriculture careers in urban and rural communities.
Eligibility: Age 16+
Duval Let us knock your socks off! Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects at least 12 million Americans. Come and find out what it is and have a screening test. It’s simple, painless and takes less than 5 minutes. We are saving limbs and saving lives!
Eligibility: Age 60+
Ebert Talking and Thinking: How are they connected? How do general thinking abilities, like memory and attention, affect language development in children? Help us find out! In this study, children will complete two computer games that test memory and attention. They’ll also tell a story and repeat sentences, so that we can measure their language skills. A parent will be asked questions about the child’s development and language. Kids will receive a prize and parents will receive a gift card for participation.
Eligibility: Ages 4-10 & parent
Normal hearing
Eisenberg Let’s talk about sex….. education! What do you think about sex education in school? What should be taught, to whom, when, and how? We want to hear your opinions!
Eligibility: MN resident
Parent/Guardian of child age 5-18 (including bio, adoptive, step)
Fan & Douma Self-Driving Shuttles Coming to Minnesota In the foreseeable future, daily trips may take the form of hailing a driverless shuttle through an app which ferries you from your door to the trip deinsations or the nearest public transport terminal. In fact, autonomous shuttles have been deployed in several cities in Minnesota this summer. So what will it take to make them part of your daily commute?
Eligibility: Age 18+
Goldberg The PREC(ar)IOUS Family Study Families experience and cope with stress in a variety of ways and the type of work you do may be a reason why this happens. Take our survey to help us understand how working families survive and thrive.
Eligibility: Aged 18 or older; currently employed or looking for work; provide primary financial and caretaking support to a child, elder, or disabled family member.
Griffin Face Scanning & Mask Fit Help us create better masks and head gear. Get your face scanned and test masks!
Eligibility: Must be 4-18 years old OR over 55
Hastings & Buck-Wischmeier Perceptions on Teledentistry This brief survey will explore Minnesotans’ attitudes towards Teledentistry and acceptance of use.
Eligibility: Age 18+
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 years. 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: Kids ages 3-7 and their parents
Hutto #WeAskU-MN: #consent for pelvic exams The purpose of this study is to gain understanding of Minnesota female community members’ perceptions, attitudes and experiences related to medical pelvic exams and the involvement of medical students in completion of this sensitive exam in order to develop and propose an ethical policy on behalf of the University of Minnesota Medical School that best serves both patients and the education of medical students.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Female or in need of pelvic exam MN Resident
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: Age 9-12
Kerber Memorable COVID-19 Messages at Work Were you an essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic? Tell us your stories about the memorable ways your workplace communicated with you about COVID-19! Sharing your experiences will help us improve health communication at work.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Must have worked in a frontline, essential job (requiring you to be on-site and in close proximity to other people) for at least one month since March 2020.
Lesinski The Great Minnesota Get-Together: What Makes it So? What does the State Fair have to do with Minnesota’s political culture? What can the State Fair tell us about visitors’ values? Fill out a quick survey about your civic and political engagement and share your reflections on the Fair!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Lieberz, Moffett & Borstad Show us your TUFF! In this study we will collect older adults’ preferences for a new model of physical therapy care called a Mobility Checkup using a survey. A Mobility Checkup includes measures of mobility disability for individuals at risk for age-related mobility loss. This new model of care, similar to a dental checkup, is preventative. We will also determine the normal amount of time needed to complete the Timed Up From Floor (TUFF) test, a component of the Mobility Checkup, by timing participants as they get up from the floor.
Eligibility: Age 55+
No recent injuries
Looman Tip Top Kids 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 adolescents ages 8 – 17
(kids ages 12 and under must have a parent or guardian present)
McCarty How Do Your Genes Fit? Pharmacogenomics is the study of how our genes influence the way medications work in our bodies. Minnesota is working on integrating pharmacogenomics into clinical care to help individualize treatment to each unique patient. By taking this survey, you will help us understand how Minnesotans feel about this innovative technology. No previous knowledge on the topic required.
Eligibility: Age 18+
MN resident
McGee Have a ‘GRIP’ on things? Come and prove it! Come and have your grip strength measured with a new testing device. Session will take 15 minutes or less. Participants will be compensated for their time with a University of Minnesota Drawstring Backpack.
Eligibility: Adults age 18-49
No pre-existing health problems that affect the hands
McGee & Johnson Sun’s Out, Thumbs 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 with our software!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Morris & Craig I Can’t Drive 55 The survey will assess driving behaviors, attitudes, and acceptance of various technologies, and modes of travel.
Eligibility: Must be a licensed driver
Nachbor & Dusenbery People Helping People: Better Understanding Sarcoma Goals 1. Increase awareness of sarcoma among State Fair population. 2. Identify reach of rein in sarcoma – what is working and is not 3. Collect information about ‘what I wish I knew when I was diagnosed,’ to understand what cancer survivors & family want medical providers to understand.
Eligibility: Age 18+
MN resident
Philbrick Blood Pressure On a Stick In a clinic setting, blood pressure is often higher at the beginning of a visit, and then decreases as the visit goes on. For this study, we want to see if this also happens in a diverse state fair population. Participants will be asked to complete a short survey then stay seated quietly in a chair and have their blood pressure measured every 5 minutes for 15 minutes.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Diagnosed high BP
Not pregnant
Pitt & Marmet Say What? Help us eliminate the need for Doctor-to-English translation Doctors and patients often don’t speak the same language – even when they are trying to. In this brief and fun interactive survey, we are looking to identify common phrases that doctors say that may not be understood by their patients, and find better ways for doctors to communicate.
Eligibility: Age 18+
no prior medical training
Samimi Safe at School? This study asks what people think about the role of police in public schools. Anyone living in Minnesota who is over 18 years old is eligible to complete the survey.
Eligibility: Age 18+
MN resident
Saupe Maple Syrup: You be the Judge! Maple syrup is graded based on several criteria including flavor and color. The purposes of this study are: (a) to determine the ability of consumers to distinguish a good-quality syrup from one with an ‘off-flavor;’ and (b) to determine the accuracy of instrumental and visual methods for color grading. The end result is that participants will better be able to assess the quality of the maple syrup they consume.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Schroeder, Dudley & Mukku Freshwater Sponges and Citizen Scientists! Sponges are the simplest of animals and known to play a significant role in lakes and rivers. Over the last few years, faculty and students at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) have been working to determine the presence and distribution of freshwater sponges in the state. The initial studies have determined that freshwater sponges are very prevalent in Minnesota’s waters; however, obtaining a comprehensive library of freshwater sponges is challenging in the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes.’ We intend to combat this challenge with the help of citizen scientists. We will be teaching citizens about sponges, letting them view their structure under microscopes, and recruit citizen scientists interested in locating and collecting freshwater sponges in lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota.
Eligibility: Open to everyone! Kids under 12 need parent/guardian.
Smith Bringing Sexy Back The purpose of the research is to learn about the sexual health knowledge, awareness, and health seeking practices of adults. Researcher’s knowledge about sexual health today comes from special groups like people who sell sex or gender/sexual minorities. This means we have a poor understanding about the sexual health beliefs of everyone else! This study will therefore include a few questions about what you know about sex and STIs, as well as some recent sexual behaviors and any STI-related symptoms you may have ever experienced.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Sexually active
Spafford & Salisbury Aging in Motion This study will look at the correlation between cognitive function, physical fitness, and bio-markers on overall cognitive, physical, and emotional well being in adults 55+.
Eligibility: Age 55+
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 fostering an inclusive environment for families from every community across Minnesota. Join us in this discovery adventure that will improve health for future generations!
Eligibility: The first family member needs to: – live in Minnesota; – be at least 18 years old; – have at least one adult family member or child under age 18 living in MN, WI, IA, ND, or SD.
Strickland & Hedberg You’ve Got the Whole (Microbial) World in Your Hands This study uses a combination of survey questions and hand swabbing to determine if participants with specific fair exposures have foodborne illness-causing bacteria on their hands. Survey questions will also be used to investigate what behaviors might make some participants more likely to transmit these bacteria.
Eligibility: Visited at least one animal exhibit today at the fair.
Parent/Guardian consent for kids under 18.
Toonstra & Lefebvre Is Exercise Medicine? We are studying the general population’s knowledge of the use of exercise as treatment for disease in those hospitalized or with chronic conditions.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Turcotte & Konczak No peeking! Where is your hand? In this study, participants will locate their occluded fingertip position from the visual display on a tablet. This study aims to measure how accurate their proprioception (the perception of body limb position and movement) is.
Eligibility: Children ages 3 to 17.
Individuals under age 14 must be with a parent or guardian.
No history of neurological disorders.
No current damage on the finger, hand or forearm.
Vachon & Hedberg Now that’s a Fair Question! This is a survey designed to assess how 4 distinct attributes (resource accessibility, time availability, consequences, and social influence) influence a person’s willingness to wash hands after exiting animal areas at agricultural fairs.
Eligibility: Age 18+
Vinogradov All Aboard the Brain Train 2021 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: Ages 18-80
Vinogradov & Bronstein The Social Situation Game Imagine seeing a friend in the crowd at the fair. You wave, but they do not wave back! Are they mad at you? Did they just not see? In social situations like this, we have to figure out what is happening. We want to know more about how young people with different experiences do this. To help us learn more, come play a game where you will imagine yourself in some social situations, and tell us what you think is happening. Gift cards will be given to people who complete our study.
Eligibility: Age 12-17
Wise, Erickson & Terrell You and Your Uterus: Could This Be Cancer? Uterine cancer is on the rise. We want to know what you know about this often treatable disease. Take a brief survey to help us understand your knowledge!
Eligibility: Age 18+
Female sex