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PTSD: National Center for PTSD


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Research at the National Center for PTSD: Join a Study



This section is for Veterans, General Public, Family, & Friends

This section is for Veterans, General Public, Family, and Friends

Research at the National Center for PTSD: Join a Study

Taking part in research studies can be interesting for you and it contributes to helping others by advancing knowledge. For example, you might help researchers better understand:

  • trauma and its effects
  • how PTSD effects people over time or how it effects different types of people
  • which treatments are best for PTSD and related symptoms
  • how to decrease risk for PTSD

What you should know before taking part in research

It's a good idea to learn more about what to expect and what to ask the research project staff before you volunteer to participate in a study. Helpful information can be found in FAQs from VA's Office of Research Oversight and A Participant's Guide to Mental Health Clinical Research by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Most studies involve informed consent. This is a process of learning about the benefits, potential risks, and eligibility requirements for the study. Your agreement to participate should be based upon clear understanding of the study and how it might affect you.

In addition to the studies by National Center for PTSD investigators listed below, you can also find out about the different types of research on PTSD and trauma that are accepting volunteers by:

  • searching for government-funded studies on PTSD using, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • looking for opportunities to participate at your local VA

Research opportunities at the National Center for PTSD

There are always studies at National Center for PTSD sites that are looking for volunteers. Many of these studies provide financial compensation to participants. You can use the contact information listed below to obtain more information or to see if you are eligible to enroll. Please note that many studies seek volunteers without PTSD in addition to volunteers who experience the condition.

Study: Tobacco treatment as augmentation to Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD

Location: VA Boston Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA
Description: This VA-funded study seeks volunteers who are smokers with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The purpose of the study is to test how tobacco use affects recovery from PTSD during PTSD treatment. In this study, there are 26 visits over 6 months. Participants may receive tobacco cessation treatment or health education treatment and all participants will receive PTSD treatment. Study participants will be paid for participation.
Principal Investigator: Sandra Japuntich, Ph.D.
Study Website: Details available via
Contact for further information: Study line - (857)364-4158
Study Data Collection: Ongoing until March 2019

Study: Neurobiological and Psychological Benefits of Exercise in Chronic Pain and PTSD

Location: VA Boston Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain
Description: This is a VA-funded project based at the VA Boston Healthcare System in Boston, MA. The study is seeking 60 Veterans who are trauma exposed, with or without chronic pain and PTSD, to participate in a three month exercise training program. We are interested in determining the potential psychological and neurobiological benefits exercise has to offer to individuals suffering from chronic pain and PTSD. Veterans are compensated up to $885 for their participation in all aspects of the study. All information is confidential.
Principal Investigator: Erica Scioli-Salter, PhD
Contact for further information: Anna Tyzik, (857) 364-5568
Study data collection: Ongoing until October 1, 2017

Study: Survey of Experiences of Returning Veterans (SERV)

Location: Nationwide
Description: This is a VA-funded project based at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT. The study is seeking 1200 separated OEF/OIF Veterans from all 50 states to participate in a telephone interview every three months for one year. Veterans are compensated up to $250 for their time. All calls are confidential.
Principal Investigator: Rani Hoff, PhD
Contact for further information: Elizabeth Dombrowski, (203) 932-5711 ext 3730
Study Website:
Study data collection: Ongoing until October 1, 2015

Study: Comparative Effectiveness Research in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (CERV-PTSD)

Locations: Atlanta VA Medical Center in Atlanta, GA; Cincinnati VA Medical Center Trauma Recovery Center in Cincinnati, OH; Durham VA Medical Center in Durham, NC; Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital/James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center in Hines, IL (Chicago Area); George E. Whalen VA Medical Center is Salt Lake City, UT; Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland, OH; Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX, Minneapolis VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN; New Mexico VA Healthcare System in Albuquerque, NM; Phoenix VA Healthcare System in Phoenix, AZ; San Francisco VA Medical Center in San Francisco, CA; Southeast Louisiana VA Healthcare System in New Orleans, LA; Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, AL; VA Long Beach Healthcare System in Long Beach, CA; VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park Division, in Palo Alto, CA; VA Puget Sound Healthcare System (American Lake and Seattle Divisions) in Seattle, WA; William S. Middleton Memorial Veteran Hospital in Madison, WI
Description: This is a VA-funded research study based in White River Junction, Vermont and collecting data at 17 VA Medical Center sites around the country. The goal of the study is to directly compare two evidence-based treatments for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), to determine which is more effective at treating PTSD symptoms. The target sample is 900 male and female Veterans with PTSD. Participation includes approximately 12 treatment sessions with a trained VA therapist as well as both telephone and in-person assessments. These assessments include a 2 hour baseline telephone assessment prior to treatment, and four 1 hour telephone assessments after beginning treatment. Recruitment will begin in Spring 2014.
Principal Investigator: Paula Schnurr, PhD
Contact for further information: Kristina Caudle, (802) 295-9363 ext 6955
Study Website: Details available via
Study data collection: Ongoing until October 2017

Study: Structural and Spectroscopy Pharmaco-Imaging Paradigm to Investigate the Effect of Riluzole in Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Location: VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT.
Principal Investigator: Chadi Abdallah, M.D.
Contact for further information: Heather Douglas-Palumberi, M.A. office: 203-932-5711 (Ext. 5314)
Description: This five year clinical trial is funded in part by the National Center for PTSD (NC-PTSD) and is based in the Clinical Neurosciences Division, located in West Haven, CT. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Riluzole in patients with PTSD. Patients will be randomized to receive either 50 mg of Riluzole twice per day or placebo, orally, for 8 weeks as outpatients. An additional 4-weeks of open-label Riluzole will be available during the follow-up period. The purpose of this clinical trial is to: determine the efficacy of Riluzole in improving PTSD symptoms, to identify the biological correlates of response to Riluzole treatment, and to determine the effect of Riluzole on hippocampal volume and the glutamatergic system in PTSD subjects.
Three groups of participants are being recruited: (1) Participants who have experienced trauma and have PTSD, (2) Participants who have experienced trauma and do not have PTSD, and (3) Participants who have not experienced trauma and do not have PTSD.
Study Website: Details available via
Study Data Collection: Ongoing until 2018

For more information

Find out about research topics at each Division of the National Center for PTSD on our Research Initiatives page in the About Us section.

Date this content was last updated is at the bottom of the page.

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