Driven to Discover Research Facility at State Fair

Assessing public perceptions of research at the 2024 MN State Fair and beyond

John Merritt

CTSI has had a presence at the Minnesota State Fair since 2012. This year, several CTSI colleagues will conduct a survey on public perceptions of health research. 

“The goal of the ‘Help Us Help U: Your Voice in Research’ survey is to gain valuable insight from the public to help inform CTSI’s education and support for study teams,” said Megan Hoffman, MA, program director of CTSI Research Training and Participant Engagement. “We will use the results to advise research teams on how to create a more positive research participant experience and ultimately improve future studies.” 

Survey questions ascertain research awareness, preferred ways of engagement, and overall willingness to participate in a study. It also delves into reasons that would motivate survey takers to participate in a health research study and what factors would be most important to them when deciding to participate, including:

  • To help others and benefit future generations
  • To help discover better medicines or treatments
  • Interest in the research topic
  • It was recommended to me by a friend or loved one
  • …and more.

The State Fair will be one of three methods CTSI’s Recruitment Team plans to use to reach 2,000 people in the community. There will also be social media ads and collaborations with local community centers. 

At the 2024 State Fair, CTSI will be at the Driven to Discover Research Facility at 1367 Cosgrove Street on the following dates:

  • Monday, August 26
  • Wednesday, August 28
  • Friday, August 30

Fairgoers will also have the opportunity to check out StudyFinder, which made its debut at the Fair in 2014. The StudyFinder website helps people find and connect with enrolling studies at the University of Minnesota. Last year, the Driven to Discover Research Facility had over 55,000 visitors with more than 17,000 people enrolling in a research study.