How To Find Clinical Trials

There are many different motivations for participating in a clinical research study, and it’s a complex decision that deserves thorough consideration. Unfortunately, the process is complicated further because finding a clinical trial that’s right for you has traditionally been difficult due to a lack of awareness and accessible information. Sometimes your doctor might be aware of relevant trials and be able to point you in the right direction, but often patients are left to their own devices. has been the standard reference for information on clinical trials, but its outdated interface and can be hard to navigate and the often jargon-heavy trial descriptions are not exactly optimized for patient understanding. In this article, we’ll go through some of the best ways to find information about clinical trials.

Finding information about clinical trials

One of the best ways to find clinical trials is online. Multiple sites offer information about both ongoing and completed clinical research studies. Among them, the long-standing go-to for finding information about clinical trials has been, although it was primarily designed for researchers rather than patients and can thus be dense and hard to navigate and digest the information. Luckily, new solutions such as Power have made it significantly easier for patients to find relevant clinical trials and empower them to make informed decisions. Let’s take a look at some online platforms for finding clinical trials.

The best places to find clinical trials online

The following platforms offer a convenient and easy way for patients to find a clinical trial and confirm that it matches their needs. Here are our top 5 suggestions:

  • Power is a patient-centric platform designed to help patients find clinical trials through an easy-to-navigation and user-friendly interface. You can find a relevant clinical trial by searching and filtering by location, condition, and even what level of safety and efficacy evidence has been collected for the study treatment thus far. One of the stand-out features of Power is that trials are described in simple, everyday language and details are laid out with full transparency. Once you find a trial that seems to be a good fit, you can confirm your basic eligibility by answering some quick questions, and can then contact the study sponsor/site directly.
  • This website is a resource provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Library of Medicine (NLM). It gathers information about clinical trials worldwide. However, the website interface is somewhat outdated and clunky and can be difficult to navigate, and some of the studies listed are either completed or not in the recruiting phase. Thus, it can be a good resource but is not the optimal solution for finding a relevant clinical trial and understanding your eligibility. Tip: For a slightly more intuitive search, head over to, which makes it somewhat easier to search through the database of trials.
  • Organized by Antidote, a digital patient engagement organization, this clinical trial database is helpful in refining and narrowing down your searches and connecting to clinical trials, although it is still limited in functionality and ease-of-use.
  • CISCRP, the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, is a non-profit organization whose primary focus is on increasing awareness regarding clinical trial participation. They offer a free “Search Clinical Trials” tool, which works by patients filling out a form with their basic information and search intent. CISCRP then attempts to identify clinical trials relevant to your criteria and sends you a reply within 48 hours. It works a little differently than the other more “direct” search platforms listed here, but offers a potential benefit by having CISCRP’s team help navigate potential matches for you.
  • CenterWatch also provides a simple search tool allowing you to browse clinical trials based on medical condition, therapeutic area, treatment, and location. You can also check basic eligibility and contact the study sponsors directly through the site.

How else can I find clinical trials?

This is a common question that patients may ask themselves or their healthcare providers. Other potential ways to find out about clinical trials include:

  • Physician referrals: Your doctor may be able to point you toward research studies relevant to your condition, but this depends on him/her knowing about them
  • Treatment clinics: Clinics offering treatment for a given condition may advertise clinical trials being conducted at that clinic or in the area
  • Research hospitals and sites: Research hospitals often act as study sites, sometimes for numerous trials at once. Such places can be a good source of information, especially if they are involved in research related to your condition. Further, these sites are usually involved in a network of research institutions, and may be able to point you in the right direction for further information.
  • Patient advocacy groups: Patient organizations will usually monitor for clinical trials in order to inform their members about potential opportunities. Sponsors may even reach out to patient advocacy groups directly to advertise relevant trials or connect with potential participants
  • Online forums/support groups: Dedicated groups and forums on social media platforms, such as subReddits for your condition, may be a valuable source of information for trials, particularly remote or decentralized trials which may be possible to join even if you don’t live near a specific trial site.

If you haven’t been referred to a study and/or if the above possibilities haven’t been fruitful for your search, you can try finding a clinical trial through an online search. In the broadest approach, you can simply open a search engine and type in keywords for your specific condition, location, and preferences. You can also search for research centers in the area, potentially narrowing down the results to more relevant places. Searches could look something like the following hypothetical examples:

  • “Clinical studies near me”
  • “Clinical trials near me”
  • “[insert condition] clinical trials 2023”
  • “Clinical trials in [insert city]”

A drawback of this method is that you will likely have to sort through many pages and websites. However, trying different keywords will also increase the chance that you are shown ads (the top results) that are actually relevant to your search. An example of this is trying nearby city names or the state instead of the city, switching the order of words, or searching for a specific type of cancer in both broad and narrow terms (i.e., lung cancer vs non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma).

While all of these are potential sources of information to help you find clinical trials, we recommend speaking with your physician and using the dedicated online platforms for finding clinical trials. These platforms aggregate clinical trial data from across the country and even worldwide, and are designed with the specific purpose of matching patients with relevant research studies.


We hope you now have a clearer idea of how to go about finding clinical trials. Dedicated search tools such as Power are a first-line source for information about clinical trials. Regardless of how you come across a trial, we urge you to gather as much information as you need to feel comfortable and understand the study before enrolling. Consult with your doctor, and family members and clarify any doubts. Your contribution to clinical research is extremely valuable and offers many potential benefits, both personal and for the broader community of patients and researchers, but like any treatment, it also carries risks which should be consciously considered to ensure you feel comfortable and enjoy your clinical trial experience!