Vision Research Institute

Clinical research activities at Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry are conducted at the Vision Research Institute (VRI) which is dedicated to the creation, development and testing of products and procedures for vision correction.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial or study is a closely supervised investigative process which aims to determine or confirm how a product or technique works in human patients. At the VRI we conduct trials that involve the testing of contact lens designs, contact lens examination or fitting techniques, contact lens care products, eyeglasses and optical instruments.

Study Volunteers

These trials, an essential part of the Institute’s research activities to improve eye care, rely heavily on the invaluable contributions of volunteer participants.

The VRI will be conducting numerous clinical studies every year for the global eyecare industry. Most studies will require 10–100 people to wear either well-known brands or developmental products for a specific time varying between 1 day up to a year or more.

We frequently require volunteers to participate in our studies. Mostly, we will require experienced contact lens wearers but also will need those that are eyeglass wearers and occasionally even those that don’t seem to have vision problems.

If you are interested in becoming a study volunteer please add your details to our recruitment form and we will contact you immediately to discuss this process. There is no age restriction to signing up for a study volunteer. For example, we are presently involved in research projects from 8 to 70 years old.

For some of these studies there is a nominal financial payment upon completion. Others may provide free products. Throughout, you will have access to expert treatment and eye care at the Michigan College of Optometry.

Of most importance, you will be helping others through clinical vision research, contributing to the development of future eyecare products and techniques for improved vision correction.

Our Investigational Review Process

The VRI clinical trials are reviewed by the Ferris State University Investigational Review Board (IRB) who must provide their approval prior to a clinical trial beginning. The IRB is responsible for ensuring that your rights and safety are protected and that no clinical trial procedures will be performed on you without your informed consent and approval.

The IRB approves study protocols, which is a carefully designed and detailed plan that is developed and then reviewed by a committee of experienced people. The protocol describes who may participate in a trial, the schedule of tests and procedures, what products are being tested and how long the trial will last.

During these clinical trials study participants will be seen regularly by the research staff to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the products or procedures that are being tested.