Participate in Research

Our research programs include studies on taste, smell, and sensory perception, as well as research to understand human health, development and behavior.

This page lists Monell studies that currently are seeking volunteer participants. We invite you to look below for studies that may interest you.

Questions about individual studies should be addressed to the research coordinator listed and general questions about this page and its content should be addressed to Dennis at 267-519-4813 or researchstudies@monell.org.

All studies have been approved by the University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board.

General Public

Adult Volunteers with Anosmia (no sense of smell) or Hyposmia (diminished sense of smell) are needed to assess how spice affects food liking and salt intake.

Adults with anosmia or hyposmia for at least 12 weeks and between the ages of 18 – 65 may qualify for a research study looking at the effect of spice in food liking and salt preference. This study involves 4 visits to the Monell Center.

Each session will last about 1 hour. You will be asked to answer questionnaires about what foods you eat, complete taste testing, and provide a urine sample.

You will receive up to $100 following the completion of the study.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Steph at shunter@monell.org

Ad posted 9/24/2021

Adult Volunteers Needed to Complete Four Different Smell Tests

Adults between the ages of 18-75 may qualify for a research study to validate SCENTinel, a newly developed rapid smell test to screen for smell loss, against three other commercially available smell tests: NIH Toolbox Odor Identification Test, B-SIT, and Sniffin Sticks. This study involves 1 visit to the Monell Center.

The visit will involve completing four different smell tests. You will also complete a brief health history questionnaire.

The visit will last ~60 minutes. You will receive $20 following the completion of the study.

Contact: shunter@monell.org

Ad posted 7/26/2021

Cranial Nerve Stimulation Study

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is looking for volunteers for a smell study to be conducted at the Center. This research explores the role of cranial nerve stimulation and how it impacts your sense of smell.

Eligible to adults 18 – 50 years of age. Subjects will be asked to detect, identify, discriminate, and evaluate various smells. Subjects may be asked to wear a small ear clip that contains an electrode that delivers a mild electrical impulse to stimulate cranial nerves.

The total estimated time of your participation in this study is up to 3 (three) hours over separate visits.

We will compensate subjects for participation and travel costs for each study visit. Compensation based upon completion of tasks and length of participation.

Some exclusion criteria apply; please contact the lab for more information.

Contact Kristen at lundstromlab@monell.org.

Reposted 7/12/2021.

Subjects 18 to 55 Needed for Paid Study

Subjects ages 18 to 55 years qualify for a study where participants will be asked to detect, identify, discriminate, and evaluate different smell stimuli. Compensation is $15/hour + $5 for transportation per testing session. You may be invited back for additional sessions. Study visits (lasting up to 2 hours) during which you will be asked to smell different odors are involved.

Contact Emily at smellmonell@gmail.com.

Ad posted 6/23/2021

Healthy Male Volunteers Needed to Donate Sweat Samples

Healthy males between the ages of 21 – 40 may qualify for a research study looking at the effect of emotional state on skin chemistry. This study involves 2 visits to the Monell Center separated by 5 days using a non-fragranced soap.

The second visit will involve performing problem-solving tasks and donating sweat samples. You will receive $50 following the completion of the study.

Contact us at daltonlab@monell.org for more information.

Ad posted 6/16/2021

Moms and Their Children Needed for a Paid Study

Moms whose child is 3 to 10 years old may join the study. The goals of this research study being conducted at the Monell Center are to learn how diet and taste preferences affect the composition of hair in healthy adults and children.

There is no cost to participate. We will compensate subjects for participation and travel costs for each study visit. Contact us at 267‐519‐4888 for more information.

Ad posted 5/26/2021

Adults Needed for a Study on the Taste of Medicines

Adults are needed for a research study on the taste of medicines for children. There will be multiple test sessions each lasting 1 hour and will require you to do smell and taste testing, complete questionnaires, and provide a saliva sample.

You will be compensated for your participation. If interested, call 267-519-4888 for more information.

Ad posted 5/26/2021

Taste Perception Across the Globe

The Reed Lab is currently conducting a study to investigate global diversity in the perception of taste of certain medications. Many medication formulations are created, tested on, and based on information from mostly people of European descent. However, we know that perception of taste varies greatly and is likely to vary among different ethnic groups. Medicines that were created on a Eurocentric basis may taste entirely different to those of other ethnicities. Higher levels of medication bitterness can reduce medicine compliance for chronic, life-threatening ailments such as HIV-AIDs, parasite infections, and malaria. We are interested in this variability of taste, and how it may affect individuals’ taste of particularly bitter medicines. We are hoping to find people who represent diverse ancestral groups to participate in our research.

If you are interested or have any questions, please email lab manager Katie Bell at kbell@monell.org. Participants will be mailed a taste kit containing 12 solutions, which they will taste, make a rating on, and spit out. This will occur during a scheduled 30–45-minute Zoom meeting. A saliva sample must also be provided by subjects for DNA testing. Participants will be compensated for their time with a $50 Amazon gift card. The entire process is remote, in the comfort of your own home!

Ad posted 5/19/2021

Healthy female volunteers needed to smell odor-filled pens 6 times a week for 6 weeks

Healthy females between the ages of 50 – 65 may qualify for a research study looking at the effect of odor training on olfactory performance. This study involves 2 visits to the Monell Center which will involve smelling odors and making ratings about those odors for the purpose of testing sensitivity and (on first session) instruction on the at-home sessions. These visits are separated by 6 weeks of at-home sessions, 6 sessions per week, each lasting ~10 minutes, with half of the sessions occurring under the supervision of an experimenter using video-conferencing technology.

You will receive $300 following the completion of the study. If you would like to participate in this study or have any questions, please send an email to daltonlab@monell.org.

Ad posted 3/25/2021

Subjects Needed for Taste Research

What: Sample solutions (mostly food and flavor ingredients) and make judgments regarding sensory properties.
Where: Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street
When: Study Starting Now
Contact: Natasha at (267) 519-4777 or tastesensitivitystudy@gmail.com for details.

Ad posted 1/24/2019 and recruitment is open until we reach a sufficient number of participants.

Sense of Smell and COVID-19

Do you want to test your sense of smell from home?

Have you recently experienced any flu symptoms?

You may qualify for a scientific study, performed by the Monell Chemical Senses Center, about the sense of smell and how the flu/COVID affects it.

Information about the test:

  • You will receive by mail a set of scratch and sniff odor cards with instructions on how to use them and how to access the website where you will write your answers.
  • It will take about 15-20 minutes to perform the odor test and complete few demographic and health questions.
  • The test will be performed online at your convenience.
  • You will need access to the internet and a physical address so we can snail mail the scratch and sniff odor cards.

Who to Contact:
If you would like to participate in this study or have any questions, please send an email to smellstudy@monell.org.

Ad posted 05/11/2020.

Studies for Children

The Snacks and Smiles Study

Mothers and their children (3-6 years) are needed for a research study. Compensation for time and travel will be provided.

The goals of the 5-month research study being conducted at Temple University [3223 N. Broad Street] and Monell Center [3500 Market Street] are to learn how children grow to like new foods and have healthy smiles.

If interested, please text or call 267-428-7883.