Participate in Research

We invite you to look below for studies that may interest you. Our research programs include studies on taste, smell, and sensory perception, as well as research to understand human health, development and behavior. 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 All studies have been approved by the University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board.

Want to be contacted for future research studies? Fill out the form located towards the bottom of this page, or click here to jump directly to it.

Adult Volunteers Needed to Complete Four Different Smell Tests

Adults between the ages of 18-85 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.


Ad Updated 9/15/2022

Adults May Qualify for a Research Study Looking at Odors and Irritation

Adults between the ages of 18 – 60 may qualify for a research study looking at odors and irritation. This study involves 2 sessions at the Monell Center.

The first session may last up to 3 hours. Session 2 will last up to 2.5 hours. If you qualify you will be asked to

  • Attend 2 Sessions: The first sessions may last up to 3 hours. Session 2 will last up to 2.5 hours
  • Wear goggles that expose your eyes to odors
  • Make ratings about levels of irritation

You will receive $150 following the completion of the study.

Who to Contact:
Any questions that you may have about this research study can be answered by emailing

Ad Posted 8/26/2022

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

Ad posted 9/24/2021

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

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

Ad posted 6/23/2021

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

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 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

Ad posted 3/25/2021

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

Ad posted 05/11/2020.

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.

You Can Join Our Research Participant Database!

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Gender Identity(Required)

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You are being asked to provide information about yourself for a central file to be used by Monell researchers ONLY.

Monell researchers may use the information in this file to contact you about future research opportunities. In addition, the central file may be used to furnish funding agencies with basic descriptive information about participants in Monell studies (e.g., number of participants, ages, gender, etc.). You will not be identified by name in any information provided to outside agencies.

Your participation is completely voluntary and you may say no to any study team which contacts you without fear of being overlooked for future studies. You need only complete the requested information. There are no risks or costs to you, and you will not be compensated for providing the information. Further, you may withdraw your information from the file at any time by calling Monell at (267) 519-4813.

We appreciate your participation in our research and offer this as an opportunity for other research teams to recruit you for their studies. However, if during the course of a study you do not comply with the research protocol, you might not be contacted for further studies.

Neither filling this form nor being added to the database is a guarantee that you will be contacted in the future.

Every attempt will be made by Monell staff to maintain strict confidentiality for all information collected in the central file, except as may be required by court order or by law. Authorized representatives of the University of Pennsylvania and the Monell Chemical Senses Center will have access to and may copy information from the central file which may identify you by name.

If you wish further information regarding your rights as a research participant, you may contact the Director of Regulatory Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania by telephoning (215) 573-2540.