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Explore Minneapolis VA's nationally recognized research initiatives, with specialty programs in brain sciences, chronic disease outcomes, geriatrics, and adaptive design and engineering. You can also volunteer to participate in a research study.

Minneapolis VA Health Care System hosts one of the largest and most active research programs in the VA health care system. There are currently over 150 investigators conducting more than 500 research projects, with funding from the NIH, VA, foundations and industry. The research program is affiliated with the University of Minnesota.

Investigators, staff and collaborators - learn more about the Minneapolis VA Research Service

Volunteer for a research study

VA researchers wouldn't be able to make the advancements they do without help from the volunteers who take part in studies. If you'd like to contribute to VA's medical advancements, consider participating in research. 

Veterans, learn more about volunteering for a VA research study

How VA safeguards your personal information

Why VA research matters

Research studies are important, because they can help provide:

  • An organized, methodical way to learn more about a specific concern
  • Answers about whether or not a treatment is effective
  • A better understanding about which health care services are effective and efficient
  • Opportunities to test whether a drug or piece of equipment is safe and effective
  • Answers to questions about the best way to treat or prevent an illness

If you decide to volunteer for a research study, you can change your mind at any time. Your decision to participate will not affect your VA benefits.

Learn how Patrick's choice to volunteer for VA research led him in a new direction.

Patrick Sanders, a Veteran from Rochester, Minn., didn't know when he signed up for a Minneapolis VA research study that this decision would open up a whole new world for him.

After his service in the Navy as a nuclear power plant operator on a submarine (1992-1996), Mr. Sanders returned to civilian life with a job as a financial analyst and a love of motorcycling. When he lost a leg in a motorcycle accident, he was introduced to the world of prosthetics and prosthetics research at the Minneapolis VA medical center.

Mr. Sanders has participated in about a dozen different studies run by investigators with the Minneapolis Adaptive Design and Engineering Program (MADE), including testing powered robotic ankles.

He enjoys participating in VA research because it exposes him to cutting edge technology and allows him to help advance the field for the benefit of others. This involvement in VA research led Mr. Sanders to a whole new career - he's now getting his master’s degree in prosthetics!

Find out how Frederick Crimmins lives the Air Rescue Service motto.

“These things we do that others may live” is the motto of the Air Rescue Service (ARS) where Frederick Crimmins served from 1975 to 1996. After his retirement from the Air Force, Mr. Crimmins returned to civilian life, working as a letter carrier

After he raised two children and coached high school hockey for 20 years, Mr. Crimmins now lives with his wife in Brooklyn Park, Minn. and is looking forward to getting back into coaching during his retirement.

Taking the ARS motto to heart, Mr. Crimmins recently volunteered to be in a Minneapolis VA research study. According to research study coordinator Marti Donaire, Mr. Crimmins’ willingness to share details of challenging life experiences was “an inspiration” to the research staff.

Equally inspirational was his rationale for volunteering: his hope that the study would lead to improved care for fellow Veterans.

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