Volunteer in our research studies

Participation in research studies can lead to new or improved treatments in eye and vision care.

Studies currently recruiting new subjects are below. All studies have been reviewed and have received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Board.

We thank you in advance for your consideration.

Investigating the influence of magnetic stimulation on visual plasticity in adults with normal vision

We are looking for healthy adults for a study examining the effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on visual plasticity following patching of one eye. rTMS is a safe, non-invasive brain stimulation technique that uses magnetic field to modulate the activity of neurons in the brain. Participants will patch one eye for one hour and receive either real or sham stimulation for 15 minutes in each of three visits.

Eligibility: Healthy volunteers (18-35 years old) with normal visual acuity (at least 6/6 in each eye, with or without optical correction), normal stereo vision and no active eye diseases.

Time commitment: Attend four visits in total (at least 48 hours apart). The first visit will be about 45 minutes. The other three visits will be about 1 hour and 45 minutes each. You will be given $20 per visit (~$120 for all visits) in appreciation of your time, plus reimbursement for parking in X Lot if needed.

To participate, please contact Xiaoxin Chen at xiaoxin.chen@uwaterloo.ca

Development of Form Visual Acuity in Infants

We have developed a new test of visual acuity (VA) designed for young children called the Waterloo Differential Acuity Test (WatDAT). We expect that this test will be more sensitive for detecting vision problems earlier in young children. We are comparing how children perform on this test compared to other clinical tests and also collecting normal data for the test. The study includes tasks such as pointing at shapes and faces shown on a touch screen.  The study's primary investigator is Dr. Susan Leat; other investigators are Drs. Christian, D. Jones, McCulloch and Irving.

Eligibility: Healthy children (18-<48 months old) with typical development for their age.

Time commitment:  One in-person visit at the School of Optometry & Vision Science lasting about 30 minutes with an optional second visit later. Participants will receive $20 per visit at each visit in appreciation of their time, plus reimbursement for parking.

To participate, please contact Suypriya Aryal, University of Waterloo at s5aryal@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 36760.

 

Validation of the infant differential acuity test

We have developed a new test of visual acuity (VA) designed for young infants called the Waterloo Differential Acuity Test (WatDAT). We expect that this test will be more sensitive for diagnosing vision problems earlier in young children. In adults, we are comparing with other clinical tests to determine how well the new test can differentiate between normal or reduced vision. This study's primary investigator is Dr. Susan Leat; other investigators are Drs Christian, D. Jones, McCulloch and Irving.

Eligibility: Adults (18-<40 years old) with reduced vision, such as amblyopia, in one or both eyes, even with spectacles or contact lenses.

Time commitment: Attend 2 in-person visits, approximately 1 week apart at the School of Optometry & Vision Science. First visit - about 90 minutes; 2nd visit - about 60 minutes. Participants will receive $20 per visit at each visit in appreciation of their time, plus reimbursement for parking.

To participate, please contact Victor Opoku-Yamoah at vopokuya@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 36760.

 

Characterization of the phenotype of tear neutrophils in seasonal ocular allergy

We are looking for participants who are currently experiencing seasonal ocular allergy to study the phenotype of the leukocyte population, especially neutrophils. Participants will be asked to collect their tears after sleep at night and at the end of the day (around 4 pm) on day 1 and day2, respectively. All tear collections will be taken place in their home and need to be brought to the campus within 2 hours upon collection.

Eligibility: Adults (18-50 years old) with seasonal ocular allergy, and who will not have taken any anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine drugs in the 24 hours prior to each collection. They shouldn't wear contact lenses or have ocular diseases other than allergy.

Time commitment: There will be an online training session and two tear collections on day 1 and day 2, approximately 25 minutes of time in total.

To participate, please contact Yutong Jin (y46jin@uwaterloo.ca)

You will be given a $20 Amazon gift card in appreciation of your time.

Characterization of the phenotype of tear neutrophils in seasonal ocular allergy

We are looking for participants who are currently experiencing seasonal ocular allergy to study the phenotype of the leukocyte population, especially neutrophils. Participants will be asked to collect their tears after sleep at night and at the end of the day (around 4 pm) on day 1 and day2, respectively. All tear collections will be taken place in their home and need to be brought to the campus within 2 hours upon collection. 

Eligibility Adults (18-50 years old) with seasonal ocular allergy, and who will not have taken any anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine drugs in the 24 hours prior to each collection. They shouldn't wear contact lenses or have ocular diseases other than allergy. 

Time commitment There will be an online training session and two tear collections on day 1 and day 2, approximately 25 mins in total. You will be given a $20 Amazon gift card in appreciation of your time. 

To participate, please contact Yutong Jin at y46jin@uwaterloo.ca 

 

 

Discrimination of quantum states by the human eye

We are looking for adults with normal vision or corrected to normal vision, or participants diagnosed with macular degeneration or glaucoma, to participate in a study investigating new technologies to measure macular pigment density. Participants will describe lights that we present to you, and pictures of your eye will be taken.

Eligibility: Adults with normal or corrected-to-normal vision and no eye-based clinical diagnosis; adults diagnosed with macular degeneration and no other eye-based clinical diagnosis; adults diagnosed with glaucoma and no other eye-based clinical diagnosis.

Time commitment: Attend 1-3 visits according to availability. Each visit is approximately 1 hour. You will be given $20 per visit in appreciation of your time, plus parking reimbursement.

To participate, please contact Andrew Silva at a8silva@uwaterloo.ca

 

Effects of exercise on visual cortex plasticity

We are looking for healthy young adults age 18-40 years old for a study evaluating the effects of exercise on visual cortex plasticity. Participants will be asked to cycle on a stationary bike for a total of 30 minutes and complete a computer task for 30 minutes for 5 consecutive days.

Eligibility: Young adults (18 - 40 years) in good health and with good vision. Participants will need to meet the following entry requirements to enter this study: (1) normal or corrected-to-normal vision; (2) no diagnosis of clinical depression, and/or taking antidepressant or antipsychotic or similar medication; (3) no history of cardiovascular or respiratory problems; and (4) no history of musculoskeletal disease.

Time commitment: Attend 6 visits (5 exercise and visual training, 1 baseline visit) for approximately 1 hour per visit. You will receive $20 per hour, plus reimbursement for parking costs if needed.

To participate, please contact Dania Abuleil at dania.abuleil@uwaterloo.ca.

 

Eye care literacy - how the public wants to learn

Healthy vision is crucial at every stage of life. 

Researchers at the School of Optometry & Vision Science are interested in how the public wants to receive health information through this short survey.

Eligibility: All are eligible to participate. Your response will remain anonymous.

Time commitment: Approximately 5-10 minutes.

If you have any other inquiries regarding this survey, you may contact Dr. Elizabeth Irving at elizabeth.irving@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 35529.

 

Eye problems in concussed children (EPICC)

We are looking for adolescents less than 18 years old who are in good health for a study evaluating the effects of concussion on vision in children. Participants will be asked to complete a comprehensive set of vision tests over the span of 2 to 3 visits.

Eligibility: 1) Concussion Group: Children and adolescents (12 - 17.5 years old) who have had a diagnosis of concussion within the last 10 +/- 5 days; 2) Control Group: Children and adolescents (12 - 17.5 years old) in good health, with good vision and no history of diagnosed concussion or traumatic brain injury.

Time commitment: 1) Concussion Group: 1 medical visit after injury and 3 vision visits approximately 10, 30 and 90 days post-injury. 2) Control Group: 2 vision visits (90 days apart). Your child will receive $30 for the first visit and $20 for second visit. All vision visits are 2 to 3 hours long, and parking costs for all participants will be reimbursed if needed.

To participate, please contact Dania Abuleil at dania.abuleil@uwaterloo.ca.

 

Ocular effects of scleral lens wear on dry eye patients

We are looking for adults who have been diagnosed or have been experiencing dry eyes. Contact lens wear experience is not necessary. Participants will be asked to wear study-provided scleral lens pairs each for 4 weeks. Vision and ocular health will be checked at each visit.  

Eligibility: Adults (18-65 years old) who have been diagnosed with or have been experiencing dry eyes.

Time commitment: Attend 5 visits over the course of 2 months, approximately 2 hours per visit. You will be given $180 in appreciation of your time, plus reimbursement for parking.

To participate, please contact Heinz Otchere at hotchere@uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 36210.

 

Using brain stimulation to enhance reading skills in people with macular degeneration

We are looking for adults diagnosed with macular degeneration for a study which examines whether reading can be improved through a combination of practice and the use of a safe, well-established technique for temporarily changing brain function called non-invasive brain stimulation. It is important to note that we cannot guarantee that you will personally experience any visual benefits. However, we are performing this study because we believe it might hold promise for future treatments and interventions.

Participants will be asked to read words on a computer screen for 9 study sessions spaced out over a period of 2 to 3 months.

Eligibility: Adults diagnosed with macular degeneration. Participants must not have any additional eye conditions (previous cataract surgery is acceptable), should not be undergoing eye-based injections, and must be eligible for non-invasive brain stimulation (researchers will screen for this).

Time commitment: Attend 9 visits (2 hours per visit) over the course of approximately 2 to 3 months. You will be given $20 per session in appreciation for your time. Transportation will be provided at no cost to you. However, if you have a driver, we can provide them with a parking voucher to cover any parking expenses. 

To participate, please contact Melanie Mungalsingh at mamungal@uwaterloo.ca. Alternatively, you can call 519-888-4567 ext. 38651. If necessary, please leave a message so we can get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Volunteer with the Centre for Ocular Research and Education

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) is part of the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. CORE is learning more about the front surface of the human eye through innovative research studies led by a team of world-renowned researchers and supported by a community of volunteer research participants.

To learn more about how to become a volunteer, please visit CORE's website