University of Wisconsin–Madison

Parents of Minor Research Participants

Consent & Assent

Researchers at the Waisman Center for Human Development play with a child to demonstrate a procedure they use
©UW-Madison University Communications
Photo by: Jeff Miller

Before your child can be enrolled as a participant in a research project, parental consent and assent must be obtained.

Parental consent is required for all minor research participants.  You will likely be provided with a written form with the following information:

  • Information about the research study
  • Description of what your child (and you) will be asked to do to participate
  • Description of any risks or benefits to participating
  • Information on how to enroll and withdraw from the study
  • Contact information if you have questions
  • A signature line to indicate your consent for your child’s participation

Once parental consent is obtained, minor participants are asked to agree to participate by providing assent.  Assent can only be obtained after parental consent is obtained.  Your child may be asked to provide oral (spoken) assent or written (signed) assent, depending on their age. Just because you have consented to your child’s participation, your child can still decide not to participate.