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Participate in Research

​​​​​​​​​​​For 40 years, Boys Town National Research Hospital has been translating research into premier clinical care. Our studies in neurobehavioral, hearing and language development are changing the way America cares for children, famili​es and communities.

Now we need you! Our research teams are looking for participants for current research studies. All participants will be compensated f​or their time.

Please note that your health and safety is our top priority. Boys Town National Research Hospital has suspended in-person research studies until the current COVID-19 health crisis has resolved. We are excited to announce that Boys Town researchers are conducting some studies ​that can be done from your home. Information on those studies can be found below. You are also welcome to enroll in our database so that your information will be available to researchers when in-person research studies resume. Thank you for your generosity with your time.

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Research Studies You Can Do From Home Through Boys Town National Research Hospital

Want to help others and be paid at the s​ame time? You can help us understand how children develop learning, listening, speech and language skills. You can also help us learn how to help adults and children hear better. These research studies can be done from your home. Most studies require that you have internet access. If you would like more information about a study, please contact Mary Thomas at (531) 355–6705 or send an email to the researcher.

Drs. Samantha Emerson & Christopher Conway – Building Blocks of Language
Who: 19 years or older, with access to a computer and internet
Tasks: questionnaire and a computer task
Time: up to 1 hour
Payment: $15 Amazon gift card

Current Studies

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​All of these studies have been approved by the Boys Town National Research Hospital’s Institutional Review Board. These studies are currently enrolling participants. The following studies require in-person participation.​

Neurobehavioral Studies

  • We are currently seeking children and adolescents age 14-17 who have experienced a traumatic event to participate in research studies. The study may include questionnaires, brain imaging, providing saliva samples and playing computer games. Participants will be compensated for time up to $50 per visit. More information about this study.

Hearing Studies

  • Principal Investigator: Kayla Lalonde, Ph.D.

    The purpose of this study is to learn how children use visual cues on a talker's face

    (i.e., "lip reading") to help understand speech in noisy backgrounds.

    You will complete vision, hearing, and language tests. You will listen to/watch speech in noise. Sometimes you will let us know when you hear the speech by pressing buttons. Sometimes we will record you repeating back words and sentences using a microphone. You will be compensated $15 per hour for participation.

    Recruiting needs:

    Children 5 to 15 years and adults 19 to 29 years of age are needed. Participants must have normal hearing and normal or corrected-to-normal vision. They must use English as their first language and have no speech or language impairment.

    For more information, please call (531) 355-6664 or email

​Language Learning and Communication​ Studies

  • Principal Investigator: Karla McGregor, Ph.D.

    The Word Learning Lab is now recruiting 6- and 7-year-olds in Nebraska and Iowa to participate in a language study. The goal of this research is to understand the ways children learn language and how vocabulary-learning changes as children grow. Our team will visit participants three times per year over the course of four years. Compensation is $20 per hour for all visits.

    For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact( )​, or call (531) 355-5090, or sign up online.

  • Principal Investigator: Angela AuBuchon, Ph.D.

    We are interested in how children remember the words they hear or read, especially when they have other things distracting them. Imagine you told your child to, "Put on your shoes and socks before you go outside," so she runs to her room to search for shoes and socks. A few minutes later your find her on the floor with her building blocks--no socks or shoes in sight! Our research tries to understand how long children can remember words, what kinds of distractions are too distracting, and why some children are better than others at remembering words.

    Recruiting needs:

    We are currently recruiting children ages 7-9. They should have normal hearing as well as normal or correct-to-normal (e.g. glasses) vision. To be eligible, a child cannot have a learning-related diagnosis (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Intellectual disability). The child must speak English at home.

    For more information, please contact Angela AuBuchon at (531) 355-6380 or

Hearing, Cochlear Implant, Balance, and Speech and Language Research laboratories are located at the Downtown Medical Campus of Boys Town National Research Hospital (555 N. 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131) and the adjacent Lied Learning and Technology Center (425 N. 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131). Neurobehavioral Research laboratories are located at the Boys Town National Headquarters building (14100 Crawford St, Boys Town, NE 68010​).

For additional information, please contact Mary Thomas, Recruitment and Quality Assurance Program Coordinator, Human Subjects Core, at (531) 355-6705 or​​