Spinal Cord Injury Research Studies

A listing of open observational type studies pertaining to spinal cord injuries. Note these studies are different than clinical trials as they do not test potential treatments. These studies are used to develop new ideas about SCI and how they might best be treated.

Check back periodically, as this list changes often. If you have a research study and want it listed here for free, please contact me with its details.

Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center
A wide-range of research studies by the Miami Project and elsewhere.

Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
A listing of spinal cord injury research studies currently being offered at the medical center located in Richmond, VA.

Rally by Partners HealthCare
A searchable listing of spinal cord injury studies at participating hospitals and specialty health care centers.

Victory Over Paralysis
The University of Louisville’s Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center has basic and translational research taking place right alongside the best in clinical care at Frazier Rehab Institute.

Women with Mobility Impairments

Looking for women with mobility impairments between 35 and 64 years old who live in the United States fr a “Healthy Weight & Stress Management” study. Participants received $145 for participating in the study and it’s all virtual due to COVID.

For more information view the flier, and fill out the eligibility survey.

Rehabilitation Research @ Georgia Tech

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Sensoria Mat (a new wheelchair technology that tracks your sitting activity) for improving behaviors that help prevent pressure ulcers and get user feedback to help improve the design.
For this project, eligible participants must be:  

  • A current wheelchair user
  • Aged 18 years or older
  • Able to transfer on and off their chair independently
  • Own and use a smart phone

Participating in this study involves two visits to our lab at Georgia Tech’s campus and two video/phone calls. In the first visit, we will set up the Sensoria pressure mapping equipment on your wheelchair, install a mobile app on your cell phone, and ask you some questions about pressure reliefs. This visit will last 1.5-2 hours. Over the next 2.5 months, you will receive different types of feedback about your in-seat movement from the mobile. At the end of 2.5 months, you will return to Georgia Tech to have the equipment removed and answer some more questions. This second visit will last approximately 1 hour. Between these two visits, you may receive two phone calls or emails from research staff to update you on new phases of the study and provide additional information.

As a thank-you for participating, you will receive $50 on a prepaid debit card after the first in-person study visit, and another $150 on a prepaid debit card at the completion of the study.

Anyone who is interested can email Kathleen Jordan at kjordan37@gatech.edu for more information.

Inter-System Closed-Loop Control of Locomotor and Bladder Function in Individuals with Acute Spinal Cord Injury

The overall objective of this study is to demonstrate that epidural stimulation may be a method for improving stepping, standing and bladder function in individuals with spinal cord injury. With the use of epidural stimulation, we propose to investigate how well you can stand and walk and how well your bladder can hold urine as well as empty urine. The results of this study may aid in the development of treatments to help individuals with spinal cord injuries that are unable to stand or walk and have impaired bladder function.

Subject Requirements

  • C7 -T10 Spinal Cord Injury
  • Less than 1-year post injury
  • Bladder Dysfunction due to SCI
  • Stable Medical Condition

Interested individuals should register at our participant database at: https://victoryoverparalysis.org/participate-in-research/ or contact Manpreet Chopra (manpreet.chopra@louisville.edu) for additional information.


The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of a cognitive screening test in a SCI population. We are doing this research to improve how well a person’s medical team can identify whether a patient needs to see a specialist about memory, attention, and other thinking skills.  If you are eligible and choose to participate, we will set up a Zoom visit to complete hands-free testing that will examine your thinking skills.

We will test things like language skills, how fast you can process information, your ability to remember new information, and pay attention for long periods of time. At the end of these tests, you will be asked to complete some questionnaires. All the testing takes about 2.5 hours to complete, and you will be compensated $75.00 for your participation. No in-person visits required.

Call 206-744-5196  or email scicog@uw.edu

Developing a Patient-Centered Measure of Caregiver Relationships

We have developed a large set of items to address this topic and want to test these out with a group of 300 people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) who receive assistance from a caregiver. Afterwards, we will evaluate which items are the most useful and include these in the final measure.

Participating will involve completing an interview over the phone, which will take approximately one hour. You meet the basic eligibility criteria to participate in this study if the following are true:

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You have had a spinal cord injury for at least 6 months
  • You receive at least 16 hours of caregiver service per week
  • You are able to speak and understand English
  • You do not live in a sub-acute transitional facility or nursing home

If you are eligible and participate, you will be compensated $35 for completing the interview.

To participate please email us at MF-Neilsen@umich.edu or call our team at (734)763-0623

IRB#: HUM00125787

A Novel Non-drug Treatment for Chronic Pain in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Do you or someone you know suffer from chronic pain after a spinal cord injury? Researchers at the University of Washington are starting a new research study for chronic pain after spinal cord injury. Please see the details below for more about this study and how to participate.

Chronic pain affects many people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and can be musculoskeletal, neuropathic, or associated with spasms. Medications help, but rarely cure chronic pain. New research suggests that training in self-hypnosis plus cognitive therapy (HCT) can reduce chronic SCI-related pain. Self-hypnosis is a skill people can learn to enter a state of relaxed alertness and openness to suggestion. Cognitive therapy involves changing how the brain processes pain by changing thoughts about pain. Now we want to find out if people can learn HCT from a therapist via videoconferencing and if they experience significant pain relief. If videoconferencing-based HCT works, more people with SCI could benefit from this therapy. This is research study, so half of the participants will be randomly assigned to HCT and half to usual care. ALL participants will be asked to complete outcome assessments. No in-person visits are needed. Participants earn up to $60 for completing assessments.

You may be eligible for this study if you: 1) are at least 18 years old, 2) have been diagnosed and treated for SCI, 3) have chronic pain related to your SCI, 4) are able to read, speak, and understand English; and 5) have access to a web-camera & microphone through a computer, smartphone or other internet-connected device..

Contact us at 206-221-5688 or telepop@uw.edu for more information. If you choose to send an email, the University of Washington cannot guarantee confidentiality of the email.

Community Wellness Study

The University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is conducting a study to increase our knowledge about aging with a physical disability. The purpose of this study is to see if a telephone based health and wellness program can help individuals with long-term physical disability.

Participation in this research would involve talking on the phone with a wellness coach approximately once a month for 6 months or continuing your normal care with no phone calls. All participants will fill out 4 surveys over the course of 1 year that will take approximately 60 minutes each.

Participants will be compensated for their time and effort.

Seeking participants who:

  • Are ages 45-64
  • Have been diagnosed with a medical condition (such as Amputation, Spinal Cord Injury, or Multiple Sclerosis) that impacts daily living and/or quality of life.
  • Experienced symptoms before age 40

For more information, please contact us: 1-866-928-2114 or communityhealthstudy@uw.edu