Information for Researchers

Information for Researchers

The FIRSt Families database was conceived as a university-wide vehicle for Penn State researchers to recruit infant and child study participants. Funded by the Child Study Center in the College of the Liberal Arts and the Social Science Research Institute, the FIRSt database is intended to ease the burden on Penn State researchers using human subjects as well as alleviate the burden on families who may be contacted several times to participate in research. Toward this end, the FIRSt database will be able to track participation and allow families to control the number of requests for participation. Researcher guidelines have been formulated to insure that researchers using the database respect the conditions under which families voluntarily agreed to be contacted. If you are a researcher at Penn State University and would like more information about the FIRSt database, a copy of the FIRSt guidelines, or an application to use the FIRSt database for recruitment purposes, please contact .

Many families find that participating in research is interesting; gives insight into their children's development; and provides a sense of having contributed to important advances in knowledge. Some research projects also provide financial compensation to participants.

If you are the legal parent or guardian of a child between newborn and 18 years of age, or are expecting a child soon, and are interested in registering your family for the FIRSt database. You will be contacted when a researcher is interested in adding you to a project.


Questions about the FIRSt database and this webpage should be directed to

General questions about research at Penn State should be directed to The Vice President for Research.