We are fortunate to live in an age where we have access to modern technology and medical advancements. However, many of us take for granted the years of research and experimentation required to get where we are today. But, did you know that you could get paid to be a part of scientific discovery? Perhaps you have read that research teams handsomely compensate those participating in their studies. Here’s how you can make money selling your body for science.
5 Ways to Make Money Selling Your Body for Science
Recently, we have experienced some financial setbacks. The reduction of hours and lower monthly income have caused a serious strain on our budget. As the job search continues, we also need to find ways to bring in some quick cash to pay bills. While discussing our situation with some close friends, they suggested that we look at paid medical studies. But as I did more research, I discovered there are several ways you can help advance science while also earning some extra cash.
1. Participate in clinical trials or psychological studies.
Schools of medicine and pharmaceutical companies are constantly developing new medications and treatments. And, they often recruit people who are willing to test them for effectiveness. If you are eligible, you could get paid to participate in clinical trials, observational studies, and other research activities.
Most are low-risk. But, the riskier the study, the bigger the payout. If you decide to take part, make sure you work with a reputable clinic since they aren’t all regulated by the FDA. To find more information, you can use the database from the National Institute of Health to locate studies in your area.
2. Become a professional patient.
Another profitable idea is to become a professional patient. There are many medical teaching colleges where I live. And, their students need practice working with and diagnosing real patients. Therefore, many education programs hire actors to play patients.
Although it isn’t consistent, it can help bring in some extra income, paying anywhere from $20 to $100 an hour. Their teaching staff provides you with a medical profile for you to follow. Then, you simply respond based on the symptoms in your profile. It isn’t available to everyone, but it is an easy way for you to participate in training the next generation of doctors.
3. Donate plasma.
Plasma is the protein-rich component of your blood that contains enzymes, antibodies, and salts that are used to treat many medical conditions. Unfortunately, some conditions cannot use synthetic treatments, so human contributions are the only effective method.
Many people already know that you can sell your plasma to private clinics. They usually pay around $50 per donation, but often include a large cash incentive after enough visits. Keep in mind that the Department of Health and Human Services recommends only donating once every 56 days. However, many safely donate on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you want to donate, you can find a certified plasma center near you.
4. Donate reproductive materials.
There are thousands of couples who struggle to conceive due to medical conditions or other physical limitations. However, there are also many willing donors who can help them with alternative fertilization methods.
Men have long been able to sell sperm specimens with very little physical risk. While you can earn between $35 and $125 per donation, clinics are selective when choosing candidates. However, women are now also getting paid to donate reproductive materials. Women between the ages of 21-35 can donate healthy eggs and receive about $10,000. Although it comes with much higher compensation, there are also significantly more risks. And, it is at least a 4-week commitment which includes intensive medical screenings. But, it could be well worth your time if you are willing to donate your genetic material to help others conceive.
5. Become a surrogate.
In that same vein of thought, you may also consider becoming a surrogate. Although state laws are still unclear, complicated, and contradictory in some cases, it’s also becoming more common for couples to pay a surrogate to carry their child.
You will need to familiarize yourself with the laws where you live. But, it’s now legal in some states to enlist and pay for surrogacy services. While compensation depends on individual circumstances, payment can range from $24,000 to $45,000. But, this is a huge physical and emotional commitment that shouldn’t be made lightly.
Leaving a Lasting Legacy
There are many ways you can benefit both your finances by selling your body for science. However, those who want to make the ultimate commitment can also donate their entire body for scientific research upon their death. If you are interested in making a biogift for the sake of research and education, you won’t receive any compensation in life. But, these institutions will offer death benefits to cover cremation costs. And, it allows you to leave a lasting legacy that will help generations to come.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.