There are various interesting ways to make a quick buck by volunteering for science. However, be warned, it may not always be as easy as it seems.
Money is the obvious reason why one would enroll in a clinical trial. Other people may look at it as a service for the betterment of science, or even an act of saving lives. Whatever the reason, not all opportunities are meant for everyone. Here’s a list of some of the ways one can earn money while donating or participating in science.
Lying in bed for 60 days straight
NASA will pay you US$18,500 to remain in bed for 60 days, 24 hours a day. Such experiments help the agency study some of the changes an astronaut’s body faces due to the weightlessness of space flight.
While NASA has already recruited subjects for its first such study, it also announced in November 2021 with an almost $50 million contract about its plans to conduct more such studies in the future.
However, there is a catch. The participant will have to keep his head tilted down at six degrees at all times even while washing, eating, and using the toilet, according to ScienceAlert.
“We want to make sure we select people who are mentally ready to spend [two months] in bed. Not everyone is comfortable with that. Not every type of person can tolerate an extended time in bed,” Roni Cromwell, a senior scientist who’s done bed rest studies for NASA before told Forbes.
Donating blood plasma
A component of blood, plasma is a protein-rich liquid that is mainly made up of water along with enzymes, antibodies, and salts. The yellowish substance can be used to create treatments for patients with blood clotting disorders, autoimmune diseases, and even burn victims.
A person can get an average of about around $50 per donation.
For the donation, blood is drawn from the volunteer and the plasma is separated from other blood components, which are returned to the donor. A typical session takes no more than two hours.
Donating plasma once a month is a safe practice, according to the American Red Cross.
Sperm donation is a relatively easy and pain-free option to make easy money. A typical payout ranges between US$35 and US$125 per donation.
Sperm banks are generally picky regarding the type of male that can donate sperm. Healthy men who are relatively tall (usually at least 5’7″), young (under 40), and educated are generally preferred for donation, as per the outlet.
However, men donating their sperm should be open to the possibility that their offspring may come looking for them one day.
Donating dead body
This might sound morbid but think of it as the person’s last act on Earth. Donating one’s dead body to science helps in a variety of research and education. And the reward? A free cremation.
Some organizations like BioGift and Science Care cover the cremation cost, which can amount to more than US$1,000.