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For Volunteers

The Human Metabolic Research Unit (HMRU) facilities are purpose built for volunteers to participate in research studies in safety and comfort.

The Whole Body Calorimeter has two rooms; each containing a desk, chair, fold down bed, toilet, sink, telephone and an internet connected computer/television. There is an intercom to speak to the resident in the second room as well as the staff. There are three two-way hatches which are used for passing food, urine samples and taking blood tests. Outside of the rooms there is a shower room and monitoring area.


Being a volunteer may require you to stay in one of the Whole Body Calorimeter rooms from between 8 and 36 hours. Therefore, we require that volunteers who take part in a study in the Whole Body Calorimeter:

  • are self-caring and able to live independently for up to 36 hours 
  • are mobile and able to mount the step into the room, rise from a low bed and chair and be able to turn the handles to open the hatch
  • are not claustrophobic (i.e. do not have a problem with confined places)  as the rooms are approximately 2.5 metres x 3 metres. Whilst the doors are not locked, they must only be opened in emergencies during a study
  • have no problems with isolation, although frequent contact is made throughout the stay via an intercom and telephone

Being a volunteer in a HMRU study may require frequent blood tests, changes in food intake, exercise plans or other interventions in order to measure their effect on the energy the body uses throughout the stay. All volunteers are fully briefed on the plan for their stay and are invited to view the facilities before the start of any study.

If you would like further information or would like to volunteer for research in the HMRU please contact us.