RESEARCH SERVICES

Researchers interested in twins have a range of scientific interests and goals. For this reason, the MATR offers a variety of services to accommodate studies and meet researchers’ scientific needs. Below is a chart that describes services provided by the MATR. For more information on how to access the MATR please see Research Guidelines.

ServiceDescription
MATR newsletter advertisement The MATR sends out biannual newsletters to the entire registry. We can place an advertisement in our newsletter for your study. This allows twins to call us if they are interested in participating. Fees range depending upon size of ad.
Mailed Survey For some studies a mailed survey is all that is needed for subject enrollment. For these studies, the MATR will mail the survey to the selected group of twins, send a follow-up letter to the non-responders, and then scan the returned questionnaires so that you receive raw data for your analysis.
Phone recruitment Phone recruitment is the ideal way to invite twins to participate in a study. The MATR sends out a “Heads-Up” letter to the selected twins containing information about the study and to let them know that we will soon give them a call. These letters typically go out within one or two weeks before we begin calling. Trained MATR interviewers then call the twins to tell them about the study, answer questions about the study and invite them to participate. Our interviewers use a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI).  This enables collection of data in electronic format during the interview.
If the researcher needs to contact the twin for the study: Because the MATR does not release any twins' information without their permission, we ask the twin if they are willing to allow turnover of their information to the researcher. At this time we may also ask screening questions of the twins if there are eligibility requirements for the study. Once the twin gives us permission and is determined eligible for the study, we provide the researcher with their contact information. From there the research staff can tell the twin more about the study and see if they are still interested in participating.
If the researcher does not need to contact the twin:
For some studies, the MATR is able to conduct all data collection without needing to release the twins’ information to the researcher. In these studies, the MATR will contact the twin and obtain all information needed for the researcher. The information is then sent to the researcher using identifiers that cannot be traced back to the twin.
DNA Collection There are several different methods the MATR can use to collect DNA for studies, depending upon the scientific goals of the researcher.
Saliva- For saliva collection, the MATR mails a packet to the twin containing information about the study, a consent form, instructions, and a saliva collection container. Collection of saliva is the least intrusive method of DNA collection and therefore has high response rates.
Buccal/Cheek Cell Swab- The collection of cheek swabs is also a simple way of collecting DNA samples and is similar in procedure to saliva collection. The MATR mails a packet to the twin with instructions on how to collect the sample along with a consent form, and small brushes to collect the sample. Once the twin collects the samples they return them to the MATR in a postage-free envelope.
Blood- The MATR has several resources for the collection of blood samples, all of which aim to make the experience as convenient for the participants as possible. Typically the MATR will call the twin with information about the study, and if the twin agrees, they will be scheduled for an appointment with a phlebotomist at a time and place convenient to the participant. The phlebotomist will then ship the sample directly to the researcher without any identifying information.
Web Survey The MATR is currently collecting email addresses from our twins as an alternative method for contacting them for studies.  If you are interested in this type of study design, the MATR can work with you to develop and implement an internet-based study.