Why Participate in the Snowball Study?

People who choose to take part in the SNOWBALL Study will be taking an active role in protecting their communities from illness by helping researchers understand how respiratory diseases like COVID-19 and seasonal flu spread. By participating in Snowball you may also help experts find new and better ways of tracing the spread of diseases like COVID and flu, and help people to get testing and treatment when they need it.

Frequently Asked Questions about Snowball

If you think you might be interested in participating in the Snowball Study, you may have some questions. Here are a few of the most common questions people have about Snowball:

How can I join the Snowball Study?
If you consent to take part in SNOWBALL and complete a survey, you will receive electronic coupons via email or text message that you can share with your peers—people with whom you have close or frequent contact as part of your daily life or work. These coupons will give your peers access to free COVID-19 testing. To learn more about how this works, please select the link https://sites.duke.edu/snowball/elementor-50/.

If any of your peers who decide to participate in Snowball own a smartwatch, they may be invited to participate in a second partner study, called CovIdentify. For more information about the CovIdentify study, please select the link https://covidentify.covid19.duke.edu/.

Do I need health insurance to participate in Snowball?
No. You do not need health insurance to take part in Snowball. Participation in Snowball is free.

Will I, or any peers that I invite to join the study, have to pay for medical tests?
No. Neither you, nor any peers you invite, will have to pay for any tests done as part of Snowball.

Will I be paid for participating in Snowball?
Yes. You will be paid when you complete the survey. You will also receive additional payment when any peers you invite to join the study complete the same consent form and survey. Your peers will also be paid for completing the same survey and will receive additional payment for being tested.

When I invite my peers to join Snowball, do I have to tell them if I have tested positive for COVID-19?
No. You never have to disclose the result of your COVID test to your peer contacts. Snowball will give you email templates that you can use to invite your contacts, if you want to.

If I join Snowball, will I be able to learn about what happens after the study is over?
Yes. The main results and other information from the Snowball study will be shared with everyone who takes part in the study, if they want to learn about it.

Will information about me be included in any of the Snowball study’s results that are shared publicly?
No. No study findings that are shared publicly will contain specific information about you. General information, like counts and percentages in tables and charts, will be shared, but personal information about you will never be publicly shared.

More Questions?

If you have other questions or want to learn more about the Snowball Study, please email us any time at snowball@duke.edu or call us by phone Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm at 919-613-1239.