Recruitment of Research Participants

Recruitment involves attracting and selecting suitable candidates for a project. It can be conducted through newspapers, email, posters, brochures, by internet, radio or television announcements, or by soliciting volunteers in public spaces.

Guidance and Requirements for Recruitment Letters and Emails for Potential Human Subjects Identified from Electronic Health Records

Recruitment Materials

When a project requires IRB review, all recruitment materials must be reviewed as part of the study before they can be used

Recruitment materials should include:

  • Accurate description of the research purpose
  • Name and address of the investigator or facility (including university affiliation and/or department)
  • Condition under study or purpose of the research
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Time commitments required
  • Location of the research
  • Person to contact for further information

Do not include:

    • Coercive language
    • Claims that a device or drug is safe and effective
    • The words “new treatment,” “new medication,” or “new drug” if the test article is investigational
    • Promises of “free medical treatment”
    • Amount of payment, dollar signs, or the words “free” in large or bold face type
    • Compensation should not be excessive relative to the nature of the project
    • Statements or implications assuring favorable outcome or other benefits beyond what is outlined in the consent document and protocol
    • Claims, either explicitly or implicitly, that the test article is known to be equivalent or superior to any other drug, biologic, or device
    • Exculpatory language

Articles on Research Engagement

Toolkit for Developing Community Partnerships
Community Engaged Research 101 (video)
Principles of Community Engagement

Clinical Research Recruitment

Recruiting Study Participants through Your Website | First Clinical
Patient Empowerment Key To Trial Recruitment, Report Finds | PharmaTimes
FDA Info Sheet: IRB Review of Study Recruitment Materials
NIH Clinical Trial Recruitment – ResearchMatch