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.

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
Setting up a strong social media recruitment program | Quorum
Embracing Social Media in Research | Quorum
Patient Empowerment Key To Trial Recruitment, Report Finds | PharmaTimes
FDA Info Sheet: IRB Review of Study Recruitment Materials
NIH Clinical Trial Recruitment – ResearchMatch
Patient Recruitment for Special Populations | CenterWatch