Participant Recruitment

Main Content

Recruitment and Advertising


  • Recruitment includes efforts and materials use to enlist participants into research studies. Examples of recruitment  include advertisements, flyers, telephone scripts, newspaper ads, radio and television announcements, bulletin board tear-offs, Internet postings,  and posters.
  • Advertising is a type of recruitment method with the intent to reach prospective participants and to solicit their participation in a study.


  • Only recruitment material approved by the IRB and stamped with an IRB approval stamp can used and distributed for recruitment purposes.
    • The IRB must review and approve all recruitment procedures and materials before use.
    • Retention efforts and materials must also be reviewed and approved prior to use.
    • Any advertisement material must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to use.
      • Some sponsors provide advertising materials which can be used for study recruitment.
      • Examples of Advertisement Methods

Direct Advertising: Newspaper, radio, TV, bulletin boards, posters, flyers, etc.

Social Media Advertising: Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  • A recruitment plan should include the following elements:
    • Anticipated Recruitment Projections
    • Efforts for Finding Participants
      • Active Clinical Patients (patients on the daily appointment schedule)
      • Inactive Clinical Patients (patients from a medical record review)
      • Referral Clinical Patients
      • Community Outreach (community centers, churches, hobby or interest organizations, support groups, etc.)
      • Media Outreach
    • Recruitment Materials
  • UMMC IRB Guidelines for Recruitment and Retention.



RPR offers researchers a centralized, coordinated resource to connect with interested, potential study participants.

PCE is an application that allows access to the Research Data Warehouse, which contains data from Epic of de-identified patient information.  This help for estimating recruitment projections. Direct access to this application is available on the UMMC Intranet.