Getting Ready to Recruit
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These are some items that you may need to develop to successfully recruit and retain study volunteers.
- Screening forms in paper and electronic
- Consent and assent forms
- Flyers (handouts, posters).
- Social media posts.
- Phone and in person recruitment scripts
- Recruitment letters for different audiences, e.g. physicians to share with their patients, prospective participants, community partners.
- Email templates
- Study website
- Create a short URL, QR Code (make sure they work)
If you are using social media
- Open a social media account in one or more platforms
- Develop a script to use to communicate with prospective participants
- Develop social media recruitment plan to submit to IRB
- Develop multiple versions of the ads you’re planning on using to submit to IRB
Other administrative items
- Set up system to compensate participants on a timely manner.
- Obtain authorization to purchase gift cards (if applicable).
- Consider gift cards that are convenient and easy to redeem.
Some items to consider as you are developing recruitment materials
- Show images that show the diversity of people you are trying to recruit.
- Convey the importance of the study.
- It is not too crowded.
- Check readability for 6th grade level in recruitment materials and protocols
- Offer different ways of contacting the study team (E.g QR Code, phone number, email)
- Consider including a link to a landing page with more study information/ screening survey items
- Develop a social media recruitment plan to submit to IRB.
- Develop several versions of social media advertisements to use at different times in the study.
- Ask your partner organizations to post your flier on their existing social media platforms
- Identify affinity groups in social media where you can post information about the study (e.g facebook groups)
Recruitment letters and other messaging:
- Develop recruitment letter to send to clinic administrators, physicians, other partners
- Develop messages to distribute via listserv.
- Develop scripts to contact and screen prospective participants
- Develop content for landing page/ website
- Develop tracking tools to document your recruitment progress.
- May include data collection instruments, forms, and protocols.
- Professionally translate materials in other languages (E.g., GMR Translation)
- Field test all the translated versions.
Obtain feedback on your materials:
- Get feedback on your materials and strategies BEFORE submitting for IRB approval
- Obtain feedback on recruitment materials, forms, surveys, and protocols from community members
- Ask a native speaker to double-check translated materials
All materials need to be submitted to IRB for approval. For support and guidance on issues related to protection of study participants and ethical conduct of research, contact the Regulatory Core.
What types of incentives will you provide to study participants as tokens of appreciation for their contributions to your study/work?
Study participants will make important contributions to your work and it’s important to acknowledge their contribution and time by offering fair compensation. Often participants will gladly contribute even when financial incentives are not provided. It is up to the research team to make a compelling case why prospective participants should consider participating.
- Cash incentives
- Direct deposit
- Gift cards to accessible businesses
- Entry to raffle drawing when reaching milestones
Note: Providing incentives at each data collection point can help with retention.
Calculate amount of participants that you can recruit per month/week. Take into account characteristics of your target population, your internal capacity, methodology, etc.
EXAMPLE: To recruit 300 participants in a year:
- You’ll need to recruit 25 participants a month.
- Plan on recruiting 6-7 participants a week.
Based on the strategies you are using, you may want to track which social media post or ad is performing best, whether your sample is diverse, and what changes you may need to make to increase recruitment.