Research Participation

Engagement Tips and Resources

Participant recruitment and retention requires thoughtful reflection and, ideally, begins with community engagement.

Below we provide tips and resources to engage the participants for your research study. Do keep in mind, all participant engagement materials and language must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and comply with Stanford Human Subjects Research Recruitment Guidance before any recruitment or screening can take place.

If you need additinal support engaging participants, email us at EngageParticipants@stanford.edu.  

Overview

  • Before you begin actively engaging participants, consider:
    • What are the incentives to participate?
    • What are the barriers (e.g. time off work, transportation)? Are there solutions to make it easier to participate (monetary compensation, Uber vouchers, etc.)?
    • Are there community partners (local clinics, schools, campus orgs) you can engage to help you share the study opportunity?
    • Are there local patient advocacy organizations you could partner with to help advertise your study?
    • What form of recruitment communication is appropriate for your population: email, phone, print media, social media, etc.
    • Consider translating recruitment materials in other languages.
    • Do you have a plan to disseminate your findings in lay terms to participants? This is often overlooked by study teams but it is extremely important for building trust and a positive perception of research participation.
  • Measure impact. Track how your participants learned of your study. 
  • REMINDER:  all recruitment materials & language must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and comply with Stanford Human Subjects Research Recruitment Guidance: https://researchcompliance.stanford.edu/panels/hs/recruitment

Templates

 We've developed templates for various aspects of the participant engagement process, to help support your recruitment efforts.

Channels to help reach participants