“Recruitment” refers to the overall process of attracting and selecting suitable candidates for a research project. Recruitment of subjects represents the beginning of the informed consent process and it can be one of the most challenging parts of research with human subjects. Recruitment can be conducted through email, newspapers, posters, social media, radio or television announcements, telephone scripts, or by soliciting volunteers in public spaces.
Researchers in the JCU Department of Psychology have access to the SONA system which allows them to easily recruit students from the JCU Psych Pool. See Using the Psych Pool.
The pressure to enroll subjects raises ethical challenges for investigators and research staff. All recruitment efforts must respect personal rights to privacy and confidentiality and be compliant with applicable regulations (FDA, OHRP, and HIPAA).
When a project requires IRB review, ALL recruitment materials must be reviewed as part of the study. None of the recruitment material can be posted or distributed until it has been approved by the IRB. As part of the principle “Respect for Persons”, all recruitment materials should be clear, grammatically correct, and free of misspellings and other typographical errors.
Recruitment materials should include:
- Clear statement that this is research
- Name and contact information of the investigator(s) and their university affiliation and/or department
- Title or description of the study
- Description of the research purpose
- Eligibility criteria or the reason for the invitation (“We are contacting you because you are a member of XYZ organization…”)
- If the study is for adults only, include “18 years or older” in the recruitment. Give specific age groups, if applicable.
- Time commitments required
- Location of the research
- Person to contact for further information
Do not include:
- Coercive language
- The words “new treatment,” “new medication,” or “new therapy” if the test or therapy is investigational
- 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
Social Media Posts: Please submit the proposed text of your recruitment post as it would appear online, including any links that would be included.