Recruitment Guidelines

All materials aimed at recruiting participants into a research study (including the final copy of printed advertisements, scripts, audio or video tapes, or web sites) must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to use.

Main Page Content

You will be asked to include a description of your recruitment methods in your proposal and to attach the actual materials to the proposal.

Required Elements

  • Study title
  • The word "research"--make it clear that this is a research study
  • "The College at Brockport"
  • The PI's name
  • A contact name with a phone number and/or e-mail address
  • Eligibility criteria, if applicable, should be noted briefly, especially if payment depends on meeting these criteria. Examples: "English speaking only," "Women only," etc.
  • State whether participants will be paid for their time and effort. Acceptable wording of this includes: You will be compensated for your participation," "You will receive a gift card to X for [amt] for your participation," "Participants will be compensated."
  • The amount of payment may be included but should not be the most prominent element on the page. Compensation should not be excessive considering the nature of the project. Payment should be stated as a range of amounts or stated as "at least" or "up to" for payments dependent on the amount of participation.

Recommended Elements

  • Purpose of the study
  • What is expected of the participant
  • The time commitment
  • The location where the research will take place
  • Avoid phrases such as “help needed” or "subjects wanted"--the recommended wording is "You are invited" or "Participants invited"

Elements That Are Not Allowed

  • Claims that state or imply a certainty of a favorable outcome or other benefits beyond what is outlined in the consent document and protocol
  • Use of the term “free” in reference to treatment or procedures
  • Use of exculpatory language (language in the advertising whereby prospective subjects waive or appear to waive any of their legal rights)
  • Use of bold or enlarged print or other means to emphasize payment or the amount to be paid.

Teaser Advertisements

For online recruitment, projects may use teaser ads placed on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Vimeo where character length is limited as long as:

  • the teaser mentions that it is a research project the teaser does not use inflammatory language or misleading statements
  • the teaser refers the potential participant to a full flyer with all of the required elements

Recruitment Strategies That Are Not Allowed

Recruitment incentives: Finder's fees, recruitment incentives or bonuses of any type to enroll study participants.

General Ads or Flyers:  General advertisements are defined as recruitment materials that describe more than one research study. The IRB prohibits the use of general advertisements because it is difficult to keep the information up to date due to modifications made over the life-cycle of several studies. Advertisements must be study-specific.

Last Updated 8/28/17

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