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What is ResearchMatch?

ResearchMatch is a free and secure system that helps match potential research participants with researchers. It is overseen by the Vanderbilt University Institutional Review Board,

It is institutional-neutral and disease-neutral and allows anyone 18 or over residing in the United States and Puerto Rico to register themselves as a potential research volunteer. A parent, legal guardian or caretaker may register an adult unable to enter their own information or someone under the age of 18.

How does ResearchMatch work?

The system uses a matching model. Researchers can recruit volunteers for their studies and potential participants can choose whether or not respond. ResearchMatch volunteers are not able to search registered studies; they must be contacted by a researcher in order to participate in a study.

There is no obligation for volunteers to participate once recruited, and all volunteer information is kept confidential until the volunteer decides to release it.

The researcher can choose a de-identified group to contact via ResearchMatch using the geographic, demographic, health condition and medication filters. ResearchMatch will let you contact 1,500 people at a time. The first recruitment message will be sent through ResearchMatch's secure system; a "yes" response from a potential participant will release that person's contact information to the researcher. 

What is required for a researcher to gain access to ResearchMatch?

In order to complete the Researcher Acknowledgement Form (RAF) and gain recruitment access to ResearchMatch, a researcher must be affiliated with a participating institution (e.g., The College at Brockport) and have an active research study that has been approved by that institution's IRB.

The RAF must be requested through the ResearchMatch campus liaison in the IRB office. You will submit your IRB approval letter or determination of exemption to ResearchMatch as part of the RAF. Your access to recruit via ResearchMatch will last only as long as the IRB-study approval. The expiration date of your recruitment access will mirror the expiration date of your study. You will be able to upload continuing review approvals via your Researcher Dashboard by selecting extend access.

A researcher affiliated with a participating institution may also request feasibility access, which allows you to view aggregate data regarding the ResearchMatch population but not to search and contact volunteers. An approved IRB study is not required for feasability access.

Learn more at

ResearchMatch template language for recruitment in IRB protocols:

" will be utilized as a recruitment tool for this protocol. is a national electronic, web-based recruitment tool that was created through the Clinical & Translational Science Awards Consortium in 2009 and is maintained at Vanderbilt University as an IRB-approved data repository (see IRB #090207)." 

ResearchMatch template language for recruitment in grants:

"ResearchMatch ( is an electronic volunteer recruitment registry designed to allow individuals from anywhere in the country an opportunity to securely self-register and express an interest in being prospectively considered for participation in research studies. ResearchMatch provides a ‘disease-neutral’ meeting place through a national portal for willing volunteers to express their interest to become engaged with research. ResearchMatch 'matches' potential study volunteers with researchers who register to utilize the system as a recruitment tool from participating institutions and their IRB-approved studies in a manner that promotes volunteer privacy and choice at all levels while assisting researchers with their recruitment needs.

"ResearchMatch was developed in 2009 by institutions affiliated with the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium ( and is maintained at Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt Institutional Review Board (IRB) provides oversight of the project as a recruitment tool."

Contacting Volunteers:

Please note that the contact message that you send through ResearchMatch must exclude your direct study contact information (email & phone) and must not exceed 2000 characters. This content must also be approved by the IRB of the College at Brockport.

Make sure to review your site-specific instructions for any institution-specific application requirements or contact your ResearchMatch Institutional Liaison for any questions related to your institution’s IRB or Research policies. 

See links below for appropriate wording and screenshots of ResearchMatch pages:

How To Use Research Match as a Researcher

IRB Template Language for Using Research Match 

Last Updated 6/25/19

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