Speech researchers work with a volunteer.

School of Health Professions investigators work with a volunteer in the Neurogenetic Communication Disorders Laboratory, which is used to study speech physiology in patients with neurodegenerative diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

There is no single solution that addresses the complexity of finding and recruiting research study participants.

“There are all kinds of studies and all kinds of ways to recruit participants,” said Michele Kennett, associate vice chancellor for research, at a Jan. 17 campus webinar. “However, you have to enroll subjects in order to get data. Recruitment is a key determinant of the success of the study.”

Kennett acknowledged that it takes a lot of time and effort for researchers to design and execute sound recruitment strategies. They have to consider trial feasibility and design, protocols, site selection and communication methods. All of these factors can affect whether study recruitment goals are met.

To better support researchers, the Division of Research, Innovation & Impact is now offering a couple of new resources that staff will continue to update and improve.

Database for Mizzou studies and the public

Members of the public can now go to a new human subjects research webpage to learn more about participating in research and to search a database of active research studies seeking participants. The purpose, a brief summary, eligibility criteria and contact information are included for each study.

Researchers with new studies can check a box on their Institutional Review Board (IRB) application to have their study included in the database, and those with existing studies can submit an amendment through the IRB requesting their study be added. logo
ResearchMatch recruitment service

MU is a new member of ResearchMatch, a national recruitment service that connects researchers with volunteers who are interested in learning about health-related research studies. The service, which has a registry of more than 144,000 volunteers and 211 participating institutions, is based at Vanderbilt University and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Mizzou researchers can use this new tool to recruit volunteers and to conduct aggregate feasibility assessments to gauge the availability of participants who match the requirements for study eligibility. See step-by-step instructions.

"Resources like ResearchMatch are essential because they connect researchers to populations around the country that may have been unreachable before,” said Shaye Morrison, communication specialist at MU’s Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems. “For example, in my work on infertility, ResearchMatch connected me with over 500 individuals around the United States who I likely wouldn't have been able to reach on my own. This provided a more diverse, substantial and dependable sample for free."

Access Kennett’s "Web-Based Recruitment Resources" presentation in our education and training offerings.