Almost anyone can assist with recruitment efforts if they are the most appropriate person. Not all individuals who help with recruitment need to be added to the IRB application. Please see our Recruitment Process SOPs, under Recruitment Assistance – Determining Engagement to learn who does NOT need to be added.  

Those only involved with disseminating recruitment materials or relaying recruitment information do not have to be listed as part of the research team. They need to be listed on the IRB application and have IRB training when they cross the threshold into consenting for the study.   

  • A finder’s fee or referral is a payment from the researcher or sponsor to a person who refers a prospective participant. The IRB may allow finder’s fees or referral fees on a case-by-case basis if appropriate justification is provided and the potential for coercion or undue influences is minimized.   

  • Recruitment bonus payments are payments from the sponsor to the researcher or organization based on the rate or timing of recruitment. The IRB will not allow bonus payments which are designed to accelerate recruitment that are tied to the rate or timing of enrollment.  

Unless the study relates to teaching strategies or methods in a particular course or major, faculty members should avoid recruiting from within their own classrooms, especially prior to submitting term grades. If it is necessary to recruit one’s own students, there must be a recruitment plan utilizing a third party unassociated with an instructor-student relationship. In cases where regular classroom activities are also the topic of research, investigators must clarify for participants (and/or their legal guardian) those activities that are optional and distinct from required classroom activities. A student’s decision about participation may not affect (favorably or unfavorably) grades, potential letters of recommendation, or other opportunities or decisions made by teacher-investigators.  

Recruitment materials must be limited to the following information the prospective subjects need to determine their eligibility and interest:   

  • The name and address of the investigator or research facility   
  • A statement the study involves research , and the condition under study or the purpose of the research   
  • In summary form, the criteria that will be used to determine eligibility for the study

The following may be required if determined it would be helpful or necessary to communicate up front, or an investigator may just choose to include these:

  • A brief list of participation benefits, if any
  • The time or other commitment required of the subjects   
  • The location of the research and the person or office to contact for further information
  • Additional study specific information

You must upload all final versions of recruitment materials for review, including but not limited to the following:  

  • E-mails and letters  

  • Flyers  

  • Social media ads  

  • MU Info ads  

  • Phone or in-person scripts (word of mouth recruitment methods should utilize a script)  

  • Videos (if the video file is too large, you may upload a detailed description of the video and/or transcript).  

Please see our Recruitment Process SOPs for guidance on the use of Recruitment Panels, such as Prolific, Amazon Mechanical Turk, and Qualtrics Panel.  

Be sure to check “Employees” in your inclusion criteria on the application when using a recruitment panel, as subjects are considered employees of the company/recruitment panel.  

Please see our Recruitment Process SOPs for guidance on Recruitment Materials Utilizing Social Media.  

If you are not the account owner and not able to respond to questions/comments, identity who will respond and how they will handle questions/comments. If they are not on the research team, they should only be referring to recruitment materials or providing investigator contact information. However, if they can monitor for inappropriate comments and delete when necessary.  

Please see our Recruitment Process SOPs for guidance on Identifying Subjects through their Medical Record. See our HIPAA FAQs for additional information related to HIPAA requirements.

If an investigator is utilizing the medical record to identify and contact subjects in a study, the plan must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  1. One or more investigators on the IRB submission have a treating/provider relationship with the patients as potential subjects and will be providing oversight regarding utilization of any PHI for the research.
  2. There is no treating/provider relationship. The research team members will work directly with providers who have a treating (patient-provider) relationship who will be providing oversight regarding utilization of any PHI, before contacting patients as potential subjects. This option requires consultation with a SOM department that provides clinical care or with the SOM CTSO. The MU HRPP/IRB will consider past noncompliance for investigators listed on the study before allowing this option.
    • In this instance, the recruitment materials must state how the investigators obtained potential participant information and their relationship with the health system, that the investigators consulted with potential participant providers, and how the investigators will maintain confidentiality of protected health information.
  3. There is no treating/provider relationship, and there is no plan to work directly with a provider with a treating/provider relationship prior to initial contact with patients as potential subjects. The investigators must use the MU IRB templates for cold contacting. The details regarding the process to initially contact potential participants will be reviewed by the MU IRB and be approved on a case-by-case basis. This option requires consultation with a SOM department that provides clinical care or with the SOM CTSO. The MU HRPP/IRB will consider past noncompliance for investigators listed on the study before allowing this option. The following must also be in place when planning to cold contact:
    • At least one member on the research team is a full-time, non-trainee employee of MU Health. This excludes residents, fellows, and students.
    • The MU Health employee(s) must be listed as PI or co-investigator.
    • The MU Health employee(s) accessing, using, or sharing PHI assumes responsibility to ensure the research members making initial contact with potential participants have adequate training and resources, and follows the IRB approved script for initial contact. The SOM department providing clinical care or the SOM CTSO will ensure adequate training and resources. Adequate documentation of support will be required.
    • The PI has a plan in place that has been approved by the SOM department or CTSO to address concerns or questions from potential participants regarding the pre-screening process and use of PHI.

HIPAA regulations apply to the screening process and access to protected health information. The IRB will review requests for HIPAA waivers or alterations when necessary. MU Health HIPAA waivers will be reviewed by the MU Health Privacy office in addition to the MU IRB.

Yes. MU researchers need to ensure advertisements adhere to MU's brand and identity guidelines. For templates and resources, click here.