Recruitment Toolkit

Recruitment Toolkit


A feasibility assessment is a crucial first step when developing a recruitment plan. The assessment will provide realistic recruitment goal estimates and aid in protocol development.  The “Recruitment Feasibility Worksheet” in the Toolkit provides checklists of benefits, strategies and tactics to consider in developing a recruitment plan.

Preparatory to Research

ResearchMatch is a Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health. To request access as a researcher in order to determine possible study cohorts already signed up with Research Match please submit a Researcher Interest Form. Your request will be routed to our institutional liaison who will review and process your request.

i2b2 Cohort Discovery Tool – The i2b2 Cohort Discovery Tool is housed within the CTSI. It allows MCW researchers to query the EMR for Froedtert Health Inc. and Children’s Hospital of WI. In response to a query, i2b2 will return a result set which answers the fundamental question: Is there a sufficient cohort of patients with certain characteristics to conduct the study?

Biostatistical Consulting Service – Investigators are strongly encouraged to consult with Biostatistics at the very beginning of their project.  The consulting service provides assistance with sample size and power calculations, data analysis and study design in addition to other data and statistical questions.

Public Data Sources – Includes local, state, national and global resources for publicly available health datasets.


A well-conceived strategy is the key to maximizing trial recruitment. It should be developed early to help plan your budget and protocol accordingly. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) must approve a recruitment strategy.  The “Recruitment Strategy and Budget planning worksheet” in the Toolkit provides a list of recruitment methods along with workbook for budget development


Advertising strategies accompanied with careful budget planning will help investigators reach potential participants for their study.  The Institutional Review Board (IRB) must approve any advertising prior to posting. The “MCW IRB_Recruitment Flyer Template” and the “Study Ad with Tear off Contact Information” in the Toolkit provide editable advertising templates.

 MCW and Froedtert Hospital policies on advertising
Communications and Media Contacts

If researchers are looking to reach a large audience, working with both MCW Communications and local newspapers, radio and TV stations may be necessary. The Milwaukee Association of Commerce provides a list of contact information for local newspapers, radio and TV stations. In addition, the working in parallel with the MCW Communication office is necessary. A study recruitment media campaign requires approval by both the IRB AND the MCW Communication Office. Also note to MCW purchasing must be contacted prior to any purchasing transaction.

Maximizing Recruitment

ResearchMatch is designed to connect researchers who are looking for study participants to those who have already expressed interest in being a study participant. You may read the ResearchMatch FAQs for researchers.

Local Community/Advocacy Groups – A list of local patient community advocacy and support groups. Please contact them directly for further information on how they can work with you on promoting your study.

Other information to help maximize recruitment

Download Toolkit

The following toolkit provides study teams with checklists, flyer and worksheet templates. These tools will help plan and track recruitment efforts:

175 KBRecruitment Feasibility Worksheet154 KBRecruitment accrual planning175 KBRecruitment strategy and budget planning worksheet727 KBStudy Ad with Tear Off Contact Information352 KBMCW IRB Recruitment Flyer Template

Recruitment Policies

Both MCW and Froedtert hospital have policies specific to advertising, recruitment and non-English speaking research participants.

MCW Policies

Froedtert Policy

FMLH Language Services policy
Any questions regarding this policy contact OCRICC at

Additional Resources

Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation

CISCRP (The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation) helps professionals better understand the study volunteer with facts and figures based on polls and surveys and other resources. Statistics include:

Trial Innovation Network Clinical Trial Toolkits

The Trial Innovation Network is a collaborative initiative within the CTSA Program composed of three key organizational partners – the CTSA Program Hubs, the Trial Innovation Centers (TICs), and the Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC). Other important partners include NIH Institutes, other federal and non-federal stakeholders, researchers, patients, providers, and the public.   The Recruitment and Retention Toolkit consists of submissions from CTSA hubs and other community health partners.

Forte Research Infographs
University of Rochester Medical Center's CTSI: Principles of Recruitment

This presentation from the University of Rochester Medical Center’s CTSI discusses many principles of recruitment for clinical research.

Last Updated July 16, 2018


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