You are here

Patient Recruitment & Participation in

Study CoordinatorWe understand the difficulty involved in recruiting appropriate subjects for your research studies and we can help.

Research Coordinator Group: Recruitment Service

Highly skilled and professional ICTS research coordinators can help with newspaper and website advertising, posters, and standard telephone and email scripts. Recruitment is performed by staff trained in good clinical practice, so the service enhances safety, privacy, and collection of high-quality data. We also focus on novel approaches to increasing participation and retention of subjects, with particular attention to the participation of underserved and minority populations in trials. We are working to develop culturally competent and sensitive strategies to include patients in our partnering federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in the CTRR, 40% of whom are African-American or Hispanic. Our recruitment practices are consistent with community preferences, recognizing the mistrust that many minority communities harbor toward clinical research. Iowa also has a high population of elderly and poor subjects in rural communities who have not been traditionally included in clinical research.

Researchers who utilize the Research Coordinator Group will gain access to the specific types of individuals who are the focus of their particular studies. Resources, including participants, can be more efficiently pooled. In addition, the Recruitment Service promotes a unified, confidential, consistent, and more streamlined process of collecting and sharing data. Because this service interacts closely with the IRB, it also ensures secure and ethical practices in dealing with potential research participants.

Automated Updates: To further facilitate clinical trials recruitment, the Biomedical Informatics Key Function has developed initial procedures using our electronic medical records (EMR) to identify patients who meet eligibility criteria for specific trials. Once identified, EMR alerts can be forwarded to clinicians during patient encounters informing them of a patient’s eligibility for a particular trial. This procedure is being tested in a current study in pediatric patients with asthma.

Flexible Nursing Service: experienced with highly specialized subject recruitment (e.g., intenstive care unit, NICU)

Coming soon! The Clinical and Translational Research Registry (CTRR): attract volunteers via advertisements, community outreach, and invitations to current UI patients. The CTRR links with existing local recruitment databases, such as the STAR (Seniors Together in Aging Research) ( registry. Registry volunteers can request to be removed from the contact list at any time. Information is stored on a secure, access-protected database; once a research protocol has been approved by the IRB, an individual investigator can query the CTRR for potential participants and/or provide a recruitment letter for distribution.

Using to Recruit Volunteers to Your Research Study

UI investigators may now use, a new national volunteer recruitment registry, to connect online with potential research study volunteers. The not-for-profit website brings together researchers and people who are willing to learn more about research studies in a secure and convenient manner.

The University of Iowa is one of more than 50 institutions now participating in this first national volunteer recruitment registry on a wide range of diseases and overall health.

ResearchMatch is the product of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium, which is led by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The UI participates in the CTSA Consortium through the ICTS.

Who can use ResearchMatch? University of Iowa IRB-approved studies, registered with ResearchMatch and approved by the ResearchMatch Institutional Liaison, may use the service to recruit volunteers. You must be the primary principal investigator (PI) on an active University of Iowa IRB-approved study to recruit volunteers using ResearchMatch. The PI is required to register the study on You will be asked to submit contact and study information. You must also sign a Researcher Acknowledgement Form (RAF), agreeing to treat volunteers’ personally-identifiable data obtained from ResearchMatch as confidential information used solely to recruit patients to participate in the study.

How Does ResearchMatch Work? Once you’ve registered, you can search ResearchMatch’s non-identifiable volunteer profiles to find appropriate matches. You can refine the search process by providing inclusion and exclusion criteria in the ResearchMatch Search Builder to yield a list of potential matches. ResearchMatch will send your IRB approved recruitment email to volunteers based on the list you provide. Your study’s recruitment information (i.e., similar to what you’d provide on a flyer or poster) will be inserted into the standard ResearchMatch electronic notification. This notification informs a volunteer that a researcher has identified him or her as a potential match for a research study. Potential volunteers have the option of replying “yes,” “no,” or “not respond,” by clicking on links embedded in the email notification. When a volunteer responds, “yes,” they are authorizing ResearchMatch to release their contact information to you, the PI. This information will become available on your ResearchMatch study dashboard. You will be responsible for managing this contact information as determined by your IRB-approved study protocol.

How do I include ResearchMatch in my IRB application? To recruit volunteers to an existing study using ResearchMatch, you can submit a modification application in HawkIRB. If you are developing a new project, you may simply add that you intend to use ResearchMatch in your new project application in HawkIRB. You must check the “ResearchMatch” box located in the recruitment section of the HawkIRB application. You are also required to provide a copy of the email notification that ResearchMatch will send to potential volunteers. This email must not contain direct study contact information, but should provide enough information about the study that potential volunteers can make an informed decision about participation.

What are my reporting responsibilities? You must promptly report, in writing, any unauthorized use of, access to, and/or disclosure of data or information from ResearchMatch to the Institutional Liaison and the University of Iowa IRB. Any other unanticipated problems associated with ResearchMatch must also be reported. Such problems include disclosure to any unauthorized recipient or any other individual or entity who/that is not an IRB-approved member of the research team or any other unanticipated problem involving risk to volunteers or others. You are also responsible for reporting any change in the study status, for example study closure, change in PI, lapse of approval, etc.

Does researcher registration expire? Your access to ResearchMatch will expire when your IRB approval expires. If you receive continuing review approval from the IRB, then you are required to upload the new IRB approval memo to continue your access to ResearchMatch. Note: If an unintentional lapse in time occurs and you are unable to submit this continuing review evidence to ResearchMatch, then you will be unable to search the registry for recruitment purposes or to contact new volunteers until you have uploaded a current IRB-approval letter.

Who is the Institutional Liaison for ResearchMatch at the University of Iowa? Contact the ICTS Research Navigator by phone at 319.384.8319 with questions about ResearchMatch.