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Facebook Advertising

The UR CTSI works with health research teams to implement Facebook advertising campaigns to bolster their recruitment efforts. Compared with traditional media advertising, like print and radio, Facebook advertising is a low-cost and efficient way to reach and recruit study participants. Request a recruitment consultation through the Research Help Desk to get started.


Facebook advertising allows you to:

  • Target ads based on age, gender, location, and some other categories like interests and relationship status
  • Receive performance metrics like number of link clicks, click-through-rate, and cost per click

Get Started

In order to access this service, please schedule a free consultation with our research recruitment experts by emailing the Research Help Desk. While consultations are free of charge, there is a cost associated with running Facebook ads.

The UR CTSI’s research recruitment experts can help you determine whether Facebook advertising is right for your study:

  • Can you reach the people that are eligible for your study with Facebook ads?
  • Would a small pilot campaign help you learn this information?
  • How would Facebook ads fit into your overall study recruitment plan?
  • Can you identify a source of funding to pay for the cost of running ads?

Design Your Ads

Example of Facebook ad being run on the UR Health Research page: What you do today can change their tomorrow. Together we can create better medicine, for generations to come. Photo shows a Black/African American grandson and grandfather looking at an iPad together on a couch. Below the image: Participate in Health Research. Learn more.Our experts can show you examples of Facebook ads from other research studies and can review your drafted content and provide suggestions.

Use this template to ensure you have assembled all of the needed content.

Collect images (or videos).

  • Images must be full resolution and you must have the appropriate usage rights. A simple Google image search will likely not return many useful results.
  • The UR CTSI has access to a limited subset of a Getty Images photo library (free downloads for research teams).

Write your ad copy

  • UR CTSI recruitment staff can assist with tweaking content so it is Facebook-friendly at no extra charge.
  • You can also seek paid support from an approved outside copywriter. Contact the URMC Marketing Department.

All Facebook ads must lead to an external web page, such as:

  • REDCap screening form (needs to be IRB-approved)
  • Informational study web page
  • Study listing on the UR Health Research website (does not require IRB approval)

Get IRB Approval

Once you have compiled your ad content, you should update the recruitment plan section of your protocol to include Facebook advertising as a recruitment method.

Upload your ad content (or completed template) as an additional document for the IRB to review.

Run Your Ad Campaign

Ad campaigns are run through the Facebook Ads manager, which is accessed through any Facebook account or page. If your department or unit has a URMC-sanctioned Facebook page, you may opt to run your ad campaign using that page.

If your department or unit does not have a URMC-sanctioned Facebook page, the UR CTSI can run your ad campaign through the UR Health Research Facebook Page. We will manage your campaign and provide you with performance metrics when it concludes at no extra charge.

  • All ads run through the UR Health Research Facebook Page are initially charged to the UR CTSI P-Card. You must provide us with an account or grant number before we activate your ads so we can pass the expense onto the appropriate account. We can provide you with a receipt for financial backup. (It may take one to four weeks after your campaign concludes for a receipt to become available.)


In order to approve your Facebook or Instagram ads, the IRB needs certain information. This Facebook and Instagram ad template can help you prepare for IRB submission.