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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / August 2016 / Find Research Participants Using Tools on the New Health Research Website

Find Research Participants Using Tools on the New Health Research Website

For investigators who conduct research involving human subjects, finding sufficient numbers of volunteers to participate in a study can be difficult. Studying rare diseases, conducting trials with very specific inclusion criteria, and striving to ensure ethnic, racial, and gender diversity among research participants significantly compounds that difficulty. 

Luckily, many resources exist that can aid researchers in identifying and recruiting study participants.

Researcher listening to study volunteer's heart beat

The University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute offers many such resources, including access to local and national research participant registries that help match investigators with potential research participants. These online databases contain both healthy volunteers and patients with specific illnesses who are interested in participating in clinical trials.  

The URMC’s local registry, which is relatively new and growing, currently contains about 850 local registrants, while the national ResearchMatch registry contains just under 100,000 volunteers from across the country. Researchers can conduct feasibility searches in these registries to see if enough volunteers fit their basic study criteria. If they identify a sufficient population, they may request further registrant information and contact the registrants directly about participating in Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved studies. Registrants ultimately decide whether or not they would like to pursue participation in a given study and are at no point under any obligation to do so.

Researchers may also advertise their clinical studies on URMC’s newly revamped Health Research website. On this website, potential research participants from around the country or from the local community can search for open studies by keyword. Basic study information is provided through the search and interested volunteers can contact study teams directly for more information on how to participate in the study.

To post open studies on the URMC Health Research website, investigators must use the Clinical Studies Admin website. Study teams can actively monitor registrant interest from the admin website and download lists of potential volunteer information to contact them directly regarding enrolling in a study.

In order for investigators to use these registries, they must be listed as a participant recruitment method in the IRB-approved research protocol. Researchers may also use the registries as a recruitment method for existing IRB-approved studies by listing them as such in an amendment to the original study protocol.

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For detailed instructions on how to post studies in the Health Research website, click here.

To register as a researcher with ResearchMatch, click here.

For further guidance, contact Carrie Dykes, UR CTSI research engagement specialist via ResearchHelp@urmc.rochester.edu or (585) 275-2107. 

Susanne Pritchard Pallo | 8/2/2016

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