Recruiting research participants can sometimes feel like a full time job. Tailoring your recruitment materials to maximize your participant numbers plays an important role. There are online sources that offer support and creative ways to recruit participants. While every study has a unique recruitment strategy, a recruitment letter is a good place to start for attracting new participants. A recruitment letter usually follows this type of format:
- Begin with a salutation (e.g., Dear [Recipient Name] or Director/School Principal)
- Include one sentence that introduces the researcher to the reader (e.g., researcher’s full name, title, and university affiliation).
- Briefly describe the research procedures, the topic of the survey or interview, how long the individual research procedures will take and, if applicable, the total time commitment to participate in the study.
- Describe where the study will take place.
- Detail any exclusion and/or inclusion criteria (e.g., participants must be over 18 years old).
- Outline any potential risks/benefits associated with participating in this study and describe how the researcher will protect the rights and welfare of the human subjects involved in the study.
- Close the recruitment letter by including the researcher’s contact information and a call to action (e.g., email the researcher, if interested).
Here is an example of a recruitment letter from a student researcher.
In summary, when you recruit participants tailor your message so it is appropriate for them and include enough information to help them decide if they want to participate in your study.