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Recruitment Toolkit

It is our goal to provide participant recruitment resources to study teams with distinct instructions, templates, and editorial guidance to assist with implementation and dissemination of recruitment materials. The Center for Clinical Research (CCR) is rapidly evolving and developing new resources. Please check back for new toolkit resources.

 Web-based Recruitment Portals

CCR offers free public recruitment portals to ensure your study is online accessible.

 Introduction to Recruitment Via Social Media

Basics of participant recruitment using selected social media platforms.

Social Media Advertisement: Learn how to create digital and social media pages. Consider answering important questions before recruiting on social media.

Social Media Strategies: Learn best practices for online recruitment platforms to target your research population.

If you have difficulty accessing any of these resource, please email Tina Ward.

 Research Recruitment Trackers

Deciding which recruitment resources to use is essential. The more effective tracking components there are in a recruitment plan, the more likely you will reach your recruitment goals.

Keep track of research participants recruitment sources and budget. These worksheets are only a guide. The prefilled categories should be substituted for your clinical trial specifications.

 Recruitment Advertisement Templates

Available resources to create advertisement materials.

  • Access Feinberg Office of Communications templates
  • Unlock your research team’s creative potential while designing recruitment advertisement with Adobe Creative Cloud

 Center for Community Health (CCH)
Supports collaborations among investigators, stakeholders, and patients to ensure that research is thoughtfully designed, conducted, and disseminated.

Engaging communities, patients, and stakeholders offers a promising approach for ensuring research and interventions are culturally sensitive and responsive to community needs and priorities, as well as increasing the likelihood of generating meaningful and sustainable results. Community-Engaged Research is guided by the principles of collaboration, respect, equity, transparency, and impact.

CCH does not assist in direct patient/stakeholder recruitment. However, CCH consultations provide support in the following areas:

  • Advice on Stakeholder Engagement Strategies: Technical Assistance & Resources
  • Capacity Building Support: Trainings/ Workshops/ Tools
  • Fiscal support: Help identify funding opportunities
  • Proposal Review and Support: Letter of support from CCH
  • Mentorship: Review a draft manuscript 
  • Partner Brokering and Development: Establish and build partner relationships
  • If interested, submit the CCH consultation request form
Additional Resources

 Northwestern University Resources

Commonly used on campus resources and guidelines are available to assist with your clinical research recruitment plans.

  • NMEDW: A single, comprehensive, and integrated repository of all clinical and research data sources on the campus to facilitate research, clinical quality, healthcare operations and medical education.
  • IRB Recruitment Guidelines: All recruitment methods and public facing materials require approval by the Institutional Review Board. Become familiar with the guidelines prior to creating study materials.
  • The Trial Innovation Network (TIN) -A collaborative national network offers many self-service tools and resources to help investigators throughout the entire life cycle of their projects.

 CCR Vendor Advertisement Support

The Center for Clinical Research (CCR) offers Northwestern University research teams discounted campaign platforms to assist in meeting enrollment goals.

Complete the CCR Intake Form to start the ad placement process.

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and PACE: Here is how to get started with a CTA ad request

Commuter Profiles and Service Lines: Review the bus and train lines to determine where to place your research study ad CTA and Union Station Ad Creation Assistance: Utilize our templates and branding guidance to create your ad design with the CTA specifications

Chicago Tribune: Here is how to get started with a Chicago Tribune Ad

Participating Institutions: