Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute

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Recruit Tool

Recruit Tool is a web-based registry and participant screening system developed by the informatics team at NUCATS. This system is used to collect information about potential study participants to assist our teams in qualifying participants.

Those interested in participating in our investigations may do so by either enrolling in a general registry or by responding to the screening questions for a specific active study. Anyone interested in participating in clinical studies can opt-in from a variety of portals.

When a prospective participant answers specific questions designed by a study team in Recruit Tool, they become eligible to be contacted for participation in one of the Northwestern University studies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the topics below for answers to common questions, or email for additional support.

 What does Recruit Tool offer to research teams?

  • Create and customize screening forms and/or a new registry specific to your area of study. It will allow you to specify what patient characteristics are recorded, including those not available in patient records, to help facilitate your research recruitment objectives.
  • Find patients who might qualify for your study in the General Research Registry and identify other scientists who have developed a registry in your specialty to facilitate a potential collaboration.
  • Access a web-based portal for screening logs, communication and screening forms. Access and review digital participant documentation at any time, including screening and demographic forms, surveys and consent forms. Automated communication to and between screened participants and research team.
  • Direct link between Study Tracker and Recruit Tool enables cross-platform synchronization and the ability to toggle between applications.
  • Fast export of your data to Excel or other programs for analysis.

 What features does Recruit Tool offer the research participant?

  • The web-based portal facilitates the ability to respond to screening questions at the participant’s leisure.
  • Instant communication as to the participant’s qualifications for a specific study; immediate response based upon screener’s criteria.
  • Interested participants can always access a list of active studies at Northwestern University and apply for a screener upon locating a study they feel they may qualify.
  • Email-based communication between the research team and participant tracks communication and responses in one location.
  • Electronically record and track signed participant consent forms.

 What types of information does Recruit Tool capture?

  • Participant demographic information (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity)
  • Medical history
  • Informed consent forms
  • Survey responses
  • Participant research interests
  • Custom fields for your registry

 What are the benefits of Recruit Tool?

Better functionality and safety in a secure & compliant environment

Recruit Tool’s secure environment safely houses participant surveys and questionnaires. Only Northwestern University IRB-authorized personnel can access their specific studies.

Recruit Tool is a secure software tool that meets government standards for safety and security.

NUCATS developers have an in-depth understanding of Northwestern and partner institution policies and procedures to ensure your Recruit Tool registry & screener is compliant.

User Interface, development and support

NUCATS is experienced in registry development and customization, resulting in reduced costs compared to external vendors or purchasing your own platform.

The self-service tool allows the research team to facilitate and drive this aspect of their research with the backing of the Application Support Team.

Recruit Tool has a participant-facing page allowing participants to update their information or retake surveys without having to manually send them an invitation.

Enrichment is possible through linkage to the Northwestern Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse.

 How much does it cost the research team to use Recruit Tool?

Recruit Tool is a subsidized service provided by NUCATS. Since Recruit Tool is self-service, there is no cost to Northwestern University scientists. You will have full control over your forms and data, but support is provided if you need assistance or have questions.

 I'm interested in using Recruit Tool for a screener and registry for my Northwestern University IRB-approved study. What do I have to do to get started?

All Northwestern University IRB-approved studies are immediately granted the ability to enable Recruit Tool for their study. If a scientist is listed on the study’s Authorized Personnel List, they are immediately able to enact Recruit Tool for screeners directly from Study Tracker.

Investigators interested in creating a Registry within Recruit Tool should email support at for initial setup. After the initial setup has been completed, they will be able to design and edit their registry freely.

 I'm a study participant. What can I expect from using Recruit Tool?

Signing up for Recruit Tool is similar to filling out a survey. Some of the questions might cover past medical history, family history, your current health or other related areas. The types of questions asked depend on the focus of the screening or registry. Some screeners and registries are looking for people with specific diseases or conditions, while other screeners or registries are looking for healthy volunteers.

Scientists at Northwestern University study a lot of different things. Topics can vary from eating habits, exercise, new medicines and treatments to new technologies such as phone apps to evaluate health and wellness. If you sign up to participate in research through Recruit Tool, be sure to clearly list your interests.

By logging into Recruit Tool, you can either enroll for a specific registry or look through the active list of recruiting studies and fill out the study specific screener. If after signing up for a registry you chose to leave at any time, you may withdraw from the registry and we will delete your profile. For questions about a specific registry or screener, you should reach out to the contact person found in the consent form or on the registry/screener information page.

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Participating Institutions: