Recruitment Toolkit

Recruitment Toolkit



A feasibility assessment is a crucial first step when developing a recruitment plan. The assessment will provide realistic recruitment goal estimates and aid in protocol development.  The “Recruitment Feasibility Worksheet” in the Toolkit provides checklists of benefits, strategies and tactics to consider in developing a recruitment plan.

Preparatory to Research

ResearchMatch is a Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health. To request access as a researcher in order to determine possible study cohorts already signed up with Research Match please submit a Researcher Interest Form. Your request will be routed to our institutional liaison who will review and process your request.

i2b2 Cohort Discovery Tool – The i2b2 Cohort Discovery Tool is housed within the CTSI. It allows MCW researchers to query the EMR for Froedtert Health Inc. and Children’s Hospital of WI. In response to a query, i2b2 will return a result set which answers the fundamental question: Is there a sufficient cohort of patients with certain characteristics to conduct the study?

Biostatistical Consulting Service – Investigators are strongly encouraged to consult with Biostatistics at the very beginning of their project.  The consulting service provides assistance with sample size and power calculations, data analysis and study design in addition to other data and statistical questions.

See also: Public Data Sources below

Recruitment Policies

Recruitment Policies

Both MCW and Froedtert hospital have policies specific to advertising, recruitment and non-English speaking research participants.

Medical College of Wisconsin

FMLH Language Services policy
Any questions regarding this policy contact OCRICC at ocricc@froedterthealth.org

Advertising & Communication Strategies and Policies


A well-conceived strategy is the key to maximizing trial recruitment. It should be developed early to help plan your budget and protocol accordingly. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) must approve a recruitment strategy.  The “Recruitment Strategy and Budget planning worksheet” in the Toolkit provides a list of recruitment methods along with workbook for budget development


Advertising strategies accompanied with careful budget planning will help investigators reach potential participants for their study.  The Institutional Review Board (IRB) must approve any advertising prior to posting. The “MCW IRB_Recruitment Flyer Template” and the “Study Ad with Tear off Contact Information” in the Toolkit provide editable advertising templates.

 MCW and Froedtert Hospital policies on advertising

Froedtert / OCRICC Advertisement Instructions

MCW Advertisement policy

Communications and Media Contacts

If researchers are looking to reach a large audience, working with both MCW Communications and local newspapers, radio and TV stations may be necessary. The Milwaukee Association of Commerce provides a list of contact information for local newspapers, radio and TV stations. In addition, the working in parallel with the MCW Communication office is necessary. A study recruitment media campaign requires approval by both the IRB AND the MCW Communication Office. Also note to MCW purchasing must be contacted prior to any purchasing transaction.

Maximizing Recruitment
Additional Resources

Additional Resources

The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation

CISCRP (The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation) helps professionals better understand the study volunteer with facts and figures based on polls and surveys and other resources. These charts include information about before, during, and after participation as well as general information.

Trial Innovation Network

The Trial Innovation Network is a collaborative initiative within the CTSA Program composed of three key organizational partners – the CTSA Program Hubs, the Trial Innovation Centers (TICs), and the Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC). Other important partners include NIH Institutes, other federal and non-federal stakeholders, researchers, patients, providers, and the public.   The Recruitment and Retention Toolkit consists of submissions from CTSA hubs and other community health partners.

Forte Research Infographics

University of Rochester Medical Center CTSI

This presentation from the University of Rochester Medical Center’s CTSI discusses many principles of recruitment for clinical research.

Public Data Sources

Hospital & Insurance

Hospital & Insurance

HCUPnet is a free, online query system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). It provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization.

Medical Expenditure Survey Panel, MEPSnet/HC gives you easy access to nationally representative statistics of health care use, expenditures, sources of payment, and insurance coverage for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. With MEPSnet/HC you can generate statistics using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Household Component public use files.



Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts
The Kaiser Foundation focuses on major health care issues facing the nation, as well as U.S. role in global health policy. The Foundation is a “non-partisan source of facts and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the general public

AHRQ State Snapshots
The State Snapshots provide State-specific health care quality information, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. The goal is to help State officials and their public- and private-sector partners better understand health care quality and disparities in their State.



CDC – National Center for Health Statistics
The NCHS is the nation’s principal health statistics agency, NCHS leads the way with accurate, relevant, and timely data.

U. S. Bureau of the Census
Interactive Internet Data Tools available to explore United States Census data

Health Data.govThis site contains over 800 datasets and is dedicated to making high value health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all.

Health Services Research Information Central (HSRIC)
HSRIC is a research portal of health services research resources produced in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine. It provide numerous Internet links to data, funding announcements, reports, podcasts, discussion groups, and more.

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute provides information on cancer statistics in an effort to reduce the cancer burden among the U.S. population.

GenBank ® is the NIH genetic sequence database, an annotated collection of all publicly available DNA sequences which comprises the DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ), the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA), and GenBank at NCBI



World Health Organization: Global Health Observatory
WHO’s gateway to health-related statistics from around the world. The aim of the GHO portal is to provide easy access to country data and statistics with a focus on comparable estimates, and WHO’s analyses to monitor global, regional and country situation and trends.

The Human Mortality Database
The Human Mortality Database (HMD) was created to provide detailed mortality and population data to researchers, students, journalists, policy analysts, and others interested in the history of human longevity. It is the work of two teams of researchers in the USA and Germany with the help of financial backers and scientific collaborators from around the world.

Global Health Data Exchange
The goal of the GHDx is to help people locate data by cataloging information about data including the topics covered, by providing links to data providers or explaining how to acquire the data, and in cases where we have permission, providing the data directly for download.



re3data.org Project Consortium
re3data.org (DataCite) is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. Many of the datasets are focused on basic science research.

Harvard Personal Genome Project
The Genome Project was founded in 2005 and is dedicated to creating public genome, health, and trait data in the belief that sharing data is critical to scientific progress.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


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