June 27, 2013, by Graham Kendall
Recruiting Research Participants
Not sure how relevant this is to UNMC, but it might be a resource that some of you could tap into?
Recruiting research participants just got easier
One of the big difficulties researchers face is recruiting participants for their research. That’s why three PhD students from The University of Nottingham have launched a new website — callforparticipants.com — to make the process more streamlined and efficient.
The site allows researchers to create landing pages and customise screening questions to ensure they recruit exactly the participants they need for their study. The site then sends the study to anyone who matches the researcher’s criteria.
The studies already on the site — and in need of participants — range from surveys into online identity and social media to research on citizen-science and crowdsourcing.
Simplifying the recruitment processMatthew Terrell, PhD student focusing on online innovative behaviour at the University’s Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, is part of the team at Nottingham which has built the site.
He said: “The platform allows the researcher to simplify the recruitment process by sending out a single link to potential participants. We do the rest of the work by filtering and only showing the researcher people who are suitable for their study.”
In addition to helping researchers, there are a range of incentives for participants who offer their time, including money, vouchers and prizes.
Matthew said: “Almost all research studies will offer some incentives and rewards, such as vouchers or entry into a prize draw. This is why many student and part-time or out of work individuals can benefit from signing up — and this is a key reason why we think potential participants will sign up to the site.
“Researchers get the information they need and participants are rewarded for their help.”
Matthew is working on the project with fellow Nottingham PhD students Martin Kruusimägi and Daniel Ratzinger. The team is currently working with institutes and industries in the UK, with ambitions to utilise the search around the world.
Parmjit Dhugga, Research and Training Development Management at The University of Nottingham, believes this is a much needed resource for researchers.
He said: “The savings in time and effort makes the case for Call for Participants overwhelming. A significant reduction in recruitment effort should be possible for most researchers, and potential participants will only need to visit a single site to find interesting opportunities. It’s simple and efficient and the logical thing to do.”
The team is working with Nottingham Catalyst, a Community Partnerships initiative at The University of Nottingham which links research and public engagement, with the aim of reaching hard to reach areas of the community.
You can access the site via http://www.callforparticipants.com.
Header Image: Volunteers Wanted: Downloaded from Google (24/06/2013), labelled as free to reuse (from http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ulric085/architecture/)