Find and Recruit the Participants You Need

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Recruiting participants who are a good match for your study isn’t always easy. If you have experienced recruitment challenges, you’re not alone—a surprising number of clinical studies at OHSU never enroll a single participant. In addition to traditional advertising and outreach through clinics, there are a variety of tools and resources that can help investigators identify potential participants. We have gathered documents, tools and information to help you as you plan and implement your study. 

Explore below to learn how OCTRI Recruitment connects with research teams to ensure they have the tools and support they need for successful recruitment and retention throughout their studies. 

To schedule a recruitment consultation or for questions about the resources described here, please email

  • Cohort discovery for count requests: A web-based tool for identifying patient cohort counts from Epic data for preparatory to research purposes, including recruitment. 

  • Research Data Warehouse: A repository of Epic data from patients and research subjects that provides access to over 2.5 million patient records and 40,000 data points.  

  • Research tools in Epic: These may be useful in recruiting patients for research studies, such as MyChart or Best Practice Advisories.  

  • Clinical Research Development Team: Local experts in operational aspects of clinical trials at OHSU. An hourlong meeting can be arranged to review your study and accrual goals and brainstorm solutions.  

  • Research Volunteer Registry and Biorepository: OCTRI maintains a registry of people interested in participating in OHSU research. Investigators can request contact information for potential participants or blood and urine specimens.   

  • Study coordinators: OCTRI study coordinators are in high demand due to their professionalism, attention to detail, resourcefulness and strong track record of using both traditional and innovative recruitment methods.  

  • ResearchMatch: a national electronic, web-based recruitment tool (learn more below) 

  • Trial Innovation Network: The Clinical and Translational Science Award program has established the Trial Innovation Network to assist investigators planning and conducting multi-site research.  

Do you need help learning to recruit in a diverse and inclusive way for your study? Or help finding patients who are representative of the demographics of the disease being studied? OCTRI's Integrating Special Populations team is invested in providing education and guidance to develop an inclusive research plan that is compliant with NIH policies and provides a good foundation for excellence in scientific progress. 

Our Integrating Special Populations program has a special emphasis on inclusive research across the lifespan.  Read more about NIH policy on inclusion across the lifespan or peruse our Recruitment Resources and Guidance section and to learn more about including special populations in research.

Protocol feasibility checklist: For investigators who need to evaluate the feasibility of conducting an industry-sponsored study at OHSU

Cohort Discovery: Gain access to an online tool to query the electronic health record at OHSU. By using this drag and drop web based tool you can better understand the number of possible candidates for your research study. Note that this tool is only available to OHSU employees and training is required.

Diversity in Recruitment: Including Underrepresented Groups in Research (Jan. 22, 2020)

Social Media and Subject Recruitment: How to make it work for you (Feb. 28, 2019) 

Including Older Adults in Research - Implementing the NIH Lifespan Policy & Recruitment Strategies (Feb. 5, 2019) 

2018 Recruitment Survey Results and OCTRI Recruitment Toolkit Launch (Jan. 24, 2019) 

logo for the Research Match website:

ResearchMatch is a national project developed by institutions affiliated with the Clinical and Translational Science Awards and facilitated at OHSU by OCTRI. To use ResearchMatch to recruit participants, researchers can sign up for Feasibility Access to see aggregate data within the registry population or Recruitment Access to identify volunteers who are a good match for their study. Recruitment Access requires IRB approval. You can register as an investigator, read the Researcher FAQ, or contact the OCTRI Navigator to learn more. 

ResearchMatch resources: 

Learn more at, or contact your local ResearchMatch liaisons at

Additional resources

Browse these tools and documents as you develop your recruitment strategy and begin recruiting participants. 

External resources

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Have questions or want to request a consultation? 

Contact OCTRI's Recruitment Specialist

(503) 346-0811

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'Research Recruitment & Retention Experiences' Survey

Research team members - Share your experiences and input on recruitment and retention at OHSU. 

Take the survey now

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Report of Research Findings

Recruitment Methods & Tool Utilization at OHSU

Review the findings here

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Are you interested in participating in a research study?

Browse the OHSU Research Opportunity website or contact OCTRI to help you connect with open research opportunities!