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 knowledge, tools, and support needed for successful participant recruitment and retention throughout their studies. 

It can be hard to know how to best recruit for your study goals and population. OCTRI Recruitment can help! Meet with our team for a complimentary recruitment consult to discuss your recruitment needs and goals and help you create a strategy tailored to your study.  To schedule a recruitment consultation, or for questions about the resources described here, please email

OCTRI Resources 

  • 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: Experienced clinical research staff and faculty available to meet to discuss research project development, implementation, or ongoing challenges and provide overall advice regarding operations best practices, tools and connections to streamline and guide your research project.  

  • 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, urine, stool and saliva specimens.  

  • Study coordinators: OCTRI study coordinators are experienced in traditional and innovative recruitment methods and in high demand due to their professionalism, attention to detail, resourcefulness and strong track record of successfully recruiting participants for studies. 

  • Community Outreach, Research and Engagement (CORE): OCTRI's CORE team provides community-based support in rural Oregon to facilitate community-engaged research and assist academic researchers in developing community-based partnerships. 

  • ResearchMatch: A national project developed by institutions affiliated with the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) and facilitated at OHSU by OCTRI. 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. You can register as an investigator, read the Researcher FAQ, or contact the OCTRI Navigator to learn more. 

  • 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.  

Clinical research has historically underrepresented and excluded certain populations. Individuals and groups have experienced this exclusionary behavior due to their race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual and/or gender identity, socio-economic status, development and disabilities, and geographic region. The Integrating Special Populations Core (ISP), as a part of the NIH CTSA grant model, works to change this.

OCTRI’s ISP Core facilitates research focused on better understanding how and why certain populations are excluded and the measures research teams can take to ensure their inclusion in research. ISP Core does this through identifying strategies through their research that will advance the access to research for underrepresented populations, providing education and resources to promote inclusive and representative research, and building professional networks nationally and locally of investigators and research teams around the topic of inclusive research.

The ISP Core works closely with OCTRI Recruitment, Community Outreach, Research & Engagement program (CORE), the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN), and others at OHSU and regionally.  


  • “Lifespan Inclusion Project” – Study compared protocol and enrollment age ranges at OHSU pre and post implementation of the NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan policy to determine match levels between participant ages and the disease demographics of the disease being studied.
    • Publications:
      • Zauflik M, Eckstrom E. Matching Older Research Subjects to Disease Demographics: First You Need to Know the Demographics. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020;68(1):218-219. doi:10.1111/jgs.16196
      • Zauflik M, Wenzel E, Zell A, Eckstrom E. 4132 Do Research Studies at Oregon Health & Science University Comply with the New NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy - A “Look Back” over the last 2 Years. J Clin Transl Sci. 2020;4(Suppl 1):83. Published 2020 Jul 29. doi:10.1017/cts.2020.265
      • Eckstrom E, Zauflik M, De Lima B. Matching enrolled trial participants to disease demographics: Using IRB submissions to identify opportunities for researcher training. J Clin Transl Sci. 2023;7(1):e114. Published 2023 May 8. doi:10.1017/cts.2023.539
  • “Older Adults in Research – Using the 5T Model” – Study utilized the community engagement studios (CES) and 5Ts Framework created by the NIH CTSAs at Vanderbilt University and Duke University respectively to conduct facilitated conversations with older adults about older adult inclusion in research.
    • Publications:
      • Zauflik M, Brown K, Zebroski D, Eckstrom E. 124 Enhancing Inclusion of Older Adults in Research: What do Older Adults Think?. J Clin Transl Sci. 2022;6(Suppl 1):6. Published 2022 Apr 19. doi:10.1017/cts.2022.38
      • Thomas J, Eckstrom E, Lam WKK, et al. Recommendations for using the 5Ts Framework to support research inclusion across the lifespan. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2023;71(8):2664-2669. doi:10.1111/jgs.18359
  • “Age Friendly Research: Building Infrastructure and Research Team Skills to Enhance Inclusion of Older Adults” – Study educated researchers through a virtual, interactive seminar series and pilot tested developed tools aimed at optimizing recruitment and retention of older adults.
    • Publications:
      • ​​​​​​​De Lima B, Lindauer A, Eckstrom E. Age-Friendly Research: Promoting inclusion of older adults in clinical and translational research. J Clin Transl Sci. 2023:1-15. doi:10.1017/cts.2023.627

Education and Resources:

  • Older Adult Recruitment Resource Kit – This kit provides research teams with information, tools and guidance materials for recruiting older adults into research studies. Tools developed and tested through the “Age Friendly Research” study.
  • NCATS Inclusion of Older Adults in Research Toolkit – OCTRI’s ISP Core, as a member of the NCATS Inclusion of Older Adults Working Group, helped to create this 8-part toolkit aimed at increasing the inclusion of older adults into research by equipping investigators with easily accessible training materials.
  • Research Forum: Including Older Adults in Research (2019) – Recorded panel presentation from OHSU experts on lifespan and aging research on implementing the NIH Lifespan Policy and recruitment strategies.
  • Research Forum: Including Older Adults in Research (2018) – Recorded presentation from OHSU’s Chief of Geriatrics, and Director of OCTRI’s ISP Core, Dr. Elizabeth Eckstrom on the challenges and strategies of recruiting older adults.

The Recruitment Advisory Council provides comprehensive advice and guidance related to knowledge, resources and methods based on best practices for clinical research recruitment with a focus on inclusive and representative populations through community-based recruitment. 

More details to come. 

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.

Developing Inclusive and Representative Research Populations (Jul. 13, 2022)

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) 

StudyPages is an online, participant friendly platform that changes how institutions like OHSU and its study teams find and engage with people interested in research. The platform is already successfully being used by other academic medical centers throughout the U.S.

Study teams can create and publish listings for their eligible studies that provide the public with engaging, understandable information and allows for teams and potential participants to easily connect. To learn more about using the platform for your study(ies), access the OHSU StudyPages training resources below. An OHSU account is required to access the manual and video.   

For questions or assistance, email To access your account, visit the platform and use your OHSU credentials to log in.      

Are you a community member or external provider interested in research opportunities at OHSU, visit our gallery for a complete listing of available study opportunities. For cancer specific studies, visit our Knight Cancer gallery for available study opportunities. For general questions about using StudyPages to find available studies, or questions about participating in research studies at OHSU, please email

Additional resources

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Have questions or want to request a recruitment consultation? 

Contact OCTRI Recruitment 

(503) 346-0811

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Are you interested in participating in a research study?

Browse the OHSU StudyPages gallery and Knight Cancer gallery.

Contact OCTRI Recruitment with questions: