Study Recruitment & Retention Resources

woman looking at faces of people

Need help finding and recruiting participants?

Recruiting participants who are a good match for your study can be very challenging.  You’re not alone – a startling 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.

Recruitment & Feasibility Assessment Tools


It is important to assess the feasibility of a protocol prior to implementing it to ensure that it is successful. Here are some helpful tools to assist you in assessing the feasibility of your project:

  • Protocol feasibility checklist: A checklist designed to help you determine if a protocol can be successfully conducted. 
  • Cohort Discovery: A web-based tool administered by OCTRI that uses Epic data to estimate the number of potential study participants based on criteria provided by you. 
  • AccuralNet: An online project of the National Cancer Institute that has several tools to help evaluate study feasibility. This information on this site is useful for non-cancer studies as well. 

Recruitment Resources & Tools

Guidance Documents:

General Recruitment & Retention Guidance Documents:

Population Specific Guidance Documents:

Method Specific Guidance Documents:


OHSU Resources


External Resources

OCTRI Recruitment & Retention Services


Recruitment Consultation: Contact OCTRI's Recruitment Specialist ( for comprehensive recruitment consultation to identify the best resources for your study. This service is available at no cost for OHSU investigators and investigators at OCTRI Partner institutions.

Cohort Discovery for Count Requests, A web-based tool that allows OHSU researchers to identify patient cohort counts from Epic data for preparatory to research purposes, including recruitment. Participation in a one time, two hour training is required prior to gaining access to this tool.

Research Data Warehouse (RDW), 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. Working with OCTRI staff, researchers are able to utilize the RDW for such purposes as identifying potential study participants, assess feasibility for a grant application, de-identified datasets for epidemiological studies, and retrospective data on current study participants.

Research Tools in Epic: There are features within Epic that may be useful in recruiting patients for research studies, such as MyChart or Best Practice Advisories. You can work with the Epic Research Team to determine if these methods might be appropriate for your study. 

Clinical Research Development Team: A meeting with local experts in operational aspects of clinical trials at OHSU. An hour long meeting can be arranged to review your study and accrual goals and brainstorm solutions. If your study is a multi-site clinical trial this meeting may lead to accessing national resources through the Trial Innovation Network. 

Research Volunteer Registry and Biorepository: OCTRI maintains a registry of people who are interested in participating in research at OHSU. Investigators can request contact information for potential participants or if samples are needed, researchers can request blood and urine specimens from the biorepository.  

Study Coordinators: OCTRI study coordinators are in high demand because they consistently display professionalism, attention to detail, and resourcefulness. They have a strong track record of using both traditional and innovative recruitment methods to craft realistic recruitment plans and to get studies back on target. For example, coordinators can help in making phone calls, staffing events for recruitment and hanging study recruitment posters. 

ResearchMatch: ResearchMatch is a national participant recruitment and feasibility analysis tool that is available for free to OHSU researchers. We have seen studies looking for participants with rare disorders have great success. This tool is also very useful for studies looking for participants to respond to surveys or questionnaires. 

Trial Innovation Network (TIN): For multi-site research the CTSA network has established the Trial Innovation Network. A component of the network includes the Recruitment Innovation Center which can provide consultation and recruitment materials or planning for multi-site studies. If you are interested in applying for a service with the TIN please contact OCTRI's TIN Liaison, Kitt Swartz ( 


For a downloadable PDF outlining OCTRI Recruitment Services click here.

Contact Us!

OCTRI is here to help investigators plan and carry out their recruitment plans. We are invested in ensuring successful recruitment to clinical trials. Please contact our recruitment team to discuss your project.

Previous Presentations

2018 Survey Results and OCTRI Recruitment Toolkit Launch - Slides presented 1/24/2019

Including Older Adults in Research - Implementing the NIH Lifespan Policy & Recruitment Strategies - Slides presented 2/5/2019 and Echo 360 Recording

Social Media and Subject Recruitment: How to make it work for you - Slides presented 2/28/2019 ; Echo 360 Recording

Not sure where to begin?

If you aren't sure where to start contact the OCTRI Recruitment Specialist ( for a consultation.