- Getting Started
- Resources for Equity in Research
- Community-Engaged Student Practice Placement
- Community Coalition for Equity in Research
- Implementation Science Working Group
- Past Webinars & Podcasts
- Policy Atlas
- Pilot Funding
- Community Advisory Board
Recruitment Guidelines for Equity in Research
The Community Coalition for Equity in Research creates tools and materials to help address common issues identified during the study review process. These guidelines were developed by members of the community coalition and focus on best practices for accessible recruitment in research.
Why Does This Matter?
Recruitment for research studies must be conducted equitably to reach a representative sample of your study population, which provides the opportunity to capture authentic information from community members. This can lead to forming better decisions, especially regarding the health of the community. Equitable recruitment strategies further help cultivate bilateral trust. Researchers can connect with community members and community members are able to be part of the process.
“Ensuring equity throughout research – more specifically during recruitment, gives researchers the opportunity to meet communities needs and create access for all stakeholders to engage in a manner that is authentic and respectful.”
– Jean Dolin, Coalition Member
Build the Following Considerations into the Recruitment Process
- Connect with trusted community members as a first step before formal recruitment begins. Give information on the project and what you are asking of potential participants.
- Tailor your recruitment based on the advice community members give you. Reaching different populations may require different approaches.
Include the Following Practices to Increase Accessibility of Materials
- Include enough information about the study that potential participants have a clear idea of what is being studied and asked of them.
- Use plain language wherever possible. Try to have a middle school reading level. You can use readability software to analyze the writing. See list of resources in the section below.
- Use simple numbers rather than statistics whenever possible. For example, instead of using ‘5% of users’, use ‘5 out of 100 people.
- Have a clear design. Consider visual aids, breaking information into separate sections on the materials, using bold or italics to highlight key information, and read for redundancy.
- Provide appropriate compensation for participants. Consider the time that people are contributing to your study and ensure it is issued promptly.
- Materials should be available in multiple languages, especially languages that reflect the populations with whom you are working. Use community-based services. Access vetted list here.
Resources for Using Plain Language
Below are some sites where you can learn more about how to use plain language in your materials and where you can test some of your materials for language literacy.
- Harvard Catalyst Plain Language Checklist – This is a tool to help communicate and explain research in plain language.
- Overview: Plainlanguage.gov – This is a great overview site filled with guidelines, videos, and resources for best practices with writing plain language.
- Measure the Readability of Text: Text Analysis Tools – Readable – You can paste your text and see the grade level here.
- Readability Test: WebFX – Check the readability score of your website or text.
- Embedding Health Literacy in Clinical Trials to Improve Recruitment and Retention – Health Literacy in Clinical Research – NCBI Bookshelf: Describes experiences and emotions of the process of participating in research. It is good reading material for building a tool or designing a workshop on health literacy and recruitment/consent in research. The material focuses on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and how to navigate discussions on these topics.
- Principles of Health Literacy in Clinical Research – Health Literacy in Clinical Research: A clearly designed, easy to navigate website dedicated to health literacy in research. It gives clear guidance on how to incorporate health literacy principles into the recruitment and consent process and provides examples.
- Tips and Tricks for Successful Research Recruitment (Toolkit PDF): Outlines how communication should be presented, and offers communication ideas in different mediums (e.g., TV, radio, community partnerships).
Review Your Study With Us
The Community Coalition for Equity in Research serves as a free resource for high-quality community input on research proposals and protocols, as well as a trusted communication channel between researchers and community stakeholders.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in having your research study reviewed by our coalition members.