Welcome / Researchers / FAQ

If you are considering joining ResearchMatch as a volunteer, please visit the Volunteers page.


How Do I Cite ResearchMatch?

You should reference ResearchMatch and the CTSA program as follows: Recruitment for the study included/was done via ResearchMatch, a national health volunteer registry that was created by several academic institutions and supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health as part of the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) program. ResearchMatch has a large population of volunteers who have consented to be contacted by researchers about health studies for which they may be eligible. Review and approval for this study and all procedures was obtained from <<institutional review board>>.

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What is the overall objective of ResearchMatch.org?

ResearchMatch aims to serve as an effective, useful and complementary recruitment tool that will help connect willing volunteers with researchers who are searching for appropriate volunteers to be placed in their research studies.

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What does it cost to use ResearchMatch?

ResearchMatch is a not-for-profit activity and is free for any participating site & their researchers.

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How did ResearchMatch start?

ResearchMatch is a registry that was created through collaborations between the Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium and funded by the National Center for Research Resources – a component of the National Institute of Health. The platform is hosted at Vanderbilt University, but Institutional Liaison(s) exist at each participating site in order to provide local oversight of ResearchMatch usage.

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How is ResearchMatch funded?

ResearchMatch is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program grants. The CTSA program is led by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

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What is the difference between recruitment access and feasibility access?

Feasibility access allows you to view aggregate data regarding the ResearchMatch population whereas recruitent access allows you to search and contact volunteers. Recruitment access requires evidence of having IRB approval (or documentation of IRB exemption) as well as meeting the specifications that may be outlined in your site-specific instructions.

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What do I have to do to obtain recruitment access?

Only researchers at participating sites will be given access to register through the ResearchMatch system for either feasibility or recruitment access. To gain recruitment access, a study’s Principal Investigator (PI) and/or authorized recruitment proxy must submit sufficient evidence of having an approved IRB study (or documentation of IRB exemption). Your request will be routed to your site’s Institutional Liaison(s) who will review your request. Please view your Researcher Dashboard to view your site’s Institutional Liaison(s) or to view the status of any pending requests that you may have submitted.

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Does the Principal Investigator (PI) have to register for a Study Coordinator to use ResearchMatch?

No, the PI that is listed for a study does not need to register themselves in order for a non-PI user to recruit for a study via ResearchMatch. Nonetheless, this non-PI user (what ResearchMatch calls a “proxy researcher”) must be authorized to conduct recruitment for the study. A scenario may help explain this more clearly: Let’s say Jane Smith is the PI for study #12345, but John Doe is the study coordinator for study #12345. John Doe may register study #12345 and specify that he is not the PI. He will have to enter some of Jane Smith’s basic contact information. Jane Smith will receive an email notification that John Doe is seeking to register study #12345 on ResearchMatch. Jane Smith can either approve or deny John Doe’s access to do this. Once Jane Smith approves John Doe as a ‘proxy researcher’, then John Doe’s request is forwarded to his site’s Institutional Liaison who fully reviews the request. This request will not be approved without both the PI confirmation as well as the Liaison confirmation of the request.

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Will my recruitment access expire?

Yes, your access to recruit via ResearchMatch will last only as long as your IRB-study approval. The expiration date of your recruitment access will mirror the expiration date of your study. You will be able to upload continuing review approvals via your Researcher Dashboard by selecting “extend access”. If an unintentional lapse in time occurs and you are not able to submit this information in time, your ResearchMatch data will not be lost. Rather, you will be unable to access it until you have submitted successful continuing review materials.

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Can I recruit for more than one study through ResearchMatch?

Yes, while you may only register for one study upon your initial registration, you may add as many studies as you are qualified to recruit for at your institution. Please refer to your Researcher Dashboard and select “add study” on the right-hand side of the table that lists your studies.

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Can multi-site studies use ResearchMatch?

Yes - All studies/trials that have approval by the IRB of record to use ResearchMatch may be registered the research teams involved.

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What methods does ResearchMatch offer to help me identify people to contact?

The researcher can choose a de-identified group to contact via ResearchMatch using the geographic, demographic, health condition and medication filters.

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How do I actually get “matched” with Volunteers?

After you have been granted recruitment access, you will be able to search for appropriate matches amongst the non-identifiable ResearchMatch Volunteer profiles in the system. You will enter your study’s criteria in the ResearchMatch Search Builder which will yield a list of these potential matches. You will send out IRB-approved content in your initial recruitment message to these potential matches through ResearchMatch. The secure ResearchMatch clearinghouse will route your message to each of these potential matches and they will have the option of replying yes, no, or no response. Your study’s home page will feature all those Volunteers who say yes and show aggregate figures/charts demonstrating the response rate to your initial recruitment message. Once the Volunteer has authorized ResearchMatch to release their contact information to you, you will be responsible for managing this contact information as called for by your IRB-study protocol.

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Who are the ResearchMatch Volunteers?

ResearchMatch Volunteers are individuals who have self-registered or had someone else register on their behalf through the ResearchMatch Volunteer Registration page. These individuals have registered their interest to be contacted about research studies that might be a good match for them, but have by no means consented to enroll in any study for which they release their contact information through ResearchMatch. Currently, ResearchMatch volunteers must reside in the United States. All ages and backgrounds are welcome (e.g. there may be individuals who have cancer, a rare disease or could be considered healthy volunteers enrolled in ResearchMatch). A parent, legal guardian or caretaker may register someone under the age of 18 or an adult that may not be able to enter in their own information, but the parent, caretaker or guardian must register their own contact information.

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How many people may I contact?

ResearchMatch will let you contact 1,500 people at a time. Using the Save Your Search function will allow the researcher to make additional contacts if needed.

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Once I have registered my study, is it posted for ResearchMatch volunteers to scan pro-actively?

No. Currently, ResearchMatch Volunteers are not able to search studies that registered in ResearchMatch. As a researcher with recruitment access, you then have the option of searching and contacting ResearchMatch Volunteers that might be a good match for their study.

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I sent a message via ResearchMatch and received an email with my message in it. Why don’t the links work in the email I received?

Each time a researcher sends an IRB approved message via ResearchMatch, ResearchMatch sends a confirmatory email to the researcher, replicating the message sent to potential volunteers. The links in the confirmatory email are not functional.

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The information about my study on the site is inaccurate. How do I correct this?

Trials Today on ResearchMatch pulls study information directly from clinicaltrials.gov. If the information on your Trials Today study page is inaccurate, please update your clinicaltrials.gov listing.

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Can I help promote ResearchMatch as a registry to study volunteers?

Yes! The more volunteers that are in the ResearchMatch registry, the more helpful this recruitment tool may be for your study or future studies. Please contact your Institutional Liaison to see if resources are available at your site to promote volunteer registration.

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Who do I contact if I have questions?

Each institution involved in ResearchMatch has at least one Institutional Liaison who is responsible for managing researcher requests and assisting researchers with their questions regarding using ResearchMatch at their site. You may contact your Institutional Liaison(s) by selecting their name from your Researcher Dashboard.

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Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties with the site?

We apologize in advance for any technical issues you may encounter. ResearchMatch appreciates the opportunity to resolve these issues, so please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns. Please include the study IRB number and primary investigator for the study on your contact email to our team.

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ResearchMatch is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, grants UL1TR000445 and U24TR00157 9. The CTSA program is led by the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The content of this website is solely the responsibility of ResearchMatch and Vanderbilt University and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

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