ResearchMatch is an online recruitment platform that connects researchers with volunteers who are interested in learning about health-related study opportunities.
ResearchMatch aims to serve as an effective, useful, and complementary recruitment tool that helps connect interested volunteers with researchers who are searching for volunteers to enroll in their clinical and other health-related research studies.
ResearchMatch was created through collaborations between the Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium and funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences – a component of the National Institutes of Health. The ResearchMatch platform is hosted at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but Institutional Liaison(s) exist at each participating site to provide local oversight of ResearchMatch usage.
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).
ResearchMatch is a not-for-profit activity and is free for volunteers, and any participating institution and their researchers.
Only researchers at participating sites are allowed to register with ResearchMatch.
Joining the ResearchMatch network involves signing a Master Institutional Registry Agreement with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request additional information.
No, you do not need an IRB approved study to join ResearchMatch. You are able to view aggregate registry data of ResearchMatch volunteers. This type of access is called Feasibility Access. Researchers can see a number (rounded to the nearest 10) of how many volunteers ResearchMatch has that meet the filters selected.
You will need IRB approval and an IRB approved contact message when you are ready to search for and contact Volunteers – also called Recruitment Access.
To contact volunteers, also called 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). Recruitment Access requires the following:
Your request will be routed to your site’s Institutional Liaison(s) who will review your request. Please log in to ResearchMatch to view your site’s Institutional Liaison(s) or to view the status of any pending requests that you have submitted.
Yes, your access to recruit volunteers via ResearchMatch for a study 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. If your IRB does not list an expiration date on the IRB letter, your Liaisons will follow their policy when setting the expiration date. You will be able to upload continuing review approvals via your Researcher Dashboard by selecting “extend” button. If an unintentional lapse occurs and you are not able to submit this information in time, your ResearchMatch data will not be lost. However, you will be unable to access it until you have successfully submitted the necessary continuing review materials.
No, the PI that is listed for a study does not need to register themselves in order to recruit for a study via ResearchMatch. A non-PI user (e.g. study coordinator) - called a “proxy researcher” - can use ResearchMatch to recruit. This user must be authorized to conduct recruitment for the study.
For example, 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 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 and the Liaison confirmation of the request.
Yes, you may add as many studies as you are qualified to recruit for at your institution. Please log in to ResearchMatch and select “add study” on the right-hand side of the table that lists your studies.
Yes. All studies/trials that have approval by the IRB of record to use ResearchMatch may be registered by the research teams involved. For questions about adding multi-site studies, please contact your institutional liaisons or email@example.com.
No. Currently, ResearchMatch Volunteers are not able to search for studies that are registered in ResearchMatch. As a researcher with recruitment access, you have the option of searching and contacting ResearchMatch Volunteers that might be a good match for your study.
Members of the public can search for actively recruiting trials, registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, by using the Trials Today tool. Volunteers are also able to see trials on their Volunteer dashboard that are recruiting for their health conditions.
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. The links are only functional once sent to a volunteer account.
Researchers can choose a de-identified group of Volunteers to contact via ResearchMatch using the geographic, demographic, health condition, and medication filters. After logging in, click “Search for Volunteers” to begin the process of contacting Volunteers. Please note that IRB approval is required prior to sending a message out through ResearchMatch.
After you have been granted recruitment access, you will be able to search for appropriate matches amongst the de-identified- ResearchMatch Volunteer profiles in the system. You will enter your study’s criteria in the ResearchMatch Search Filters which will yield a list of these potential matches. You will send out your IRB-approved contact message in your initial recruitment message to these potential matches through ResearchMatch. The secure ResearchMatch clearinghouse will route your message to each of these potential Volunteer matches and they will have the option of replying Yes, No, or not responding. Any Volunteers that respond “Yes” will appear in your enrollment continuum on your Researcher dashboard. Once the Volunteer has authorized ResearchMatch to release their contact information to you, you will be responsible for managing this contact information as outlined in your IRB-approved study protocol.
ResearchMatch Volunteers are individuals who have registered with ResearchMatch and are interested in being contacted about research studies that might be a good match for them. They have not consented to enroll in any study for which they release their contact information through ResearchMatch, but rather, are registered to learn about study opportunities.
ResearchMatch Volunteers must reside in the United States, including Puerto Rico. People of all ages, backgrounds, and health histories are welcome to join as Volunteers. 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. However the parent, caretaker, or guardian must register their own contact information.
A contact message is not the same as an email. It is an IRB approved message which includes information about the purpose of the study, the requirements of participating (e.g. time requirements, clinic visits), and any other important information (e.g. exclusion criteria, compensation). The contact message must not include:
ResearchMatch will let you contact up to 1,500 Volunteers at a time. ResearchMatch limits the number of Volunteers who can be contacted at one time to ensure the system does not encounter any technical issues when sending out messages. Additionally, this limit exists to ensure your prompt follow-up communication with Volunteers.
Using the Save Your Search function will allow you to make additional contacts if needed.
Please 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].”
We’re so glad you asked! The more Volunteers that are registered with ResearchMatch, the more helpful this recruitment tool may be for your study or future studies. Please contact your Institutional Liaison to see what resources are available at your site to help promote volunteer registration.
If the information on your Researcher Dashboard (seen when you log in to ResearchMatch) is incorrect, please contact your institution’s liaison or us at firstname.lastname@example.org to update.
Trials Todaya 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.
Each participating institution involved in ResearchMatch has at least one Institutional Liaison who is responsible for managing researcher requests and assisting researchers with their questions about using ResearchMatch at their site. You may contact your Institutional Liaison(s) by selecting their name from your Researcher Dashboard.
ResearchMatch appreciates the opportunity to resolve these issues, so please contact us should you have any questions or concerns. You may also email us at email@example.com. Please include the study IRB number, institution name, and primary investigator for the study on your contact email to our team.