How to recruit study participants

How to recruit study participants

It can be hard to conduct a human study without humans.

We’re here to help!

Here is a non-comprehensive list of tactics offered by Oregon State University and the CPHHS that can assist in recruiting participants for your research project.  


OSU Today

OSU Today is a daily email news briefing provided by OSU News and Communications.

You can submit a blurb about your research to help recruit research participants.

Review the submission guidelines and send your blurb to [email protected].


Here is an example for inspiration

Parents of kindergartners for fall sought: Do you live in Oregon and have a child going to kindergarten in fall of 2022? If so, you can participate in an OSU research study on school readiness skills in early childhood. You will receive up to $240 in Fred Meyer gift cards for participating. For more information:



Create a good old-fashioned flier and post it around town.

Download a research study flier template.

For printing your flier, contact OSU Printing and Mailing. They are very helpful!


Social media

Free option

We can create social media posts for you to distribute to individuals and organizations you think would be willing to post about your study. 

Submit a job request with the following information:

  • Preferred image(s) or description of desired image(s)
  • Draft copy for a social media post.
  • The website URL that the post will direct to


Paid option

We can run Facebook and Instagram ads to expand your reach. 

The process

  • Submit a project request with all of the information listed below.  
  • Hanna and/or Alan will reach out with any follow up questions.  
  • Once finalized, Hanna will get the ad running.
  • You will be billed at the end of the month for every month your ad is running.


Information we need to run your paid social media ad

  • Budget and index to charge
  • Timeframe
  • Details about your intended audience:
    • Age range
    • Location(s)
      • It is not recommended to target the U.S. or an entire state.
      • An option to consider is selecting five rural and five large cities. This gives your ad a better chance at being displayed, because you are competing with fewer advertisers.
    • Interests and demographics. Here is a long list of parameters to select from.
  • Preferred image(s) or description of desired image(s)
  • Draft copy for the ad
  • The website URL that the ad will direct to


For additional ideas, visit our promotion tips page.