Recruiting research participants just got easier

25 Jun 2013 13:47:50.760

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One of the big difficulties researchers face is recruiting participants for their research. That’s why three PhD students from The University of Nottingham have launched a new website – – to make the process more streamlined and efficient.

The site allows researchers to create landing pages and customise screening questions to ensure they recruit exactly the participants they need for their study. The site then sends the study to anyone who matches the researcher’s criteria.

The studies already on the site – and in need of participants – range from surveys into online identity and social media to research on citizen-science and crowdsourcing.

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Simplifying the recruitment process

Matthew Terrell, PhD student focusing on online innovative behaviour at the University’s Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, is part of the team at Nottingham which has built the site.

He said: “The platform allows the researcher to simplify the recruitment process by sending out a single link to potential participants. We do the rest of the work by filtering and only showing the researcher people who are suitable for their study.”

In addition to helping researchers, there are a range of incentives for participants who offer their time, including money, vouchers and prizes.

Matthew said: “Almost all research studies will offer some incentives and rewards, such as vouchers or entry into a prize draw. This is why many student and part-time or out of work individuals can benefit from signing up – and this is a key reason why we think potential participants will sign up to the site.

“Researchers get the information they need and participants are rewarded for their help.”

Global resource

Matthew is working on the project with fellow Nottingham PhD students Martin Kruusimägi and Daniel Ratzinger. The team is currently working with institutes and industries in the UK, with ambitions to utilise the search around the world.

Parmjit Dhugga, Research and Training Development Management at The University of Nottingham, believes this is a much needed resource for researchers.

He said: “The savings in time and effort makes the case for Call for Participants overwhelming. A significant reduction in recruitment effort should be possible for most researchers, and potential participants will only need to visit a single site to find interesting opportunities. It’s simple and efficient and the logical thing to do.”

The team is working with Nottingham Catalyst, a Community Partnerships initiative at The University of Nottingham which links research and public engagement, with the aim of reaching hard to reach areas of the community.

You can access the site via

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Matthew Terrell, PhD student at The University of Nottingham’s Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute,

Fraser Wilson - Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 6691 Location: University Park

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