Institutional Review Board

Participant Recruitment

All new applications, modifications, renewals, reportable new information and other work must be submitted to the HSPP via Click IRB. Visit the Click IRB Resources page for additional information.

If you have questions about IRB governance or guidelines, contact the IRB.

IRB Guidelines for Recruitment of Research Participants

All participant recruitment advertisements such as brochures, flyers, newspaper ads, InHouse, public service announcements or postings on Internet websites require the review and approval of the IRB prior to printing, posting or distributing.

Consult worksheet HRP-315 (DOCX) in the Click Library for complete guidance around advertisements for research participants for your specific research study.

Advertising for Research Participants

Seattle Children’s IRB and Marketing and Communications Department (MarComm) have tools and guidelines governing the creation of all materials used to advertise for the recruitment of research participants.

Research Participant Recruitment Marketing Toolkit

If you would like a consult to create a research participant recruitment marketing plan, or have questions about a marketing tool or method listed below, complete this form.

Print Materials

  • Steps for creating a research participant recruitment flyer:

    1. Read How to Write Clear Advertisements to Recruit Research Participants (PDF).
    2. Create your flyer using one of the following Microsoft Word templates:
    3. Choose and insert photos.
      • Clip art is not permitted.
      • Please use photos from Seattle Children’s photo Media Library. If you need access to the Media Library to browse photos, email Marcomm.
    4. Request a MarComm review of your flyer for brand and readability. Email it to MarComm requesting a review and a representative will review it within 5 business days.
    5. Submit the draft advertisement as an attachment in Click IRB along with your other study application materials. In your comments, explain to the IRB how and where advertisements will be used and posted.
  • Seattle Children’s Media (Photo) Library

    Please use photos from Seattle Children’s Media Library for your advertising materials. All Seattle Children’s photos are stored in an electronic library called the Media Library that you can browse using keyword searches, or by the name of a particular doctor or researcher. To request access to the Media Library, email MarComm.

    If there is a specific photo that you have seen in Seattle Children’s materials that you would like to use and cannot find in the Media Library, email MarComm with a link to or a scanned image of the materials to request the specific photo. Please note in your request the date you need it by, and that the photo request is for research participant recruitment materials.

    Stock photos

    The use of Seattle Children’s Media Library photos is the first choice. However, if you cannot find an appropriate photo in our Media Library we have a subscription to the stock image service Thinkstock. This subscription is available, at no cost, for research participant recruitment advertising materials. If you choose a photo from another stock image service, you will need to purchase the photo.

    To download a stock image:

    1. Search
    2. Identify the photo and resolution that works for your project.
    3. Make sure the photo shows safe behaviors (e.g., bike helmets, life jackets).
    4. Email MarComm with the photo identification number and they will assist you in downloading it from Thinkstock.

    Photo shoots

    Do you need to schedule a photo shoot? Complete this form (DOCX) and email it to MarComm. A production specialist will be in contact within 5 business days.

    Photo consults

    Don’t have time to navigate the photo landscape yourself? Not sure exactly what you need or how to best acquire it for your recruitment project? Find the flyer template photos unruly and difficult? Request a consult with research marketing staff and we will be happy to help you with all of the above and more.

  • Inside the hospital

    Flyers, advertisements and brochures can be posted in designated areas at Seattle Children's Hospital (e.g., clinics, community bulletin board outside of Starbucks, etc.). Please work directly with the clinics on posting and removing advertisements. See a list of all clinics and programs.

    Advertisements cannot be placed in elevators, hallways or public areas of the hospital.

    Outside the hospital

    Study teams need to work directly with the sites on posting and removing their advertisements.

    At Seattle metro area community events

    Do you want your study recruitment flyer at community events where Seattle Children’s Community Outreach team is already scheduled to be? The Community Outreach team’s schedule varies; however, there are some annual events that they attend regularly

    • Because of limited space, we can only display three flyers at a time.
    • We accept flyers on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • Depending on demand and event schedule, there may be a time limit for flyer rotation. 

    Please follow this submission process to have your flyer go out in the field with Community Outreach.

    1. Email your IRB-approved flyer to Community Outreach for brand review.
    2. If your flyer is approved for distribution by Seattle Children’s at community events, you will be required to provide a stack of printed flyers.

    If you are not sure if your study materials are appropriate for community events, but you know going out into the community should be part of your recruitment plan, please email Community Outreach to request a consult.

  • Year-round 

    • Kohl’s bike helmet events. These take place nine or ten times a year and bring anywhere from 300–500 families.
    • ParentMap lectures. There are usually six to eight lectures a year. The outreach team has a table at three or four of the lectures. 


    • Auburn Kids Day. Third or fourth Friday in June (several thousand people/families in attendance).
    • Mercer Island Summer Celebration. Second weekend in July.
    • Movies at Magnuson. Eight Thursdays in July and August (1,000–2,000 people in attendance). The outreach team has a booth at three to five of the movies each summer. 


    Spring or fall 

    • Seattle Children’s Health Fair. This is an annual event that we host at the hospital or another Seattle Children’s location. It draws between 800–1,200 people.
  • MarComm works with a variety of vendors from graphic designers to mass mailing services. If you would like to be referred to a vendor who is familiar with Seattle Children’s brand and quality standards for your research participant recruitment project, complete this form.

  • MarComm communication specialists are experienced at making sure materials are understandable for all of our different audiences. To request a review of your advertisement, email your advertisement to MarComm and request a review. A representative will review your piece within 5 business days.

  • All final flyers, social media and print advertisements must be reviewed by the IRB before they are published and posted.The responsibility for this submission to the IRB is on the study team. MarComm is not responsible for submitting materials for review to the IRB. Please allow enough time in your recruitment planning for this review and possible revision cycle.

Web Posting and E-Newsletters

  • Seattle Children’s Research Studies and Clinical Trials Web Hub offers researchers a centralized resource to connect with potential study participants.The process to post enrolling research studies is open to any Seattle Children’s research team with an IRB approved study. The form takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You will be asked to submit the following: 

    • Study title
    • IRB approval number
    • IRB-approved enrollment start and end dates
    • Condition or therapy being studied
    • What is the goal of this study?
    • What happens in the study?
    • Who can join the study?
    • Who can I contact for information or to enroll?
    • Study location(s)
    • Principal investigator(s) 

    Submit a study 

    Request an update to an existing study post

  • If you aim to recruit participants into your studies from the children and families of Seattle Children’s workforce, announcements can be posted in InHouse and iKnow. As InHouse and iKnow are only distributed to Seattle Children’s employees, they are not effective ways to reach anyone other than Seattle Children’s employees.

    InHouse and iKnow study announcement requirements

    1. The audience for the study must be Seattle Children’s employees.
    2. All content submitted must be IRB-approved before you submit to InHouse or iKnow.
    3. Content must comply with the following format and length requirements.
      • You must submit two versions of an InHouse/iKnow announcement: a truncated version for the email newsletter and a longer version for CHILD. The truncated version will link to the longer version. Both versions should have the same headline.
        • Headlines: Should be clear and descriptive, and should not exceed 70 characters (including spaces).
        • Email newsletter (truncated) version: Content should be clear, very high-level and no more than 70 words (including headline). Include the text “Read more” at the end so interested employees can click to read full details.
        • CHILD (longer) version: Should include details of the study and be no more than 200 words (including headline). The content on this page must follow the same content guidelines as the study’s IRB-approved flyer.
        • See some examples (PDF) to assist you in understanding required length and format.
    4. Email complete content separately to the following email inboxes by the appropriate deadline.
      • Email InHouse no later than 2 p.m. on Friday the week before you want the announcement to run. If you want the announcement to run multiple weeks (up to 3 consecutive weeks), tell the InHouse team in your request. Announcements will run as “New” the first week, and as “Reminders” the second and third weeks.
      • Email iKnow no later than 2 p.m. on Friday the week before you want the announcement to run. iKnow is published on Tuesdays. If you want the announcement to run more then once (up to two times in a four-week period), tell the iKnow team in your request.
    5. If your announcement does not meet the above requirements, it will not be published.
    6. InHouse and iKnow will publish up to two new study recruitment announcements per week. If more than two requests are received, additional requests will be held for the following week’s InHouse and iKnow.
  • If you are not sure what online resources would best assist in research participant recruitment for your study, request a consult. Complete this form and a representative will contact you within 5 business days.

    If you are considering creating a website separate from, complete this survey to determine if your situation requires this major step. After completion of the survey you will be directed to schedule a consult with a MarComm representative.

Social Media and Paid Advertising

  • Research teams have the option to recruit research participants via social media. The process has multiple layers of review and approval: 

    • The IRB must approve the final ad before it can go live.
    • Facebook, Instagram and Twitter each have their own requirements and reviews. None is free to advertise on.
    • If you plan to use Seattle Children’s social media accounts to recruit participants, a consult with a social media team member is required.
    • If you would like to request a social media recruitment consultation, please complete this form.
    • A social media specialist will respond to your request within 10 business days (2 weeks).
    • Due to demand and capacity requests for social media advertisements are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    Before you begin this process, make sure you have the following: 

  • If you have a budget of $2,500 or more to invest in traditional advertising to recruit participants to your study, complete this form.

    A MarComm representative will respond to your request within 5 business days for an advertising consultation.

Community Outreach Events

  • If you would like to engage in recruitment activities such as having a table at community events, you are acting as an agent of the Seattle Children’s organization. Please complete this form for a consultation.

    For resources for recruiting participants at community events, visit the MarComm page on CHILD.

  • Our physician liaisons visit primary care providers and clinics all over the state who refer patients to Seattle Children’s.

    If you have a study that is targeting a particular geographic region and demographic, it might be appropriate to work with our physician liaisons in your recruitment efforts. To determine if your study is suitable for this, please complete this form and MarComm will contact you for a consult within 5 business days.

Recruitment Templates