Advertising for Research Participants

Seattle Children's IRB and Marketing and Communications Department (MarComm) have developed guidelines governing all advertising for research participants.

If you have questions about these materials, contact the IRB.

IRB Guidelines for Recruitment of Research Participants

Recruitment of research participants may involve advertisement. Advertising may include brochures, flyers, newspaper ads, InHouse, public service announcements or postings on Internet websites.

Advertisements require the review and approval of the IRB prior to printing, posting or distributing.

IRB Ad Requirements

All Seattle Children's Research Institute advertisements for research participants must include:

  • A clear statement that the project is research
  • Basic purpose of the research and/or condition under study
  • Basic summary of eligibility criteria (e.g., age range, diagnosis)
  • A brief description of the project (e.g., whether it involves a blood draw, use of an investigational drug or an interview)
  • A brief list of participation benefits, if any
  • Time or other commitment required of participants
  • Compensation, payment or inducement participants will receive*
  • Location of research
  • Contact information for the research team
  • Principal researcher's department/division and institutional affiliation
  • Seattle Children's Research Institute logo (used per Seattle Children's graphic standards)

Please see the study introduction flyer for a template that includes all these required elements.

* If the amount or type of payment could unduly influence a child or parent's decision to participate, the IRB may decide not to describe payment in the recruitment materials.

How to Write Clear Advertisements to Recruit Research Participants

Use these guidelines (DOC) to write clear, effective advertisements to recruit participants for your research project.

Creating a Recruitment Ad

Read How to Write Clear Advertisements to Recruit Research Participants (DOC). Then create your ads using the research recruitment ad templates provided below.

Clip art is not permitted. Instead, please use photos from Seattle Children's Media Library. If, and only if, you cannot find an appropriate photo in the Media Library, please search for a stock photo on Search by keyword, and find a photo and resolution that works for your project. Check photos to be sure that safe behaviors are shown (e.g., bike helmets, life jackets, babies sleeping on their backs, etc.). Upon identification of your photo, email the Marketing and Communications production team with the photo’s identification number, and they will assist you in procuring it.

If there is a specific photo that you've seen in other Seattle Children's materials that you would like to use, request the photo from MarComm production.

Advertisement Templates

Use these Microsoft Word templates to create effective advertisements for research participants.

If none of these templates meet your participant recruitment advertising needs, or if you have further questions about what advertising is available to recruit research participants, you can contact the MarComm research marketing manager for a participant recruitment promotion consultation.

Submitting the Ad for Approval

Submit the draft advertisement along with your other study application materials directly to IRB/Human Subjects Protection Program (HSPP). If you are sending hard copies, send to mailstop CW8-5A.

Explain to the IRB how and where advertisements will be used and posted.

Posting the Ad

Inside the hospital

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

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

Using InHouse to communicate about your study

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. As InHouse is only distributed to Seattle Children’s employees, it is not an effective medium for reaching anyone besides Seattle Children’s employees.

Announcements can be posted in InHouse by providing IRB-approved text to MarComm for posting. Email your request to InHouse.

Outside the hospital

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

Recruitment Templates

  • Study Introduction Letter for Parents and Guardians (DOC)
    • This template provides a framework for a study introduction/recruitment letter written to parents/guardians of a potential participant.
  • Study Introduction Letter for Participants (DOC)
    • This template provides a framework for a study introduction/recruitment letter written to a potential participant.
  • Response Card for Parents and Guardians (DOC)
    • The Response Card Template is a guide for research teams looking to solicit a response regarding interest in a study from a parent or guardian of a potential participant.
  • Response Card for Participants (DOC)
    • The Response Card Template is a guide for research teams looking to solicit a response regarding interest in a study from a potential participant.
  • Telephone Script (DOC) - revised July 2, 2012
    • This template is a starting point for research teams that plan to contact potential participants by phone after introducing the study via mail, etc.