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ResearchMatch is an online volunteer registry and recruitment tool. Since 2010, ResearchMatch has been an effective recruitment tool that connects research teams with people who are interested in learning about research studies. ResearchMatch volunteers want to be contacted by researchers who are recruiting volunteers to take part in their research studies. ResearchMatch is funded in part by the National Center for the Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), an office of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

What Types of Research are Appropriate for ResearchMatch?

ResearchMatch is intended for use in the recruitment of participants for clinical / translational research studying health-related topics. ResearchMatch is not an appropriate platform for recruitment of participants for non-clinical / non-health related research protocols.

Info for Lehigh Researchers

How ResearchMatch Works

ResearchMatch allows researchers to search for de-identified volunteers who have registered themselves as being interested in participating in research. The researcher creates a cohort of people that meet some of the key inclusion and exclusion criteria for their study by using filters on ResearchMatch, and then sends their IRB approved recruitment message to them via ResearchMatch.

Interested volunteers create a “profile” with their basic health information. This allows researchers to search for potential participants that meet specific criteria. The potential participant can be sent the IRB approved message about the study and can then choose whether to provide their contact information to the researcher. This is a valuable resource for researchers looking to identify potential participants outside of usual-care settings.

The researcher finds the contact information of those interested individuals on their ResearchMatch dashboard and can then contact them directly.

Accessing ResearchMatch

Access to ResearchMatch is granted on a study-by-study basis; that is, investigators must individually register each study. Registration takes only a few minutes and you must complete the process in one sitting. There are two levels of access available to Lehigh investigators: feasibility access and recruitment access. Investigators may sign themselves up in ResearchMatch or may delegate recruitment privileges to a study coordinator or other study team member (a proxy).

Feasibility access

Feasibility access gives you the ability to view aggregate, deidentified data on the population of volunteer participants without an IRB-approved protocol. This access allows researchers to make an initial determination as to whether using the ResearchMatch system for participant recruitment makes sense for their planned research study. To register a study for feasibility access, you must:

  • Be affiliated with Lehigh University
  • Provide your Lehigh email address
  • Create a ResearchMatch username and password

Recruitment access

Recruitment access gives you the ability to recruit volunteers through ResearchMatch. To register a study for recruitment access, you must meet the same access requirements as for feasibility access. In addition, for each study you want to recruit for, you must:

  • Be the principal investigator (PI) or authorized to recruit for the study on behalf of the PI
  • Upload an electronic copy of your IRB approval letter, and an IRB approved recruitment message to implement when using ResearchMatch.

Note: Individuals accessing as a proxy for the PI will be asked to indicate that, and to provide the study PI's name, email address and phone number.

How to Register a Study
  1. Key study personnel recruiting participants should register themselves as a Researcher on ResearchMatch. Researchers must register using their email address. 
  2. Your study must be IRB-approved. To register your IRB-approved study, you must:
    • Have IRB approval to use ResearchMatch as a recruitment method.
    • Have an IRB approved ResearchMatch advertisement (also referred to as a contact message). Unlike an email, this recruitment message cannot include study team identifiers (like emails or phone numbers). Do not include embedded surveys or URLs. Maximum length is 2000 characters. (Please see “Example Contact Message”)
    • Optional: If you have approval and the ability to recruit monolingual Spanish speakers, you will need an IRB approved contact message in Spanish.
    • Optional: If using a pre-screening survey, submit a link to an REDCap pre-screening eligibility survey for IRB approval.
  3. Log in to ResearchMatch and register your study:
    • If you are not the Principal Investigator (PI), then list yourself as the proxy. The PI will be emailed to approve you as their proxy.
    • Upload your IRBnet Approval letter with the current expiration date (if applicable), and an IRB approved recruitment message for ResearchMatch.
    • The liaison will verify that you have IRB approval to use ResearchMatch and that you have an IRB approved ResearchMatch advertisement that does not contain identifiers.

Once you are approved you will have access to search for potential Volunteers and send them your Contact Message and REDCap Prescreening survey (if this is part of your IRB approved participant recruitment plan).

NEW! ResearchMatch is now available in Spanish! If you have IRB approval, you can message Spanish-speaking volunteers with your IRB approved Spanish contact message. Use the new language filter on ResearchMatch indicating that your message is in Spanish.

Training for Researchers

ResearchMatch offers training for researchers on using the ResearchMatch system; this training takes place the 2nd Thursday of each month. To register for research training, click this link