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UK Universities, your researchers need your help!

09 November 2015

The research happening at the universities has gained a lot of public exposure this year, however more exposure is needed to help researchers recruit the right participants.

Researchers from over 120 universities in the UK are conducting research involving humans. Participants can then be forgiven for not looking at every study advert. However there are three UK universities that will impress public engagement officials with the levels of exposure their research has had over the past academic year. Firstly, Loughborough University, with over 10,000 people engaging with the research study adverts online; University College London, whose study adverts were brought to the attention of almost 19,000 members of the public, and lastly the University of Nottingham received the most attention with over 30,000 people showing interest in the opportunities to take part in the research studies there.

Not all research studies will receive the same amount of exposure, it can all depends on what opportunities, rewards and keywords participants are searching for. One research study that was popular amongst participants was MEMO, the Multifaceted Examination of Memory study from University College London, whose study advert alone reached nearly 3,500 potential participants - possibly due to the prospect of receiving a picture of your brain in return for taking part, which, as far as we are aware, isn’t something you can be easily obtain!

Scan image of a brain

However not all research studies get the exposure they need. We feel that participants should self-select into research without disclosing all their personal information beforehand, so we made our service easy for participants to browse research studies and take part if they meet the requirements - it’s not in our interest to collect participant data, we’ll leave that for the researchers. However we do promote research further through various communications channels to increase the exposure and help the researchers who have very specific requirements.

But are Universities doing enough to promote research studies to the general public? Many institutions put a lot of effort into public engagement, however the marketing and communications department, public engagement officials, and department heads cannot be expected to promote every research study at the university, or can they? More importantly do university staff and students know what research is happening across their university? For this reason we created a solution that would bring together all research studies from a university, our Digital Recruitment Notice Board.

Digital Recruitment Notice Board

A Digital Recruitment Notice Board brings together research studies from across the university so students and staff can find and engage with research happening in different departments just by visiting one website. We have found that recruiting or taking part in research is often limited to noticeboards in individual buildings or departments, hindering people’s awareness of what is happening. This new service enhances your students’ experience by offering them more opportunities to discover great research at their own university.

The Digital Recruitment Notice Board comes complete with your university branding and a custom URL, so the marketing and communications department, public engagement officials, department heads, students, staff, and members of the public (everyone!) can promote the research studies at your institution just by sharing a single link. Even better, Digital Recruitment Notice Boards are fully automated, and require no staff time or investment, so your staff can continue to do what they do best.

University of Nottingham noticeboard

To understand how simple and easy it is for participants to engage with your research studies through a Digital Recruitment Notice Board, take a look at the University of Nottingham's Notice Board here: www.cfp.cc/uon.

For more information or to set-up a Digital Recruitment Notice Board for your university please contact us hello@callforparticipants.com

The data presented here is collected from 512 research studies from the UK published on callforparticipants.com that were active recruiting between September 2014 - September 2015.



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