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IRB: Recruitment of Participants

Recruitment of Participants

Flyers, brochures and other types of advertisements are often used in the recruitment of potential research participants. Such materials must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Exempt Review Committee (ERC) for review, along with an explanation of how and where they will be used.

Advertisements used in research should:

  • Indicate that the project is research
  • State who is conducting the study (investigator name and/or research facility name)
  • List the purpose or condition under study
  • State eligibility criteria (in summary form)
  • Provide a brief list of benefits, even if only to the field of study
  • List time or other commitment required of participants
  • State location of research
  • Provide contact information
  • Not  emphasize incentives
  • Allow enough space for the Board or Committee's stamp, once approved


If recruitment will take place via email message, the content of the email message must be submitted for review. A statement that the project has been approved by Marywood University's Institutional Review Board or Exempt Review Committee must be included.

If recruitment will take place via a social networking site such as Facebook, the content of the announcement must be submitted for review, and sufficient detail about exactly how it will appear must be provided (e.g., status update post, flyer upload, email to those in network, "event" page, tweet, etc.).

Recruitment Permission - Required Letter

Researchers recruiting participants or accessing data at certain locations (e.g., doctors’ offices, hospitals, schools, universities,  businesses, events, etc.) must secure and submit a permission letter(s) from an appropriate official(s). All permission letters must be presented on the granting entity’s letterhead, be hand signed by the authorized official, show the official’s title and contact information, and state that the official is aware of the research and agrees to grant access to participants or data (and has the authority to do so). Please see the IRB’s permission letter template. (Note: Officials must not send the permission letter directly to the IRB or ERC. The official must send it directly to the principal investigator, who in turn must submit it to the IRB with all other application materials via IRBNet.)

In instances where a private business (e.g., supermarket) allows the posting of flyers on a public bulletin board without obtaining permission for such a post, a permission letter is not required; however, researchers need to identify the location and describe the location’s policy and/or reason for not securing a letter.

In instances where a small business or organization does not have letterhead, the IRB or ERC may waive the letterhead requirement, provided that the researcher adequately explains why it was not available. A signed permission letter will still be required.

Permission is also required for recruitment or data access on Marywood University's campus. Please see our Recruitment Permission Chart for further information.

Access to Marywood University's Bulletin Boards

After approval has been granted by the appropriate Board or Committee, researchers wishing to post flyers on campus must visit the Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) office in Nazareth Student Center to have their flyers approved and stamped for posting. This is SALD's campus policy, and its office reserves the right to remove flyers that have not been appropriately stamped.

Access to Marywood University's Email Distribution Lists

After approval has been granted by the appropriate Board or Committee, researchers wishing to access a campus e-mail distribution list in order to send their recruitment message must contact Karen Nealon, OIT Office (Immaculata Hall), at 570-961-4535 or The researcher must supply Ms. Nealon with the final IRB/ERC approval letter and the recruitment permission letter stating to what lists the researcher needs access. No other individuals should be contacted for access.

Access to Marywood University's Official Social Media Pages

After approval has been granted by the appropriate Board or Committee, researchers wishing to access Marywood University's Official social media pages must contact Todd Pousley, Web Content Director, at 570-340-6019 or The researcher must supply Mr. Pousley with the final IRB/ERC approval letter, the recruitment permission letter and the approved announcement(s). No other individuals should be contacted for access.


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    Keith J. O'Neill Center for Healthy Families, Room 208 | 570-348-6211, x.2233