Participant Recruitment

Participants can be recruited from one or more of the groups shown below. Click on a group for recruiting tips and guidance for your ethics application.

You may recruit study participants from the Faculty of Nursing (faculty and/or students) through a variety of means (e.g., poster display, email through the appropriate channel, at meetings, etc.); however, you will need pre-approval from the appropriate Nursing Associate Dean before beginning. While completing your ethics application, please also fill out this form to initiate this approval process.

While this will depend on your study and the population you are examining, generally this is done through poster displays in hospital units/community settings or via email invitations. Some projects may require e-mail distribution through a list serve (e.g., through CARNA mass e-mail if sampling nurses across Canada in a survey) or via a unit manager (e.g., if wanting to sample providers from a specific unit for surveys or interviews).

NOTE: Healthcare provider recruitment generally requires operational pre-approval from the governing health authority (for example, Alberta Health Services or Covenant Health).

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has developed guidelines and rules about in-hospital patient recruitment for research projects. While specific to AHS, these guidelines are similar to those you would need to follow at any site or unit.

NOTE: Patient recruitment generally requires operational approval from the governing health authority (for example, Alberta Health Services or Covenant Health).


Generally, recruitment can be done in a number of ways depending on the context of your research and the group that you would like to involve in your study. For example, you may put flyers on bulletin boards, posters in hallways of a community organization, you may ask people via snowball sampling on who would be appropriate to speak to, you may send emails out, or you can even post ads online through social media platforms (e.g., Facebook or Instagram) or online discussion boards.

Of course, for many of these recruitment methods, permission must be sought in advance. For example, you may need permission to hang a poster in a hallway in an institution or organization, to post an online notice in a closed group or page in a social network platform, or via list serves.

The Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB) website provides templates for “Consent to Contact” and “Telephone Scripts”

Click below for templates you can use for recruitment posters and recruitment e-mails. These are just for guidance – use any colours, pictures, etc. that you want.

See Poster Example See Email Example

See here for an information sheet on recruiting participants via social media.