What is ResearchMatch.org?
ResearchMatch is a national recruitment registry that brings together researchers and people who are interested to learn more about research studies via a secure website. The University of Houston is now a member institution of ResearchMatch.
UH investigators can utilize this tool for two types of access to research volunteers and/or feasibility data:
- Feasibility Assessment – UH researchers can use ResearchMatch to assess the availability of volunteers that match the requirements for study eligibility. Results of a feasibility assessment are provided in aggregate, without individually identifying information (no IRB review required).
- Recruiting – Researchers invite volunteers who agree to be contacted.
Conducting Feasibility Assessment
To conduct a feasibility assessment, a researcher must:
- Be affiliated with the University of Houston
- Provide his/her UH information (e.g. use the UH “.edu” email address)
- Create an Account, including creating a ResearchMatch username and password
Using the ResearchMatch search-building tools, the researcher enters search criteria to assess availability of the study population of interest within the ResearchMatch database. Criteria include (but are not limited to):
- Geographic factors (distance from institution and State);
- Physical characteristics (height, weight, BMI);
- Race and Ethnicity;
- Health status (diagnosed diseases and conditions)*;
- Medication history, and;
- Twin status
*Absence of diagnoses is also captured for healthy volunteers
Upon completing the feasibility search, researchers can view how many ResearchMatch volunteers meet study-specific criteria. No IRB review or approval is required to obtain feasibility data.
Recruiting Research Subjects
ResearchMatch provides tools for investigators to send an IRB-approved recruitment message to eligible individuals requesting their permission to release identifying information to the researcher for purposes of subject recruitment into a study. The tools include mechanisms for tracking enrollment statistics.
To utilize this type of access, a UH research team member must:
- Be PI of or listed as research personnel on an active research study that has been approved by the IRB. The UH IRB must have approved the use of ResearchMatch for recruitment, as well as the text of the recruitment advertisement that you will submit to ResearchMatch. The IRB submission and approval process is detailed in the instructions found here.
- Be affiliated with the University of Houston. Provide his/her UH information (e.g. use the UH “.edu” email address).
- Create an Account, including creating a ResearchMatch username and password.
- Provide an electronic copy of the current UH IRB approval letter. If the study is IRB exempt, you must provide documentation of this exemption.
- Once IRB approval is obtained, researchers enter study details and upload the IRB approval letter (in PDF format) to the ResearchMatch site.
- The request will be forwarded to UH’s ResearchMatch Institutional Liaison(s) (in the Research Integrity and Oversight (RIO) Office) for approval. Following verification of IRB approval by UH’s Research Match Institutional Liaison, the requesting UH researcher will receive notice that access has been granted.
- ResearchMatch sends the study recruitment message to matched volunteers to inform them about a new opportunity to participate. Once individuals respond with permission to be contacted for that study, personal contact information is made available to the researcher within the secure ResearchMatch system.
Technical Assistance with ResearchMatch
If you have general questions about ResearchMatch, click here to ask questions.
Contact Information for the UH IRB ResearchMatch Institutional Liaisons:
- Alicia Vargas
Research Compliance Analyst