The Research Participant Registry (RPR), powered by Volunteer for Health at Washington University School of Medicine, gives individuals the opportunity to participate in clinical studies and play a vital role in improving health care. At Washington University, more than 1000 clinical studies begin every year to evaluate new experimental therapies or devices. For every study, also called a trial, researchers need individuals to serve as participants. The RPR helps researchers find people who are interested and who meet study qualifications. People who are healthy and those who have medical conditions are needed, from every ethnic and age group.

Click to see the Research Participant Registry.

Volunteer for Health (VFH) is a unique service that helps investigators meet and exceed study recruitment targets. VFH takes responsibility for enhancing recruitment; university wide, by passing a steady stream of qualified participants to the PIs and study coordinators.
The goal of VFH is to free up the time of PIs and study coordinators, so they can focus on consenting and enrolling participants, while recruitment specialists spend the time identifying interested, qualified participants. VFH delivers systematic, data-driven and strategic support to optimally recruit and retain eligible research participants (to include women and underrepresented minorities) while ensuring regulatory compliance and the highest ethical standards in participant recruitment.

VFH staff can also provide:

  • Assistance with creating comprehensive, strategic recruitment plans and approaches to maximize recruitment efforts for supported clinical trials.
  • Access to the Research Participant Registry (RPR) database, in which over 15,000 potential participants can be queried by study inclusion and exclusion criterion.
  • Assistance with development and strategic placement (on campus or in the community) of advertising, whether by print or electronic media.
  • Assistance with sponsors, both industry and government, to secure additional funds, when appropriate, to enhance the recruitment and advertising efforts on all trials.

With the implementation of EPIC, study teams have wide access to be able to review medical records and contact potential participants. The use of MyChart to send direct messages to potential or existing research participants is prohibited. The only exception applies to participants who are enrolled in treatment trials that provide medical care for their disease or condition. In these cases, study staff may communicate with these participants using the MyChart Message Center.

The MyChart research recruitment functionality can be used to send potential participants notices that they may be eligible for a research study.  MyChart recruitment notices require IRB approval before implementing in Epic and the use of MyChart for recruitment purposes should be included as a recruitment method in your IRB application. For more information about MyChart as a recruitment tool, refer to HRPO’s Research Guide or call SWAT at 314-747-6800.

Services & Tools

All registered studies will be posted on StudySearch. StudySearch is an online listing of research studies at Washington University.

Level 1 Services (Study Registration)

  • Referrals from the Research Participant Registry (RPR)
  • Posting on our Facebook Fanpage and Twitter site
  • Flyer/poster development
  • Development of Print/Radio/TV ads (on/off campus and paid/free)
  • Media Demographics
  • E-Mail blast distribution
  • IRB approval support for Volunteers for Health and sponsor generated ads
  • Consultation on protocol feasibility
  • Strategic recruitment plan development and guidance
  • Recruitment plan accountability

Level 2 Services (Strategic Plan Implementation)

  • Strategic plan implementation which includes patient chart reviews by engaged REC staff
  • Potential participant pre-screening and referrals
  • Creation and implementation of IRB approved pre-screening tools and/or scripts

*Level 2 services will be billed to the study. Please call (314-362-1000) for hourly rates*

Request a Service

Email the Volunteer for Health office at or call 314-362-1000 for consultation or inquiries.

Services may be requested by filling out the Volunteer for Health (VFH) Study Registration Form and emailing it to Teresa Arb.