I often supervise student research projects. Often these projects involve recruiting participants by placing one page flyers in strategic locations. The most common scenario is that the flyer is targeted at university students, there may be some small financial reimbursement for their time, and the study might involve spending an hour or so in lab.

When writing such a flyer, there is a balance between making participation sound like a worth while thing to do, but at the same time being ethical and accurate in describing what the study involves.

Thus, while I have a bunch of tips and tricks for writing such materials, I wasn't aware of any particular material that I could provide to research students to get started.

  • What is best practice in participant recruitment flyer design?
  • What is a good repository of examples of good participant recruitment flyers?
  • What are some good online resources outlining tips for creating a participant recruitment flyer?

I'd also be interested in materials about the surrounding context (e.g., flyer placement; streamlining the process between reading a flyer and participation).

  • $\begingroup$ IMO this is a little too open-ended and "discussion-y"; unless of course there an empirical paper on which techniques are most effective! also, it's not very specific to cogsci-- lots of disciplines post recruitment fliers. perhaps a question better asked in chat... $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Apr 13, 2013 at 21:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We recruit most of our participants through online/social media nowadays. At our university, every student has a account for the campus software and it is pretty easy to get participants via advertising there. $\endgroup$
    – H.Muster
    Apr 14, 2013 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


Not exactly an answer to your question, but some thoughts on why we don't use flyers.

There is a lot of research going on at our university that involves recruiting participants. From psychology to medicine and economics, everybody vies for the time of the several thousand students. Then there are all those flyers for parties, political initiatives, religious get-togethers etc. etc. On top of this information overload, most students are extremely short of time and mental and emotional energy. Studying here is hard, and students don't want to sit in a lab, when they have the time to not sit over their books.

Our department has the most success at recruiting participants with setting up a small screened area inside the refectory/cafeteria (where the students eat their lunch), standing in front of the entrance, approaching everyone, and testing them then and there. If we cannot test them in the cafeteria, we still approach them there and try to arrange a date for a lab test. We also offer sweets with the recruitment (they're in a small tray and offered when we approach the person).

Maybe that gives you some ideas.

  • $\begingroup$ I'd never really thought about using some form of on-campus one on one recruitment strategy. It's an interesting idea, thanks. $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2013 at 14:23

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