Using email to recruit participants

Taking part in a research project is arguably part of the wider university experience, but there is a problem with using block emails within the University system as a method to recruit participants. The use of block emails to send unsolicited requests for recruitment to research projects or for participation in research such as online questionnaire completion is not permitted and contravenes the university's research ethics guidelines. Students and staff may not use internal email for this purpose nor should staff agree to send on requests from students to any internal block email lists that they may have access to.

The alternative for recruiting staff and students to research studies, once approval has been given by the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), is to use the Research-Activity Google Group.

Research-Activity Google Group

Interested members of staff and students at Brookes have signed up to the Research-activity mailing group for which they will receive notification of research studies being carried out by staff or PhD students.

The UREC administrator is the owner of the group and will post details of research studies once approved by UREC. Wording for this recruitment method must be included with the other supporting papers in the research ethics application.

How to join

The research-activity group is an opt in group and you may sign up using your Brookes Googlemail account (only email addresses will be recognised for the group). Log into Brookes Googlemail and access the group here or go to Google apps, navigate to 'Groups' and find 'research-activity'. You will see a message along the lines of: "You must be a member to join this group", click on the 'Join Group' link (shown in a blue box towards the top of the page).

Once joined, you may unsubscribe at any time. You may also set whether you wish to receive an email each time a research study is advertised, or choose from a list of email subscription options.

By joining this list you are under no obligation to take part in any research study.