The Communication Studies Participant Pool collects the names and contact information of people who are interested in participating in research studies and distributes that information to researchers upon request. Our goal is to provide a centralized, efficient and cost-effective way to help researchers find participants for their studies. The Participant Pool is available to researchers at the University of Washington and its affiliates (Seattle Children's Hospital, UWMC, FHCRC).
Our Participant Pool includes infants, children and adults. We do not exclude anyone. However, sometimes we focus our recruiting efforts according to researchers’ needs. Researchers can request a specific population, age or age range. If you would like to know whether the Participant Pool can meet your recruitment needs, view our enrollment forms for the information we collect from participants. Contact us if you have any questions about how many participants we have in our Pool who would fit your study.
Infants are recruited based on State of Washington birth records. We mail letters to parents of newborns in King and Snohomish counties, inviting them to join the Participant Pool. Parents return an enrollment card to us or fill out an online enrollment form to indicate that they are willing to be contacted by researchers. Parents might also find out about the Participant Pool from friends or from other community contacts. Children in the Pool are either the older siblings of newborns or have been in the Pool since they were infants. For the most part, children remain in the Pool until the parents ask to be removed or we are unable to maintain current contact information for the family. Adults of all ages are recruited from the general community using advertisements, flyers and this website. Historically, we also recruited adults from area clinics such as UWMC Otolaryngology and the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic. We enroll about 3000 new participants each year, the majority of which are infants and children.
When we receive a request for participants from a researcher, we generate a list of potential participants from our Pool who meet the researcher’s criteria. The researcher then contacts participants to tell them about their study. Participants always have the choice of whether or not to participate in a particular study. Researchers are required to inform us if a participant no longer wishes to be contacted about studies or if there are any updates to the participant's contact information. In order to use the Participant Pool, researchers must have IRB approval for their studies. We ask that you send us a copy of your IRB approved consent form for our files. New requests are subject to approval based on the type of study, the procedures involved and the availability of participants. If you need to add the Participant Pool as an approved recruitment method on your IRB application, click here for more information. If you would like more information about using the Participant Pool or how to request a list of participants, please contact us.