Recruiting participants for non-CBU-based studies
The CBU has its own booking system - for those with CBU wiki permissions, please see CbuRecruitVolunteers.
For those outside the CBU, who cannot use the CBU system, here are some hints for things we have found useful. We welcome any edits from groups outside to explain procedures in your own labs.
There are various resources including a map to the CBU imaging facility on the MRI facility volunteer page.
There are subjects screening forms and other useful information on the MRI facility internal pages by LucilleMurby. These are only available for people with CBU logins at the moment, but we hope make some of the documents more generally available quite soon.
Telephone screening and booking
Volunteers may well be booked by telephone. Prior to booking any volunteers, have a look at the Structured Phone Questionnaire as well as any payment rates and the scanning slots that you have available. Make sure the volunteer is fully aware who you are, what the study involves and has the opportunity to ask questions, in case they feel they would not like to take part. Please ensure that your contact with volunteers is always in line with data protection guidelines. Do not take volunteer lists home and always ensure that correspondence with volunteers is confidential.
The volunteer will be screened for metal on arrival but it is critical that you try to eliminate all unsuitable volunteers at the outset otherwise your scanning slot could be lost. Note any contraindications and you may want to send any relevant feedback to whoever manages your volunteers. Researchers should also check with each volunteer that is booked that they are not already booked in for another fMRI study within the same fortnightly period. The CBU guidelines are that no volunteer can be scanned more than once every 14 days. Please remember that volunteers are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before the scan start time to allow adequate time for the paperwork to be filled in, the task instructions to be explained and some overall contingency time for unplanned delays (you may want to extend this if you have specific extended tasks for them to complete prior to the scan; ask colleagues or the radiographers if you are unsure of how much time to allow. If this is a first scan with us, the volunteer should be asked to bring their GP's details to the appointment so this can be incorporated into their records.
You may well want to send a Confirmation Email to each volunteer booked which contains the link to the CBU imaging website so that the volunteer has a chance to read more about what we do and obtain our site map. Please blind copy this email to radiographers (please do not standard copy as we do not want these volunteers to contact the radiographers direct). Please also send the radiographers a summary of your booked slots at least three working days prior to scanning (containing the full volunteer name, contact numbers on the day and an email address if applicable). Please also forward this summary to anyone working with you on the project and to anyone that you will have working with you on your scan days. Radiographers will inform CBU Reception about the bookings.
Once your volunteers are booked and you are happy that they are suitable for your project, you will need to establish a rapport with them. This will help to stress the value of their assistance in our investigations and help to ensure that they turn up for their appointment. You will also need to send them a copy of the Volunteer Information Sheet (as submitted to LREC for ethical approval of your study). This should be done as soon as possible after booking them so that they have ample time to read the information. Please remember that your ethical protocol may stipulate how long volunteers are given to read the document so ensure that you allow the time documented. If you have booked the volunteers yourself then you may want to attach this document to your confirmation email; otherwise we suggest that you could send it once to all of your volunteers (put your address in the To section so you can check it arrives and put all the volunteer email addresses in the Bcc box so that the list of names is not visible to the recipients - in line with CBU data protection guidelines). Radiographers will inform CBU Reception about the appointment so there is no need for the researcher to do this.
(1-2 days before scanning). In order to ensure as far as possible that the volunteer will turn up for their appointment, please remind them a day or two before they are due to be scanned, and inform them that they should contact you if they have any problems in keeping their appointment as our scan time is very valuable and we may be able to find someone else to fill their slot. This is to minimise the (not infrequent) situation where participants do not turn up for slots without informing you, which inconveniences the whole team and may mean that the completion of your study is significantly delayed (if replacement slots can not be found quickly).
Exchange Contact numbers
Make certain that the volunteer knows how to contact the CBU Imaging Facility should they need to on the day and attempt to secure a mobile phone number for the volunteer that you can contact them when they are on the move in case you need to cancel at the last minute or they unexpectedly do not turn up.
Confirm Arrival Procedures
The volunteer will need to be informed of the specific arrival procedures - all volunteers need to sign in at Unit Reception (if their arrival time is out of office hours then you must ensure that you or a colleague is there to meet them). During working hours volunteers can be directed through the South Wing corridor to the Imaging Facility. Out of hours, they will need to be escorted around the outside of the South Wing. (Please remember that all doors in the Main Unit are alarmed out of hours and can only be opened from the inside as a fire escape route).
Recruit backup volunteers
The CBU procedure, which we have found very useful, is to have a back-up volunteer available for each scanning slot. A back-up can be on stand-by for a morning or an afternoon (or both if they are not used in the morning). It is not unusual for volunteers to cancel at the last minute or just not arrive for their slot so it is in your interests to make sure you have back-ups organised. This will ensure that there are no unnecessary interruptions in your scanning.