COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

Participant Recruitment Center

Request ACTRI Services

The ACTRI Participant Recruitment Center has a variety of tools and services available to help you achieve your participant recruitment goals. From community engagement consultation to novel informatics platforms that consider participant preferences, these tools can be customized to help you reach your target population. This center is a collaboration of the ACTRI Community Engagement (CE) and Biomedical Informatics (BMI) units.

The following Tools can be customized to the needs of the study and the population being evaluated:

Cohort Discovery Identification using the EHR

UC Rex logoUC Research eXchange (UC ReX) tool A secure web-based system that accesses counts from 14‑plus million patient records across the University of California's five medical centers and allows authorized UC researchers, clinicians and administrators to access patient counts for research, clinical quality improvement and administrative inquiries.

Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT) Network – The ACT Network, funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, is a nationwide network of sites that share EHR data to significantly increase participant accrual to the nation's highest priority clinical trials. UC San Diego is a participating site.

Patient Information Extract Service (PIES) in electronic health records – A service that identifies patients and extracts identified, de-identified, or limited patient-level datasets from electronic medical records according to IRB approval for clinical research projects. To request PIES, please go to the ACTRI Service Request Form.

Consultation and Special Populations


The Community Engagement staff can help you improve research designs and write competitive proposals.

Consultation and Facilitated IntroductionA service that supports community engagement in clinical research, helps strengthen the link between researchers and the community, and helps investigators develop strategies for recruitment exploring recruitment options and strategies with a Participant Recruitment Center representative, sometimes leading to facilitated community interactions.  This service is most helpful in the pre-funding, research-planning phase, but is available at all phases of research.

Rural and Hispanic PopulationsMany rural areas of San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside Counties have high rates of health problems, populations previously untapped for research, and clinical partners interested in collaborating with ACTRI investigators. Exploration of these resources is available through consultation with Participant Recruitment Center staff. This service is most helpful in the pre-funding, research-planning phase, but is available at all phases of research.

Telehealth Video Equipment – Videoconferencing can expand study recruitment options by enabling people in rural and remote locations to participate in research studies. ACTRI has loaner equipment available for researchers who want to pilot programs for feasibility. For more information, please email

HealthDAT San Diego – A web-based portal to health data in San Diego County. HealthDAT also includes graphical and numerical information about the impact of disease in local neighborhoods to make it easy to use. The site enables researchers to: set priorities and goals; identify local communities with the highest needs in their field of research; and connect to lead community agencies who can partner with them. The portal is currently being evaluated in a beta release and we invite your feedback.

Resources and Data to Help with Community Engagement

Healthy People 2020 Update (San Diego compared to U.S. and California)
Healthy People 2020: How Does San Diego County Measure Up?

Cities of San Diego – Demographic Profiles
2016 Demographic Profiles by City Municipality

CDC WONDER–CDC Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER) is a public resource. This application makes many health-related data sets available to CDC staff, public health departments, researchers, and others. The data help with public health research, decision making, priority setting, program evaluation, and resource allocation.

Recruitment Tools

RM logoResearchMatch A nationwide, web-based, human subject recruitment registry sponsored by the NIH. Volunteers in this registry have indicated a willingness to learn more about research studies. ResearchMatch aims to be an effective, useful and complementary recruitment tool that connects researchers with appropriate potential subjects. ResearchMatch is not just for clinical trials. It is available at no cost, to help match any type of IRB-approved study with potential participants.

Social Media – Internet and social media are increasingly utilized to reach potential participants for clinical trials. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and portals such as Google, have been demonstrated to be helpful in cost-effectively recruiting human subjects through targeted advertising. Some fee-for-service clinical trial recruitment companies (e.g., TrialSpark) specialize in using data-driven tools for recruitment and have helped investigators reach populations that are typically difficult to reach (e.g., specific demographics such as location and age). For example, TrialSpark will build web landing pages, facilitate participant feedback and engagement, manage social media ad campaigns, and offer data management and analytics. To further explore this strategy for your study, please email

IRB Reliance and Finding Trials

UC TrialQuest – This database is a novel tool that allows investigators to determine if a proposed clinical trial has an active or pending IRB protocol at one of the five UC Health campuses.

ClinicalTrials – This UC San Diego Health ClinicalTrials website enables investigators and volunteers to find all active clinical trials across the UC San Diego medical site. Once you enter the ClinicalTrials site, type in a study area such as Depression, Lung Cancer, and Alzheimer's disease to explore more than 900 trials at UC San Diego Health. ClinicalTrials is supported by a Clinical and Translational Science Awards supplement grant.

Clinical Trials Made Easy Video


pscanner logoPatient-centered SCAlable National Network for Effectiveness Research (pSCANNER) –  A network that enables a sustainable national research infrastructure, making health data more accessible and usable for the generation of scientific evidence that patients, clinicians and other stakeholders together use to make more informed health decisions. pSCANNER integrates data from existing networks and surrounding health systems covering over 24 million patients.