Resource centre

Our resource centre provides practical guidance, downloadable documents, links to relevant websites as well as useful references for trialists.

MRC START documents

A range of other interventions are currently being tested as part of MRC START and may be used by trialists wishing to test them in their trials: see Other recruitment interventions.

Practical guidance on how to effectively recruit participants into clinical trials

Currently in the news

Useful websites


The following published articles are useful references. Articles 1-8 formed the basis for the MRC START project:

Title Author(s) Publication
Trials within trials? Researcher, funder and ethical perspectives on the practicality and acceptability of nesting trials of recruitment methods in existing primary care trials Jonathan Graffy, Peter Bower, Elaine Ward, Paul Wallace, Brendan Delaney, Ann-Louise Kinmonth, David Collier and Julia Miller BMC Medical Research Methodology 2010, 10:38
Increasing recruitment to randomised trials: a review of randomised controlled trials Judith M Watson and David J Torgerson BMC Medical Research Methodology 2006, 6:34
Strategies to improve recruitment to randomised controlled trials (Review) Treweek S, Pitkethly M, Cook J, Kjeldstr'm M, Taskila T, Johansen M, Sullivan F, Wilson S, Jackson C, Jones R, Mitchell E. The Cochrane Library 2010, (pdf, 495KB) issue 4
Performance-based readability testing of participant information for a Phase 3 IVF trial Knapp P, Raynor D, Silcock J, Parkinson B. Trials 2009;10:
Improving recruitment to health research in primary care Bower P, Wallace P, Ward E, Graffy J, Miller J, Delaney B, et al. Fam Pract 2009;26:391-397
Engaging family practitioners in research: are we getting it right? Graffy J Fam Pract 2008;25:69-70.
UK research staff perspectives on improving recruitment and retention to primary care research; nominal group exercise Graffy J, Grant J, Boase S, Ward E, Wallace P, Miller J, et al. Fam Pract 2009;26:48-55.
Contrasting approaches to recruitment in primary care research Ward E, Miller J, Graffy J, Bower P. Primary Health Care Research and Development
Recruitment to clinical trials: a meta-ethnographic synthesis of studies of reasons for participation McCann, S. ; Campbell, M. ; Entwistle, V. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy VOL 18; NUMB 4 (2013) ISSN 1355-8196
Methods to improve recruitment to randomised controlled trials: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis Treweek, Shaun; Lockhart, Pauline; Pitkethly, Marie; Cook, Jonathan A. Kjeldstrm, Monica Johansen, Marit Taskila, Taina K. Sullivan, Frank M. Wilson, Sue Jackson, Catherine BMJ BMJ Open 2013;3:e002360 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002360
SWAT 1: what effects do site visits by the principal investigator have on recruitment in a multicentre randomized trial? Smith V, Clarke M, Devane D, Begley C, Shorter G, Maguire L. Journal of Evidence Based Medicine (2013), VOL 6, Num 3  doi: 10.1111/jebm.12049
A reinvestigation of recruitment to randomised, controlled, multicenter trials: a review of trials funded by two UK funding agencies Sully BG, Julious SA, Nicholl J. Trials. 2013 Jun 9;14:166. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-14-166.