In CRO, Ethnobridging, Phase 1 Clinical Trials

5 Key Volunteer Recruitment Strategies in Ethnic Bridging Clinical Trials

Effective volunteer recruitment strategies are integral to conducting successful Ethnic Bridging clinical trials. Here are 5 key factors:

1. Regional Diversity:

As the primary factor distinguishing Ethnic Bridging clinical trials from other early phase research practices, regional diversity in the area of the study can help further streamline the recruitment process. Located on the border between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, WCCT’s sites are strategically located (map) in one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the U.S., with several high-density Japanese communities nearby. The additional ability to recruit multiple Asian ethnic groups (e.g. Japanese, Chinese, and Korean) into a single Bridging trial provides further value to Sponsors who desire this for meeting regulatory and commercial objectives.

2. Bilingual Recruitment Coordinators:

Maintaining a specialized recruitment department with bilingual team members who understand the volunteers’ culture is another very important factor. Speaking the same language as potential volunteers helps ease the tension and fear of joining clinical trials, making it easier for these volunteers to communicate questions and concerns so they know exactly what to expect when joining a study.

3. Volunteer Education:

Continuous communication to educate the local community and potential volunteers about clinical trials is essential. From our experience, we’ve found that Asian populations tend to take more time to learn and analyze what they are about to experience before joining a research study than other ethnicities. It is integral for site recruitment coordinators to be engaged in interpersonal conversation and provide additional educational information during calls and other touch points.

4. Flexible Scheduling:

Many first-generation Asians residing in the U.S. carry full-time jobs or class schedules to maintain their visa status. Flexible scheduling of study visits allows us to tailor the timeframes for each individual while staying within the parameters of the study. WCCT further advises Sponsors of the best times of the year to run trials with particularly lengthy confinement periods, and we carefully plot out study timelines to maximize volunteer recruitment.

5. Community Outreach and Advertisements:

To perform Ethnic Bridging studies on a continuous basis, it’s important to maintain a stream of new potential volunteers for the database. Once the target communities are identified, WCCT uses a variety of outreach and advertising channels. Direct outreach involves grass-roots recruitment tactics and communication with local business owners and community leaders, which presents opportunities to connect with community members on a daily basis. Other outreach methods involve:

  • Sponsoring International Student Organizations at various local colleges and universities.
  • Participating in cultural events and festivals to foster relationships with community members.
  • Strategic ad placement and targeting on the internet, in Asian publications, on radio, and TV to expand outreach potential.


Implementing effective recruitment strategies is the first step in ensuring a healthy Asian volunteer database, but volunteer retention is vital for successful results. Having conducted a wide range of ethnic bridging clinical trials since 2004, we’ve learned to address all cultural-specific needs throughout the process, providing participants constant access to translators and other necessary resources. In our next post, we’ll go in-depth on additional strategies and considerations that can help ensure high volunteer retention rates throughout the study.


To learn more about WCCT’s volunteer recruitment strategies, click here.

To learn more about WCCT’s ethnic bridging capabilities, click here.

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