I plan to use a telephone script to recruit participants. What kind of information should the script include?

The following is a sample script that demonstrates what type of information you should include when recruiting participants by telephone (see TCPS2(2018) Article 3.1 for more information about considerations when recruiting participants e.g., ensuring voluntariness). See also the FAQs on Consent.

P = Potential Participant        I = Interviewer

I:          May I please speak to [name of potential participant]?

P:         Hello, [name of potential participant] speaking. How may I help you?

I:          My name is [insert interviewer’s name] and I am a [Masters student, Doctoral student, undergraduate student, faculty member, or…] in the [insert department name] at the University of Guelph. I am currently conducting research under the supervision of [insert supervisor’s name] on [insert research topic]. As part of my thesis research, I am conducting interviews with residents and professionals such as planners and developers to discover their perspectives on [insert purpose of study].

As you played a key role in this intensification initiative, I would like to speak with you about your perspectives on intensification and on the integration of new developments within existing communities. Is this a convenient time to give you further information about the interviews?

P:         No, could you call back later (agree on time to call person back).


P:         Yes, could you provide me with some more information regarding the interviews you will be conducting?

I:          Background Information –

  • I will be undertaking interviews starting in [insert date]
  • The interview would last about one hour, and would be arranged for a time convenient to your schedule.
  • Involvement in this interview is entirely voluntary and there are no known or anticipated risks to participation in this study.
  • The questions are quite general (for example, insert sample question)
  • You may decline to answer any of the interview questions you do not wish to answer and may terminate the interview at any time.
  • With your permission, the interview will be tape-recorded to facilitate collection of information, and later transcribed for analysis.
  • All information you provide will be considered confidential.
  • The data collected will be kept in a secure location and disposed of in X year’s time.
  • If you have any questions regarding this study, or would like additional information to assist you in reaching a decision about participation, please feel free to contact [insert supervisor’s name] at 519-824-4120 X5xxxx. The final decision about participation is yours.
  • I would like to assure you that this study has been reviewed by the University of Guelph Research Ethics Board for compliance with federal guidelines for human research. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the Manager, Research Ethics, (519) 824-4120; reb@uoguelph.ca
  • After all the data have been analyzed, you will receive an executive summary of the research results.

With your permission, I would like to email/mail/fax you an information letter which has all of these details along with contact names and numbers on it to assist you in making a decision about your participation in this study.

P:         No thank you.


P:         Sure [get contact information from potential participant]

I:          Thank you very much for your time. May I call you in 2 or 3 days to see if you are interested in being interviewed? Once again, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at my research office number 519-824-4120 X5xxxx.

P:         Good-bye

I:          Good-bye.

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Human Ethics
Recruitment and Consent