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How do I recruit participants from specific locations for a remote study?

written by
Courtney Webster
Last updated:
January 24, 2023

For online and phone studies, easily recruit participants from specific cities, states, or countries. You can then use screener questions to target more specifically, like to recruit participants in counties, zip codes, neighborhoods, etc.

Choose the "Location characteristics" in the "Characteristics" section of the project builder to add your location criteria.

Target by country

Country with United States selected is the remote study default. Click the checkbox next to any countries you'd like to recruit in. We currently recruit participants in the United States, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, and South Africa. If any country listed is acceptable, click the checkbox next to each option.

Target by state

Select “State” from the dropdown, then choose the US states you'd like to recruit in. Click "+ Add another state" to target multiple states on the same project.

Target by city

Select “City” from the dropdown, then start typing the city you'd like to recruit in. This will populate options using data from Google Maps. Choose a pre-populated option, then click "+ Add another city" if you'd like to recruit from more than one city on the same project.

By default we recruit within 40 kilometers of a given city. To decrease the recruit radius (for my precise targeting), or increase the recruit radius (for more flexible targeting), email

Target by county, zip code, neighborhood, etc.

Narrow your targeting even further by adding questions to your screener survey. We recommend the following setup:

  1. Setting up your project to recruit from certain states or cities.
  2. Adding questions to your screener survey to get more details about applicants' county, zip code, neighborhood, etc. You may leave the answer free-form and review responses manually, or automatically accept/reject applicants based on their answers.

We discourage asking participants for their address in a screener, as most participants are uncomfortable giving that personal information out in that way. If you need to know a participant's address, we recommend adding Double Screening to the project and asking the participant for that information over the phone or in email.


Participants from other cities, states, or countries applied to my study. Why?

Participants can view studies when not logged into their account, meaning studies won't be filtered based on their location. Participants who do not meet your location criteria will come through as unqualified.

I need to recruit in a general area, like a metro area. How do I do that? 

Start by setting a central city under "Location characteristics". If the metro area is larger than 40km, ask your PC to expand the radius, then ask a screener question to gather the participant's zip code or city. Use this information to determine if they qualify.

OR, include all cities in a metro area in the cities field. Please note that the 40km default will apply, so we recommend then emailing your PC to reduce the recruit radius so we don't recruit farther than intended.

I'm recruiting in a location and not getting enough applicants. What do I do? 

We recommend expanding your location criteria, if possible. For example, consider:

  • Asking your project coordinator to extend the recruit radius if you're recruiting in a city.
  • Adding additional cities, states, or countries to your acceptable locations.
  • Removing other targeting criteria. For example, if any of the demographic characteristics included aren't crucial, you may remove those to cast a wider net.
  • Increasing your incentive. Often, bumping up the incentive creates more interest!

How do I recruit in areas and provinces in countries aside from the US?

For example, if you're recruiting in Canada and want to target participants in British Columbia, we recommend adding larger cities within that province to the cities field. If the province extends past a 40km radius, ask your PC to extend the radius (if less, ask them to reduce the radius). Then, add a screener question asking participants what province they live in to confirm they qualify.

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