Well I'm not sure where this panic and depression came from (again), but I feel it may have something to do with worrying about finding enough participants for my study. I'm trying to recruit a hard to reach population. Has anyone else had experience of this and what happened? Thanks :)
In the mean time, here are some other researchers' (not me!) reflections on the challenges of recruiting participants which might give you some ideas. The second piece is more for if you're trying to recruit people via other professionals:
I know that feeling of panic. I've had that this week. I am not yet at the stage of recruiting. But I realised that due to the sensitive nature of the research and the people I want to interview/speak to/observe may very well not want to take part. I have done research projects in the past as a students and professionally. But I appreciate that sometimes, it just is not as straight forward as others might think. I hope you can come up with some strategies to combat difficulties. I am doing that at the moment. And I am also drawing up a Plan B and a Plan C in case I cannot get the numbers I want to help ensure I have enough data.
I think Mulrine is absolutely right - discuss a plan B and possibly a plan C with your supervisors before you start recruiting, you will probably have to write about this in your ethics application as well. When you mentioned the groups, did you mean that you need 70 participants from each group, totalling 140 participants? What is your methodology?
With 'hard to reach' groups, snowball sampling can be an option, maybe look into this? I am in the field and recruiting at the moment and although some people have been very forthcoming, I want some variation in my sample and so I am taking advantage of participants being recommended to me. I only need about 15 participants though, so it sounds as if you have a different sort of problem - some more info about your project might be useful :)
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