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Office for Research Participant Advocacy (ORPA)

The Utah Clinical and Translational Science Institute collaborates closely with the Office for Research Participant Advocacy (ORPA).

ORPA as established in 2008 to serve as a voice for research participants. It supports volunteers and community members at large in research participation, with the goal of providing an additional resource to enhance their research participation experience. The office also provides support and education to investigators and their teams on current best practices working with underserved and underrepresented community members, assists with developing recruitment strategies to ensure equitable access and opportunity to research, and provides dedicated research language access services. Through the support of the CTSI and CTSA program, ORPA has been instrumental in providing researchers with the necessary resources to recruit and enroll non–English-speaking and underrepresented research participants. 

Services Provided by ORPA

To request RPA services or learn more, please visit RPA’s webpage.

Recruitment and Retention Services

A solid recruitment strategy will ensure that your recruitment goals are met and that you will be able to retain your participants for the duration of your study. Study Locator is available to help with your recruitment efforts.  You can also contact us for help with your recruitment plan.

Language Services

Our highly trained research translators and interpreters work with researchers and participants to provide superior quality language services for non-English speaking participants. We provide support for all languages spoken in the Intermountain West.

Research Participant Support

We serve as resource for people who are taking part in research or those who are considering taking part. We are here to answer questions you may have about what will be expected from you if you do decide to volunteer in research. We can also help you find research studies that may be a good fit for you. 

Future Developments

In collaboration with the CTSI, ORPA will refine its online research presence, strengthen community relationships, and develop tracking mechanisms to monitor efforts to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in research.

  • Continue to develop StudyLocator and its Spanish-language sister site to increase community awareness and transparency of research efforts institutionally. They will develop a state-wide multi-marketing campaign to increase awareness of the recruitment tool, educate the community on the importance of research, and break down barriers to participation. The campaign will specifically target rural, underserved, and underrepresented communities.
  • Continue to increase the translation library by adding additional languages and alternatives to written material, including audio and video recordings, to address the needs of those with visual or auditory limitations, who struggle with reading, and/or who do not speak English or are limited English proficient (LEP).
  • Continue its partnership with the Black Physicians of Utah, leveraging the relationship to increase trust in the medical and research communities. We will participate in outreach events as requested, partner with mentorship programs, and conduct engagement activities to encourage careers in research. We will expand our relationship with Equality Utah, Utah’s largest LGBTQ+ rights group, supporting researchers and community members in addressing health inequities in the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Develop tracking mechanisms to measure system use to facilitate enrollment of non–English-speaking participants and access to online recruitment tools, including StudyLocator. Systems will be monitored, and improvements made in collaboration with the Institutional Review Board, research teams, and ORPA to streamline the process. 

Contact Info

Office for Research Participant Advocacy
University of Utah
75 East 2000 South
Research Administration Building
Room #224
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Office: 801-581-3803
Email: and