Disseminating Results to Study Participants

Disseminating Results to Study Participants

Research participants are an important group to consider disseminating research findings to, given that without them, research would not proceed! Returning research results to study participants is not yet routine practice among most researchers, however increasingly there are “calls to action” to do so. Recent research suggests that study participants desire to have research findings returned to them (both aggregate and individual-level results, where possible), and that doing so can help build trust and encourage future research participation.

Please see the resources and tools below to assist in your efforts to return research findings to study participants.

Narrative Summary Guidelines, Template, and Examples

A Narrative Summary is a written summary of a study’s research findings. It is a useful way to succinctly summarize the purpose, main findings, and impact of a research study. It is very similar to a Public Summary except that the intended audience is research participants. For guidance on how to create a Narrative Summary, please see the guidelines, template, and examples our Dissemination Team created below.


An infographic is another useful way to summarize a research study through the use of charts, imagery, and graphics with minimal text. Examples of infographics that summarize research study findings can be found below. (Examples below were created in Canva. Piktochart is another easy-to-use program for creating high-quality infographics.)


A video is another effective way to share the findings of a research study with research participants.

Toolkit Resources