Case Study:

Accessible market research recruitment for a leading UK university  

Find out how Angelfish recruited a diverse sample of respondents who identified as disabled to take part in online focus groups for one of the UK’s top 10 universities - and how our inclusive recruitment techniques ensured people with disabilities could easily apply.

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The Client

One of the UK’s top universities

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The Objective

To understand how people with a disability interact with Paralympians’ social media, including which Paralympians they follow, how they perceive their posts, the type of content that interact with, and their insights around the content

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The Methodology

Online focus groups via Microsoft Teams

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The Duration

4 x 30-minute groups

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The Incentive

A £25 eGift card

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Our Participants

A diverse sample of 20 respondents who needed to either be disabled or a carer/relative/partner of a disabled person, across a mix of age, gender, and ethnicity


Discover how Angelfish helped one of the UK’s most famous universities to recruit a diverse mix of disabled respondents for four 30-minute focus groups - and how we went above and beyond to ensure we found the best possible participants!

Read on to find out how we smashed the brief for this project and delivered an inclusive experience for everyone involved project thanks to our inclusive recruitment methods. 


So, who was our client for this project? 

Our client was a well-known, highly regarded university who were conducting research for academic publications, study reports, and even an art installation!

What was their end goal? 

The end goal of this study was to understand how those who identify as disabled - or who are close to someone with a disability - interact and engage with Paralympians’ social media, particularly public social media content on platforms such as Instagram.

The research set out to find out how people perceive Paralympians’ and Para-athletes’ social posts, which Paralympians they follow, the types of social media content they interact with, and their perceptions and insights around the content.  

Who were the participants?

This study called for 20 respondents for 16 to take part - which meant we needed to recruit five respondents for each group of four. Each of the respondents needed to identify as disabled or have an impairment or be a carer/relative/partner of a disabled person. 

Crucially, all of the participants needed to interact with Paralympic social content, and we also needed to ensure that the sample was diverse, and the respondents were a mix of different genders, ages, and ethnicities.  

What challenges did we face? 

Rather than being a challenge, this project actually presented us with a fantastic opportunity to enable people to voice their opinions without discrimination. 

If market research is going to be truly representative of the world around us, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion is incredibly important in market research, so it was essential that we used the correct language and recruitment methods to encourage inclusivity.   



Luckily, because our community of respondents is already profiled for accessibility, we had a head start on this one!   


The Angelfish twist...

As with every market research project we undertake here at Angelfish Fieldwork, we couldn’t wait to dive right in! There were a number of ways we used our experience and knowledge to ensure this project was a success)

Beginning with a brief

For starters, we kicked things off with a briefing call with the client to ensure we were all on the same page and that we were finding the right people.

The power of community 

With accessibility being so important to this project, our panel was essential. Once the briefing was complete, we targeted launches to those who have identified themselves as disabled or have an accessibility requirement, or carers of those with a disability, 

Something Powerful

Searching with social media

Finally, we utilised our social media accounts to advertise the project across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to ensure we were searching far and wide for the best possible participants. 

Probing with validation calls 

Once we’d drawn shortlist of respondents, we probed further on validation calls to ensure they were engaged with Paralympians’’ social media and that they were happy to speak openly about their experiences within a group setting.

Regular communication

Keeping in touch regularly with respondents throughout the duration of the project was essential to increase attendance and ensure a high completion rate.  

A little look into the methodology… 

  • 4x 30-minute online focus groups via Microsoft Teams
  • Asking about how they perceive Paralympians they follow, the types of social media content they interact with, and their perceptions and insights around the content 
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The results 

We were super happy with the results of this project, with 19/20 respondents attending and completing the focus groups.

Our client was just as thrilled, too! In fact, when we asked them how they thought the research had gone, they responded that the “focus group was incredible”. Another happy customer, then!  


And our respondents were just as happy with the experience too, with one saying that “the subject was fascinating” and another sharing how pleased they were to take part in “very well curated research”. Well done team! 

Key takeaways 

Use different recruitment methods - With such specific criteria for this project, we needed to use a variety of recruitment methods to make sure we hit the brief. 

Ensure inclusive recruitment - From language to recruitment techniques, it was really important that people with disabilities could easily apply.

Strong communication is key - Regular communication with respondents to increase attendance and ensure a high completion rate was absolutely essential.  

Are you looking to recruit high-quality participants for your next research project?

If so, be sure to get in touch with the Angelfish today!

When you team up with us for your qualitative market research recruitment, our experienced and dedicated project management team will work together with you to ensure that every stage of your project is a resounding success.

Not only that, but we’ll also be on hand throughout the project to provide additional expert guidance and regular updates.   

Sound good?