Purpose: To determine the recruitment goals that investigators set for racial/ethnic minorities and the factors associated with failure to meet those goals. Methods: Four hundred forty principal investigators (PIs) conducting clinical research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 2001 completed a mailed survey providing their minority recruitment goals and enrollment data for their most recent NHLBI-funded study. Results: Ninety-two percent of PIs set goals for African Americans, 68% for Hispanics, 55% for Asian Americans, 35% for Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and 23% of PIs set recruitment goals for American Indians/Native Alaskans. Among those PIs who did set minority recruitment goals, the mean goal for the recruitment of African Americans was 31%, 16% for Hispanics, and 9% for Asian Americans. Twenty-seven percent of PIs failed to meet their recruitment goals for African Americans, 23% for Asian Americans, and 23% for Hispanics. After adjusting for multiple investigator and trial characteristics, the type of study (odds ratio [OR] 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2, 3.4 for observational vs. phase III trial) completion of study enrollment (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.2, 3.4), and PI identification of a larger number of major barriers to participation (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1, 3.0) were all associated with failure to meet recruitment goals for African Americans. However, no factors were consistently associated with failure to meet recruitment goals across different racial/ethnic groups. Conclusions: Investigators often do not set recruitment goals for some racial/ethnic groups. Factors associated with failure to meet recruitment goals vary in the recruitment of different minority groups. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.