In Western Australia, schools are extremely popular settings for conducting research involving young people. Due to the increasing number of research studies competing for time on the school's agenda and that the first priority of schools is the education of their students, it is often difficult to encourage schools to participate in research projects. Therefore, successful recruitment strategies must go beyond pure research considerations and address the diverse needs of the school. Based on the experiences of two large research projects in Western Australia, this paper provides practical recommendations regarding effective recruitment and retention strategies that may be used or easily adapted by other health professionals who wish to conduct research in schools. Given the importance of evidence-based health promotion strategies designed for young people, it is crucial that schools be retained as potential settings for research. Therefore, it is vital that researchers ensure the research experience for the school is a positive one. Recruitment and retention strategies that maximise the benefits and minimise the costs to the school will assist in making the experience positive, thereby increasing the likelihood that schools will be receptive to future requests to participate in research projects.