Research Participation Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Research Participation Scheme?

The Research Participation Scheme is directed at students taking Psychology modules.

Some (not all) of these modules offer students a small portion of their total marks (2.5% or less) for taking part in research studies run by members of staff and other students. 

Depending on how many modules students take, and which semester they are in, students have to obtain a larger or a smaller number of research credits. 

Research credits are awarded based on two criteria: (a) the length of time participants spend completing research studies, and (b) the type of study they participate in. Longer studies offer more credits than short studies, and lab-based studies offer more credits than online studies. 

Here is an example. A  Single-Honours Psychology student in Semester One of Year One would usually take three modules that offer marks for research participation. For each of these modules, she or he would need to complete 24 credits. Hence, her or his combined quota for the semester would be 72 credits. By doing only lab-based studies, she or he could obtain them in 6 hours (they offer 12 credits per hour); or by doing only online studies, in 9 hours (they offer 8 credits per hour); or by doing an equal mix, in 7.5 hours.

How Many Credits Are Required for each PSYC module?

Most PSYC (i.e., psychology) modules stipulate required number of research participation credits that contributes to a small portion of module mark (e.g., 1 to 2.5%).  This requirement is stated in module information.  The required number of credits depend on (1) semester and (2) the level to which a module is offered (i.e., Year 1, 2, or 3).

Credits per PSYC Module that Requires Research Participation
Semester 1 Semester 2
Year 1 24 36
Year 2 16 24
Year 3 8 12

How Can I Calculate How Many Credits I Need?

Here is how to figure out your credit quota each semester.

Step 1:
Check which modules award marks for research participation (RP).

Step 2:
Count how many of these modules are in Year 1, in Year 2, or in Year 3.

Step 3:
Check which semester you are in.

Step 4:
Do the math!

In addition, a Credit Computation and Tracking Utility is available here.

How Many Credits Do Studies Offer?

Studies vary in terms of their duration (i.e., how long they last). The longer a study lasts, the more credits you get for taking part in it.

In addition, lab studies (where you have to turn up to a physical location) offer more credits than online studies (where you can do them over the internet at a time of your choosing).

In particular, for studies of the same duration, you get one and a half times as many credits for taking part in lab studies.

Below are the details:

Online studies: 8 credits per hour (1 credit per 7.5 minutes)
Lab studies: 12 credits per hour (1 credit per 5 minutes)

Hence, you can complete your credit quota more quickly by taking part in lab studies, although it may be more convenient to do online studies. The choice is yours.

Why does Psychology run a Research Participation Scheme?

Its basic aims are two-fold:

  1. to enhance students’ understanding of research through direct experience; and
  2. to support the research activities of both students and staff .

Why should I participate in the Research Studies for credit?

Where modules have credit awarded for research participation, you should note that failure to fully participate in the research opportunities given to you (and thereby obtain maximum credit) may result in you failing a module or failing to reach a classification boundary or award. We therefore most strongly recommend that you participate fully in research opportunities

Dear Year 1 and Year 2 students,

By taking part in Participant Pool studies, I have gained relevant and valuable knowledge and experience. Now, as a Year 3 student, I can draw on it when conducting my own research. By taking part in online studies and laboratory experiments in Years 1 and 2, I gained a bigger picture of how research can be conducted. Laboratory experiments familiarized me with research in a controlled environment; and online studies granted me the opportunity to work within my own setting. Both of these experiences are beneficial, as not only did they provide me with further understanding of the procedures and designs involved in research, but now as a result I now feel more confident, knowledgeable and self-reliant when conducting my own research. Therefore, I strongly urge Year 1 and Year 2 students to take part in both laboratory experiments, and online studies as you too will see the benefits when managing your own research in Year 3.

Shokraneh Oftadeh Moghadam (Psychology Academic President 2015/16, Year 3)



What ethical guidelines are in place for research participants?

Research participants must be treated with dignity, respect, and kindness, in keeping with the guidelines of British Psychological Society (BPS) on conducting research with human participants. Participants will be told what activities they are expected to engage in, and forewarned about any unpleasantness they might potentially experience.

Participants are free to withdraw without penalty at any point during a study. At the end, the presiding researcher must also explain to the participants the nature and purpose of the study, and invite questions. If students feel they have been mistreated, they should contact the head of the Ethics Committee, Professor Cynthia Graham (email:


How do you participate in research studies?

For information about available research studies, and to sign up to these studies, you need to go to your Research Dashboard on eFolio.

Some of these studies will be online. These can be completed over the internet, at a time and place of your choosing. Others will be lab-based. These require you to complete a study by turning up to a physical location in person.

Before signing up to studies, you must make sure that you have completed your research profile. Please follow the link at the top of your Research Dashboard to complete your profile. This is required before you can gain access to the project system.

The sign up process is as follows:

  1. Go to your Research Dashboard at
  2. Click the tab called ‘Available Projects’, and you will see a list of all projects that are available to you (these are the projects that you are eligible to take).
  3. Click ‘More Details’ button next to any available projects to view the project details. A popup window will appear showing you what experiments are available in the project.
  4. Click the ‘Sign Up’ link next to the experiment you wish to participate in. This will take you to the Sign-up screen.
  5. On the sign-up screen you will see a list of available time slots for your chosen experiment. Simply choose one that is suitable and click the ‘Book This Slot’ button. You will see a sign-up confirmation message, and will receive an email from the project admin confirming your place.

Once you have booked a slot you will then be able to review the details from your Research Dashboard by clicking the ‘My Upcoming Experiments’ tab. This tab holds all of your upcoming participation times and locations.

When you book, please make a careful note of:

  • the researcher’s name
  • the participation credits offered
  • the location of the study
  • the starting and finishing times of the study

I can no longer participate in a research study. How do I cancel?

You can cancel a booking up to 24 hours before your time slot on the experiment is due to run. After this point you are committed to participation and cannot cancel your booking.

To cancel a booking 24 hours or more in advance, go to your Research Dashboard and click the ‘My Upcoming Experiments’ tab. Click the ‘Cancel Slot Booking’ button next to the slot you wish to cancel, you will be asked to confirm the action. Once confirmed, your booking will be cancelled.


What happens if I fail to cancel and attend a research study?

If you do not attend an experiment that you are booked on, and you did not inform the project admin at least 24 hours prior to your booking, then in most cases you will receive negative credits. It’s therefore important for you to attend. If for some reason you are not able to attend then you must contact the Project Admin as early as possible to let them know, giving the admin the chance to find someone else to take your place.

Note: Negative credits count against your cumulative credit score. Make sure that you keep on top of your participation!

You can see all of your up-coming experiments that you are booked on via your research dashboard. Click the “My Upcoming Experiments’ Tab to view all of your upcoming participation.


What happens if the researcher does not attend a study?

If the researcher is more than 5 minutes late for a research appointment, then the student should report immediately to their Student Office. Please ensure you have full details of the relevant study at hand, including the researcher’s name, the participation credits offered, the location of the study, and the starting and finishing times of the study. If the session has not been advertised as cancelled on eFolio 24 hours prior to the appointment, then the student will receive the credit without having to take part.


How do you know if I have participated in a research study, and how are my credits recorded?

Once you have successfully participated and completed a project experiment, the project administrator will then award you your credits for taking part. Once the credits have been awarded to you, they are saved in the system, and you will be able to see them listed on the ‘Credits’ tab from your Research Dashboard. The credits tab lists all your participation, whether you attended or not, and the resultant credits that have been awarded to you.

If you have successfully completed an experiment and are still waiting for your credits to be awarded, you should contact the project administrator (the person running the project) by email and ask them to record your attendance and award you your credits. This will usually resolve the matter; if it does not, please contact Amanda Jenvey, the scheme’s Administrator (Email:

The number of credits awarded to you is decided by the project admin. The maximum number of credits you can possibly receive for an experiment is shown during sign-up.


Are credits transferable from Semester One to Two, or from Year One to Two?

No. You must get all the credits for Semester One in Semester One, and all credits for Semester Two in Semester Two. Similarly, you must get all the credits for Year One in Year One, and all credits for Year Two in Year Two. Hence, if you fail to get all your credits in any semester of any year, you will have to make them up in Year Three if you want to use the participant pool, a very awkward business. So make sure to get all your credits in each semester!


What happens if I am unable to take part in research studies?

If you have a reason for not being able to take part in the research participation scheme (e.g., severe physical handicap, under 18 years old), then please inform the scheme’s Administrator, Amanda Jenvey (Email: during the first week of Semester One, and alternative arrangements can be made for you.

To make up the missing marks, for example, you can EITHER write two written assignments (one per semester) OR provide research assistance to members of staff by, say, entering or coding data (during both semesters). Your performance will be marked as either satisfactory (100%) or unsatisfactory (0%).  Members of staff can determine at their own discretion what type and amount of research assistance you should provide.


What are the deadlines for research participation?

The deadline dates for research participation can be viewed on the Year One, Two and Three Research Participation Scheme pages, which can accessed under ‘Your Academic Programme’.

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