Empirical Project: Using Psychology’s Participant Pool


Mrs Amanda Jenvey

Location: Building 44 (The Shackleton Building), Room 2003

Email: A.Jenvey@soton.ac.uk


What do you have to do to use the Psychology Participant Pool?

Year 3 students, in conjunction with their supervisors, often make use of Psychology’s Participant Pool for their Empirical Project. If so, the rules below must be followed:


1. You must have obtained your quota of credits for Year 1 and Year 2 from research participation.

If you have not yet done so, then you must make up the missing credits (in addition to fulfilling your Year Three credit quota) before using the Participant Pool.


2. You must obtain ethics approval for your Empirical Project from the School’s Ethics Committee.

  • The process of applying for ethics approval is automated on http://www.ergo.soton.ac.uk.
  • When your study has been approved, you will need to link your ERGO study to your Research Project on the Research Dashboard (eFolio), upon creation. To do this, please see ‘Study Settings’.
  • Note: If your Project consists wholly or part of a study that has already received ethical approval, then you do not need to apply for full ethical approval again. Instead, your supervisor can add you to an existing approved study of theirs on ERGO, and an amended version of the study can be resubmitted via ERGO.
  • Guidelines for supervisors are available https://www.ergo.soton.ac.uk/help/.

Further support about setting up a Research Project on eFolio can be found here.


3. You must determine how many credits to allocate for participation in your study.

  • As of 2015/2016, students are awarded different numbers of credits for participation in online studies versus lab-based studies.
  • Online studies: 8 credits per hour, or 1 credit for every 7.5 minutes or portion thereof.
  • Lab-based studies: 12 credits per hour, or 1 credit for every 5 minutes or portion thereof.
  • Advertise your credits honestly and accurately, based on how long most participants take.

4. You must book a room (unless you are running a study over the Internet).

  • This is usually done within a particular research group area. Your supervisor will be able to advise you on which rooms you can use.
  • Common rooms can be booked here. 

5. You must advertise your study.

  • This is done principally via the Research Dashboard on eFolio.
  • All other advertising (for example, posters) must contain the following information:
    • Study code
    • Brief title
    • Name and email address of researcher(s)
    • Brief description
    • Standard sign up sheet
    • Any special restrictions (e.g., Year 1; men only)
    • The date the poster was put up
  • Describe your study in neutral language: do not write anything like “Five easy credits and chocolate!”. If you do so, you study may be suspended.
  • In addition, if you advertise your study using a poster, only put that poster on designated boards (i.e., not in toilets and not on the walls).
  • There are two noticeboards in the i-Zone and one on level 1. If you litter or deface the Academic Unit with unwanted posters, your study may also be suspended.
  • Also, please take your posters down when you are finished with them: do not permanently litter the noticeboards!

6. You must ensure you have three details correct on the Research Dashboard.

  1. First, you must make a new project under ‘Add New Project’.
  2. Second, under Settings, you must make sure that your study availability is set to to ‘Available’ (the default is Available), and not ‘Unavailable’.
  3. Third, you must make sure that the dates you have entered under ‘Available From’ and ‘Available To’ are valid, and within research participation deadlines (for deadlines, please see “Your Academic Programme”).

7. You must create appropriate time-slots.

When determining the time slots, make sure that you are prepared to deal with the late arrival of participants or unexpectedly long sessions. In particular:

  1. Leave at least 5 to 10 minutes break between sessions.
  2. Check the timetables to avoid the slots that clash with teaching in Years 1 and 2.
  3. Only provide timeslots where you are sure of your own availability.

PLEASE NOTE: By creating time slots, you are responsible for being ready to administer the study at the chosen time and at the designated location. 

If a researcher is 5 minutes late for a session, students who turn up will receive full credit regardless.

Further information about creating timeslots on eFolio can be found here.


8. If you cancel a session, you must give sufficient notice.

  • It is important to remember that once someone has signed up to a slot, then you cannot remove it and are committed to run the study in this time!
  • HOWEVER, if you need to cancel a study session, then you MUST give 24 hours notice and contact the intended participants by email to inform them of the cancellation.
  • If you cancel a session less than 24 hours beforehand, students who turn up will receive full credit regardless.

9. You must collect each participant’s signature yourself.

  • Make sure that you collect each participant’s signature, along with their printed name, student number, Academic Unit and year of study.
  • A student who is absent will be penalised by deducting the number of credits assigned to the study from their total number of obtained credits.
  • It is important that you are conscientious about research participation records: it is your responsibility.
  • All researchers are required to retain copies of their sign up sheets for at least one year after the time of data collection to allow cross checking.

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