Recruiting Participants for Research Studies
Researchers in the Psychology Department can recruit participants directly from the NYU community (Section A), from the Psychology Subject Pool (Section B), or from the larger pool of potential participants (e.g., using online playforms such as SurveyMonkey, Prolific) (Section C).
The Psychology Subject Pool comprises potential participants who can meet course requirements by participating in psychology studies. The investigators and participants make connections through the NYU Psychology Research Participation System, also known as SONA.
A. Create Flyers for Direct Recruitment
Researchers may recruit participants from NYU or the surrounding neighborhoods by posting flyers that have been approved by the NYU Institutional Review Board (IRB). Details about the general procedure for obtaining approval from the IRB are provide below in Section C.
When creating a flyer for the recruitment of paid research participants from the NYU Psychology Paid Research Participation System (aka Paid SONA) and elsewhere, use PaidStudyPoster_Nov2016 as a template. If you want to advertise a paid or unpaid research assistant position, you may use ResearchAssistantPosterAug10.
If you are recruiting participants for a study and would like for your study information to be posted on the Paid Studies web page, please email your IRB approval notification and IRB stamped recruitment flyer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once these documents are received, the content of your study flyer (i.e., not the flyer itself) will be posted on the Paid Studies web page. You will receive email confirmation regarding the posting.
B. Recruit Psychology Subject Pool (SONA) Participants
The rest of this page provides guidance and materials to assist you in recruiting Psychology Subject Pool participants (i.e, students in Introduction to Psychology, Statistics and Core A, and Core B classes) and in getting the required approval from the IRB. Please review the instructions carefully before developing your application.
The recruitment of Psychology Subject Pool participants happens via the NYU Psychology Research Participation System, also known as SONA.
Only Department of Psychology members (i.e, faculty, graduate students, and staff) may recruit SONA participants.
1. All studies recruiting Psychology Subject Pool participants must be approved by the IRB.
Effective February 1, 2016 all IRB applications (exempt, expedited and full board) must be submitted through the Cayuse IRB system, which is associated with the Research tab of home.nyu.edu. The online Cayuse IRB Manual explains how to create an IRB protocol and navigate the system. You may register for a Cayuse account HERE. Your Cayuse account will be activated within two business days.
A brief overview of that system is available by clicking HERE.
Please note several important special requirements for IRB submissions using Psychology Subject Pool participants:
- Participants under the age of 18 should be included, so on the IRB application please indicate children as a subject population. Obtaining parental permission for students under 18 is not required, which means that the IRB application should include a request for a waiver of parental permission. To do so, include the following text on the Research Involving Children section - "This request is for a waiver of parental permission for students who are under 18 years old from the Psychology credit subject pool. All these participants are matriculated at NYU. The study involves minimal risk and does not include any procedure that would usually require parental permission outside of the research context. Given the nature of the study and the age/maturity of the child participants, required parental permission does not seem like a reasonable requirement to protect participants." Also, see this screenshot of the IRB application.
- All subject pool (SONA) studies are required to have a debriefing form. Examples of the debriefing form for studies with deception are available HERE and for studies with no deception HERE.
2. For your convenience in preparing materials for studies and for IRB applications, we provide several examples of
- Informed Consent Documents. You will need to modify the documents to match your study. If your modifications make the informed consent form more than one page long, print the form on both sides of a single sheet so the signatures cannot be separated from the full text. If you are planning a series of studies that differ in only minor ways (e.g., the specific words in the to-be-learned-list differ, but are all of the same nature) and you want to ensure that the same participants are not in more than one of these studies, design your consent form so that it is as specific as possible but it applies to all of your sub-studies.
- Debriefing Form (no deception) and Debriefing Form (deception) are forms that must be given to all Psychology Subject Pool participants after they have completed your study. If your study involves any explicit deception, adapt the second form. It allows the participants to withdraw their consent for the use of the data after learning of the deception. It is the participants right to withdraw consent and it is your responsibility to eliminate the data of any participants who exercise that right.
C. General Guidelines for IRB Approval of Psychology Research Studies
Determine if your activity is research. For example, if you are requiring students to collect data for a lab class, but the results will never be reported, it is an educational exercise and not research. If the activity is research, proceed.
Before submitting an application to the IRB, an investigator and all colleagues and assistants must show evidence of mastery of human subjects knowledge by passing an examination associated with a tutorial on human subjects regulations at (CITI ethics exam).
Effective February 1, 2016 all IRB applications (exempt, expedited, and full board) must be submitted through the Cayuse IRB system, which is associated with the Research tab of home.nyu.edu. First time investigators must register for Cayuse and wait at least 24 hours for the account to be established.
With rare exceptions, the application for IRB approval must include customized informed consent documents, which are displayed on NYU Psychology letterhead and include language about the investigator, the faculty sponsor and contact information for the IRB. Examples of informed consent to be used in the recruitment of participants from SONA, postings, flyers, other forms of advertisement, or from online services are provided in Section B.
If the study involves any explicit deception then a special debriefing form must be included that explains the purpose of the study and provides a clear rationale for the use of deception. This form must include a section on re-consent, which allows a participant to withdraw the initial agreement to consent. Examples of these special variations of debriefing forms are provided in Section B. If debriefing forms are needed, they must be prepared before the online Cayuse IRB submission.
Finally, before the IRB application can be prepared, investigators must prepare documents that explain how participants will be recruited and list the potential measures or procedures to be used with the studies. These documents can include more measures and study designs than will be used in the current studies, thereby allowing for flexibility in minor modification of study designs.
When the documents are prepared, including the a) informed consents, b) debriefing forms, and c) documents detailing the measures and procedures, the investigator may complete the Cayuse IRB application and upload the required files.
When the review is complete, you will receive an email confirmation, as well as copies of your submitted documents (informed consent, debriefing and any recruitment flyers) that have a dated IRB approval stamp on them. These dated stamped forms are the official documents for your research and copies of them should be used in the actual studies.
If you plan to pay participants and seek reimbursement for these payments, you must use this model subject payment receipt form to get receipts from participants.