Conduct a study

A smiling female student holding a pen and writing in a notepad whilst sat at a desk.

Thinking of conducting a study?

ESSEXLab is designed to give researchers the greatest degree of control over their study environment and measurement, so you can be confident of how your experiment affected your research participants.

Choosing ESSEXLab allows you to access an ever-growing database of over 2500 participants, where you can filter participants by the characteristics you need for your research, such as gender, race or age. Whilst we specialise in and encourage experimental research, we also welcome other study designs.

Depending on how much support you need, our experienced laboratory team can help you design and run an experiment, or can leave you to work independently. Our full-time Laboratory Manager Dr Patrick Lown will also be on hand to support you.

How to apply to conduct a study

1. Read our policies

Before you apply please familiarise yourself with the ESSEXLab policy document (.pdf).

Please take care to read the policy as there are some restrictions to which your study might be subject to. Some examples include:

  • No use of deception
  • Respecting minimum payment guidelines
  • Respecting scheduling and lab use procedures
  • Ensuring a researcher is present during data collection 

2. Non-university users will need to agree a contract

Users from outside of the university community will need to agree a contract with the laboratory. This contract will formalise your agreed usage and cost, whilst providing you with reassurance of the excellent level of service and value for money you can expect to receive from ESSEXLab.

Your contract will discuss the following:

  • Your agreed payment for laboratory hire
  • Your access to Laboratory Assistants
  • Your participant payments

Currently our external charge-out rate for the use of ESSEXlab is £165 per hour.

In order to discuss your contract please contact the Laboratory Manager:

3. Apply to conduct a study

Once you have read our laboratory policies and if applicable agreed a contract, you are now ready to submit your application through our online form. The form takes less than 10 minutes to complete and gives us the important details we need to set up your study.

Please also take a moment to review our lab calendar in order to gain an oversight of lab availability. Once your application has been approved, timings will need to be discussed and confirmed with the Laboratory Manager:


View the ESSEXLab calendar

5. After your study has been accepted

Once your application has been reviewed by the Laboratory Manager and approved, you will receive an invitation from us to join Basecamp.

Basecamp is a project management software which we will use throughout the course of your study to help run your project as efficiently and as smoothly as possible.

“I'm very happy with my overall experience at ESSEXLab. Before the experiment, Patrick Lown, who is very professional and efficient, facilitated greatly the preparation. During the experiment, I had the chance to be assisted by competent and helpful lab assistants. If the experiment went so smoothly, it is because of them."
Damien Bol King's College London

choose ESSEXLab?

Gain access to a diverse database of over 2500 participants
Utilise our sound proof partitions and noise blocking headphones
Conduct your studies anywhere with our 32 mobile lab devices
Observe your experiments through one-way glass
Apply for up to £2500 of funding for your experiment
Student browsing online
Male student using interactive whiteboard
Students studying with phone
“ESSEXLab has a pool of participants, which helps an experiment recruit a sufficient number for the study. The facility is also very well maintained. The lab assistants are very helpful, so much so that a researcher doesn't have to pay attention to all the details when conducting the study.”
Lynn Prince Cooke University of Bath
Student working at a computer
Are you ready to apply?

Are you ready to conduct your study at ESSEXLab? Make sure you have read the guidelines detailing how to complete your online application. Once you have gathered your materials and received ethical consent, you can apply to conduct your study using in this online application form. Once complete, sit back and we'll take care of the rest.

Apply to conduct your study
"I was fortunate enough to be granted funding to travel from California to the UK to use the ESSEXLab. Using a lab in another country allowed me to gather two samples and gain a more nuanced understanding of my subject area."
Cassandra Alexopoulos University Of Massachusetts, Boston
A tutorpointst a computer screen with a pupil
Not from the University?

Not a problem. ESSEXLab welcomes researchers from both inside and outside of the University. Whether you are an individual researcher or part of a large organisation or business, ESSEXLab can help you to conduct a successful study using world class facilities.

Contact us
ESSEXLab 2N2.4.02, University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873034
University of Essex Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex
Telephone: 01206 873333