Become a participant

English bank notes and pound coins.

Take part and get rewards

Join our participant database and be rewarded for contributing to cutting-edge research and scientific discovery.

Leading researchers from the fields of sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology and politics have conducted innovative research in ESSEXLab. Join our participant database for your chance to take part in their ground breaking research.

Why join ESSEXLab?
  • Take part in fascinating experiments and get rewarded for your time!
  • Help our researchers to understand human attitudes, perceptions and behaviour.
  • Contribute to cutting-edge social science research used to influence policy makers. Your contribution will positively affect the lives of you and others.
"I like that I am able to partake in studies helping researchers with bringing social sciences forward. The studies are always interesting, and all the researchers are very helpful. It’s also quite nice to get some spare cash.”
Oda Sosefine B. Selle
Are you ready to join ESSEXLab?

Join our database to receive email alerts for upcoming studies. Anyone over 18 years old can participate, you don't need any experience or specific skills and you can take part as many studies as you like. Join up for your chance to take part in scientific discovery and receive between £4 and £50 for each study.

“It’s always an interesting activity and you get paid!”
Cherina Darrell

What do studies involve?

In a typical study, you may make decisions or answer questions on a computer. You may either be on your own, or interacting via a computer with other participants. Your experience will vary from one study to another.

Why should I register?

When you join the 2,500 participants already registered, your contribution will help our researchers to conduct in-depth studies using a large data source. This research will help us to make the world a better place as our researchers share their findings with policy makers and lead the way for further innovative research.

What's in it for me?

Once you have completed a study you will be rewarded for your time with money! You can receive between £4 and £50 depending on the study. You will get the chance to take part in some fun and fascinating experiments and contribute to scientific discovery.

“I like to know what researchers are looking into - brainstorming for my own projects as well.”
Madalina Radu

What happens next?

After you join the database

Choose a study 

Once you join our database, we'll email you with alerts for studies you can take part in. You can choose which ones to participate in and you will be offered a number of different dates and times.

You can take part in each study once. If you decide to take part in a study, we will send you an email detailing how to book your place and how long the study will be. Participants are invited in a random order to take part in studies, so you may not receive an invite even if a friend has - don't worry, more studies will be coming!

You can browse upcoming studies and discover the exciting work that is taking place at Essex, by visiting our online recruitment system SONA. SONA can be used by everyone, whether they belong to the University or not. If you have any questions regarding SONA, please contact us

Understand our rules and privacy policy

Our studies are always conducted with informed consent. You will be provided with details about the study before you agree to participate. Your data is kept strictly confidential at all times. For more information please read our participant rules (.pdf) and our privacy policy (.pdf).

What happens if I have to cancel?

If you have booked to take part but can no longer attend the study, please contact us to cancel at least 24 hours before the study commences. If you book but don't arrive for a number of studies, we will remove you from our database and you will no longer be able to participate.

On the day of the study

How to find us 

On the day of the study you will need to arrive at least five minutes before the study start time in order to take part. Please make sure you familiarise yourself with the location of the laboratory and instructions on how to find us.


You will be unable to participate if you are late and we cannot be held responsible for your incurred travelling costs.

Don't forget your ID

Please make sure you bring some photographic ID with you (eg. a driving licence or passport). Essex students and staff are also able to use their University card. On arrival, the researcher will check your ID and show you where to sit. You'll be given clear instructions about the study and what you need to do. If you have any questions, raise your hand at any time and wait for a researcher or a lab assistant to advise you.

Oversubscribed studies

Due to the popularity of our studies we occasionally have more people than we need. If this happens, we randomly choose participants to be rewarded with £4 before being excused.

After the study

Be rewarded

Once you've finished the study, you'll be rewarded with £5 - £50. The exact amount you receive will depend on the design and outcome of the study you took part in. You will then be able to leave. Our researchers then test their theories using the decisions and answers you provided along with those of other participants.

Join ESSEXLab today

Join our database for your chance to take part in scientific discovery and get rewarded for your contribution.

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