Recruit Participants for Research Studies
Researchers in the Psychology Department can recruit
participants directly from the NYU community (A), from the
Psychology Subject Pool (B), or from the larger universe
of potential participants (e.g. in online surveys) (C).
The Psychology Subject Pool contains potential
participants who can meet course requirements by
participating in psychology studies. The investigators and
participants make connections through a system called Sona.
A. Create Poster for Direct Recruitment
Researchers may recruit participants from NYU or the
surrounding neighborhood by posting announcements that
have been approved by the University Committee on
Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS).
Details about the general procedure for obtaining approval
from UCAIHS are provide below in section C.
Department-approved recruitment posters are posted on the
Paid Studies bulletin board in the first floor of Meyer
Hall and on the
Paid Studies web page. Use the
PaidStudyPosterOct13 poster to recruit paid
research participants, both from the subject pool and
elsewhere. Use the
ResearchAssistantPosterAug10 to advertise for paid
or unpaid research assistants.
Please email posters to Sergej Zoubok (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When submitting a recruitment poster for subjects, please
email the relevant
notification of approval by the University Committee
on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS).
After departmental approval, a color-coded copy of the
flyer (yellow for paid studies, green for research
assistants) will be posted on the
Paid Studies web page and on the Paid Studies
bulletin board on the first floor of the Meyer building. A
copy of the approved flyer will be returned to you and
additional color-coded copies may be posted on designated
program bulletin boards. Please contact your Program
Administrator regarding the location of these additional
B. Use the Psychology Subject Pool and Sona
The rest of this page provides guidance and materials to
assist you in applying for participants from the
Psychology Subject Pool (with students in Introduction to
Psychology, Stats, Core A, and Core B classes) and in
getting the required approval of the Institutional Review
Board (IRB) of the University Committee on Activities
Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS).
Please review the instructions carefully before developing
Only members (students, staff, and faculty) of the
Psychology Department may apply for participants from the
Psychology Subject Pool.
1. All studies that use the Psychology Subject Pool
need to be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Effective February 1, 2016, all IRB applications, including
those for studies using the Psychology Subject Pool, need to
be submitted using the online Cayuse IRB system, which is
accessed through the NYU Home site, on the Research tab. A
brief overview of that system is available by clicking HERE.
Please note several important special requirements for IRB
submissions using the Psychology Subject Pool:
2. Details about research involving Sona
are available in the Researcher's Guide (PDF/DOCX). Read this
carefully and make it required reading for your graduate
students, honors students, lab manager and research
- Participants under the age of 18 should be included,
unless there is an important scientific reason not to do
so. This means that a Parental Consent form must be
constructed for Subject Pool Studies. You may
adapt the Word examples of these forms by clicking on
INFORMED CONSENT FORM, or PARENTAL CONSENT FORM.
- All subject pool studies are required to have a
debriefing form. Examples of debriefing forms for
studies with and without deception are available by
3. For your convenience in preparing materials for studies
and for UCAIHS IRB applications, we provide several examples
- Informed Consent Documents. You will need to modify it
to match your study. If your modifications make it more
than one page long, print your consent 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 applies to all of your
- Parental Permission is a sample form for minor (under
18 years of age) participants' parents or guardians to
sign before they begin your study. It is closely modeled
on the "InformedConsentAssent" form so you should be
able to paste most information from that form into this
one. If your modifications make it 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.
We will make your version of this form available to
students as a PDF file, so they can print it and obtain
a parent's signature before they come to your study.
- Debriefing Form (no deception) and Debriefing Form
(deception) are forms that must be given to all Sona
participants after they have completed your
study. If your study involves any explicit deception,
adapt the second form. It allows the participants to
re-assent after learning of the deception. It is the
participants right to withdraw assent and it your
responsibility to eliminate the data of any participants
who exercise that right.
C. General Guidelines for IRB Approval of Psychology
Determine if your activity is research (link to decision tree). 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 exerices and not research.
If the activity is research, proceed.
Before submitting an application to the UCAIHS Institutional
Review Board (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. The online brief guide to this system
(Cayuse IRB module) explains that 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 UCAIHS. Examples of informed consent for
participants who are from the Psychology Subject Pool
(recruited using the Sona system), from postings, flyers or
advertisements, or from online services are provided in
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, 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. An example of a general set of procedures will be available here in the coming weeks.
When the documents are prepared, including a) documentation
of human subjects training, b) informed consent, c) relevant
parental consent and debriefing forms, and d) documents
detailing the measures and procedures, the Investigator may
complete the Cayuse IRB form and upload the needed files.
Before this draft is sent to UCAIHS, researchers from the
Department of Psychology are asked to arrange for a
pre-review of the application by Psychology IRB member,
Patrick Shrout, in one of two ways: 1) Temporarily list
Patrick Shrout (net id: ps6) as a co-investigator of the
application and send a note to email@example.com informing
Dr. Shrout that the pre-review is ready. 2) Leave Shrout off
the application, but save a pdf version of the application
and email it, along with all documentation files, to Dr.
Shrout at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shrout will attempt to review
your application within 24 hours and suggest simple changes
that can make the formal review go faster.
When the review is complete, you will receive email
confirmation, as well as copies of your submitted documents
(informed consent, parental consent, debriefing and any
recruitment flyers) that have a dated UCAIHS 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 form below to get
receipts from participants.