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D I Subject Pools

Departmental / Institutional Subject Pools

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There are three major research participant recruiting pools managed at Duke. Your access to each pool will vary according to your departmental affiliation. The departments or research units responsible for these participant pools handle participant recruitment, leaving you free to focus on running your experiment. Each pool is housed on a different website (see links below). To post your study on the pool, you will generally need to email the pool coordinator with details of your study (name, IRB approval number and expiration date). You will then be issued with a study number and password, allowing you to post study times (akin to appointments) on the relevant website. Participants will then read about your study and choose whether to sign up for it. Keep in mind that you should plan ahead as to which participant pool you want to use and specify it in your IRB proposal. It is relatively common to post on multiple pools (e.g., to post on the non-paid Psychology Pool and the DIISP Paid Pool). Keep in mind that different consent forms will be required if you are giving some participants course credit (as in the Psychology Pool), and giving others cash payment (as in the DIISP Pool). Paid pools are indicated in the list below with ($).

Psychology Subject Pool

This is the most well-known and perhaps most frequently used method of obtaining participants. Undergraduate students who are taking specific courses generally participate in a certain number of “hours” of research in order to obtain course credit (though some complete an alternate task as research participation must be voluntary). Graduate and undergraduate students do not have direct access to this pool, but may obtain access through their advisors’ allotments. For more information, contact the Human Subjects Coordinator Lori Kwapil ( Access to this pool is generally limited to students and faculty in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Group Testing / Pre-screening Session

At the beginning of the semester, members of the psychology subject pool attend one of several “group testing” sessions during which they complete a large packet of very short questionnaires that researchers then use to determine eligibility (or get pre-test data) for their own studies. Contact the Psychology & Neuroscience Human Subjects Coordinator if you and your faculty adviser have a questionnaire you would like to add to this testing session. IRB approval is required to include measures in Group Testing.

Pool Recruitment

Each faculty member is allotted a certain number of undergraduate credit hours to use in his or her own research (given out in ½ credit increments per 30 minutes). Near the end of the semester, these constraints are released and faculty members are permitted to recruit as many participants as possible. The Psychology & Neuroscience Human Subjects Coordinator manages this participant pool, though researchers must familiarize themselves with Sona Systems’ “ESP” online software (which has replaced Experimetrix) in order to post sessions for student participants to sign up for. All participants make their appointments online and credit/penalties can be applied automatically through the ESP system.

DIISP Subject Pool ($)

The Duke University Interdisciplinary Initiative in Social Psychology Research Lab manages its own subject pool that is readily available to all student and faculty social science researchers at Duke. This pool is advertised throughout campus and also in the surrounding community in order to provide access to non-Duke student adult populations. Individuals who respond to these advertisements register online using the Sona Systems software to find out what paid studies are available to them at the DIISP lab. Researchers are responsible for managing their own individual studies online using Sona Systems. Researchers typically indicate eligibility requirements (e.g., “Duke undergraduates only”) as part of the study description. These participants are paid $12/hour. The contact for the DIISP paid pool is the DIISP Research Coordinator, Fade Eadeh,, 919.681.2906. To register your study, send Fade your IRB approval email, your IRB expiration date, a study title (that will be visible to participants), and the requested allotment (e.g., 100 x 30 minute sessions). You will then be registered to access the DIISP Pool and you will also be given a basic online study profile that you can edit to your specifications.

Fuqua Subject Pool ($)

($). The Fuqua School of Business manages and maintains its own paid subject pool that is available to Fuqua-affiliated faculty and graduate students. Individuals register online using the Experimetrix software to find out what paid studies are available to them at Fuqua. The pool primarily consists of undergraduate students and graduate students, but it also includes members of the community. Researchers typically indicate eligibility requirements as part of the study description. Studies advertised to members of Fuqua’s subject pool typically pay $20/hour. Fuqua also occasionally conducts “MBA games” mass-testing studies, in which MBA students volunteer their time as research participants in order to raise funds for a particular cause. This can be an excellent way to collect data rapidly. The contact point for more information about this pool or MBA games is Kaylen Francis,

Last modified at 9/8/2008 4:42 PM  by Fade Eadeh