Instructions for Student Participants

Some psychology instructors may offer course credit for participation in psychological research. Each instructor decides if and how much credit students may earn for research participation. Students should consult the course syllabus for details on whether and how much credit may be earned for research participation in a particular course. 

Participation in research will help students learn about the research process and about important topics in psychology. Without students' assistance, much of the research by faculty and advanced students in the department would not be possible. We hope that students' participation will be a mutually beneficial experience. 

The Department of Psychology uses an online sign-up system called Sona. To volunteer for research participation you must have an account in the online system. You will automatically be enrolled in the system if you are enrolled as a student in a psychology course that is allowing research participation. If students have difficulty accessing their Sona account, there is a recover password link in Sona (your user name is your ULID). If the password recovery does not work, please email the Sona system administrator(Dr. Laura Finan at ljfinan@IllinoisState.edu). 

To sign-up to participate in a study, go to https://ilstu.sona-systems.com/ to view the on-line sign-up sheets for currently available research projects. These projects will be identified by code names. Read the posted instructions carefully. Students are responsible for following these instructions. After signing up, students should receive an automated e-mail containing the code name of the study, the time and location of their appointment, and the researcher's name and contact information. Students must be 18 years of age to give their consent to participate in research. If under 18, students may not be eligible to participate in some research studies—contact the principal investigator (identified in the on-line posting) for information about age requirements. 

Students are responsible for keeping their appointment at the stated time and place. If students must cancel an appointment, contact the researcher immediately; at least one day (24 hours) in advance is best. If a researcher does not keep an appointment, students should double check that they have the correct time and place; if more than 10 minutes has elapsed, contact the principal investigator to discuss rescheduling another appointment. Online studies can typically be completed at any time before the timeslot’s deadline. 

After participation, students will typically receive a debriefing explanation of the research and be given an opportunity to ask questions. Students will also receive participation credit through the on-line sign-up system. Credit will be allocated to the course specified when the student signed-up for the study. However, the course allocation may be changed by the student within the system. Alternative means of earning research participation credit are available; students should consult their class syllabus for more information. 

Routine questions about participation can be directed to the principal investigator of the research project (such as if you did not receive credit). Questions about the Sona system should be directed to the Sona system administrator (Dr. Laura Finan at ljfinan@IllinoisState.edu). 

Any research participant needing to arrange a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and/or medical/mental health condition should contact the researcher or Sona administrator for accessibility accommodations. 

Policy updated July 2022