Suggested Syllabus Language

The language below is provided as a resource for faculty to illustrate how research may be integrated into a syllabus for PSY 111 Introduction to Psychology and PSY 231 Research Methods in Psychology. Each instructor may decide whether and how to integrate research requirements into their courses as long as any research requirements are consistent with the guidelines in the department's policy for Ethical Procedures for Research Using Human Participants.

Research Participation Requirements

Suggested language for a syllabus: Students will be asked to volunteer as participants for 5 hours of research conducted in the Department of Psychology, or read 5 journal articles about psychological research (or some combination of both). The goal of this assignment is to illustrate what research in psychology is like, and what kind of research is currently being conducted by psychologists. If students choose to participate as volunteers in a study, students should read Instructions to Research Participants on the department's Research website.

As an important component to learning, all students enrolled in a psychology course are required to earn either the research credit units for participating in research sponsored by the Department of Psychology or complete equivalent written assignments. All necessary information regarding this course requirement is explained under the Student Participants in Department Research website. It is your responsibility to go to this website and watch the web tutorial (or a quick reference PDF is also available for download at this website).

If you join the class after the first week and wish to participate, please contact the instructor with the following information:

  • First and Last Name
  • Course(s) for which you wish to use your credits
  • Your User ID (i.e., your ULID)

Students who do not wish to take part in research, or who cannot take part due to conflicts, may perform alternative written assignments. Guidelines for these alternative assignments are determined by the instructor.

If you choose to participate in research projects, you must sign up for individual research sessions using the SONA Sign-up System .

a) User ID: The user ID is the same as your ULID.

b) Password: The password will be generated by SONA during the second week of the semester and sent to your ISU email account. Please check your ISU email and let the Experiment Coordinator [] know if you do not receive a password from SONA by the end of the second week of the semester. Even if you do not plan to participate in research at the beginning of the semester, you are advised to log in to SONA as soon as you receive your password.

NOTE: Students who already existed in SONA prior to the beginning of the semester may use the lost password retrieval feature to retrieve or re-set their passwords if they do not remember them from previous semesters. These students will not receive a new password email from SONA every semester.

You may cancel your participation in a research project by following the instructions on-line in SONA 24 hours in advance of the research session. Failure to do cancel a research session will result in an “unexcused no show.” In the case of a dire emergency, you may contact the researcher or the Experiment Coordinator for consideration in rescheduling the session.

You will have access to your participation history for the semester, and will be allowed to manage the allocation of your credits to the courses that are allowing research participation credit. Following your participation, researchers will award you the appropriate credit for the study. You will receive an automated email notification of their credit.

Consequences for Missing a Research Session

You will be given an “unexcused no show” for each of the following infractions:

  • Every failure to show for an research session for which you signed up (unless excused).
  • If you are late for the research session. Many research projects have a strict schedule. If you are late, you will not be allowed to participate. Avoid this problem by arriving 5 minutes early.

If you have been given “unexcused no shows” for missing 3 or more research sessions, you may be denied access to SONA. You must use the Alternate Projects option to fulfill this course requirement. If you are denied access to SONA, you may be allowed to regain access under a limited amount of circumstances. However, you will need to file an appeal (i.e., send an email to This appeal must take the form of a polite and professional essay that outlines the reasons for your missing the research sessions and a compelling reason why you should be re-admitted to SONA. Any rude or unprofessional content will not be tolerated, and you may be reported to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action. When in doubt—be polite!

Various research projects are scheduled throughout the semester and are run until the last day of classes, but not during finals week. You should plan to complete your research participation before that final exams begin. Also, all alternate projects must be turned in by the deadline provided in the syllabus.