Instructions for Researchers

Conducting Research Using the Psychology Course Credit Participant Pool

No research can be conducted using the Psychology Course Credit Participant Pool until after it has been approved by the campus Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

The Psychology Department’s Course Credit Participant Pool is a participant recruitment system that department members can use to obtain participants for their research. The Credit Participant Pool is managed by the Participant Pool Coordinator using the SONA Systems—an online platform for recruiting participants. Psychology faculty/postdocs, currently enrolled Psychology graduate students, and undergraduate students in the Psychology Honors Program are eligible to use the Psychology Department’s Course Credit Pool. Special faculty with zero-time appointment in the Department of Psychology may use the Credit Pool if they are collaborating with a Psychology graduate student/faculty.


  • Research projects of PSYC290/494 or PSYC492 (Capstone) students are not eligible.
  • Thesis/Dissertation projects of students from a different department are not eligible.
  • Research projects of faculty/postdocs from a different department are not eligible.
  • Affiliated faculty are not eligible unless they have a zero-time appointment with the Psychology Department.

Below are instructions about conducting research using the Course Credit Pool. Read the information carefully. Note that there is a different instruction for the Paid Research System, which is a completely separate system from the Course Credit Pool. If you have questions, consult the FAQ on the department website or contact the Participant Pool Coordinator (

All studies must be approved first by the campus Institutional Review Board (IRB). Studies in the Course Credit Pool must also be approved by the Psychology Human Subjects Committee (HSC). To efficiently prepare your study, you should read the HSC Guidelines.