Published: May 7, 2018

Several labs on campus offer opportunities for community members—from children to adults—to participate in paid CU Boulder research. See if you qualify for any of the studies below.

This month's featured studies

For adults

Study on collaboration: Students only

The Emotive Computing Lab at CU Boulder is seeking participants for a study of collaboration. You are eligible to participate in this research study if you:

  • Are a CU Boulder student at least 18 years of age
  • Speak English
  • Do not have significant and uncorrected vision impairments
  • Have not previously played Physics Playground or a similar game (e.g., Crayon Physics Deluxe, Magic Pen) for more than an hour

The study contains two parts: 

  1. An at home portion where you fill out some surveys and practice the game (lasting one hour) for a $15 Amazon gift card
  2. A visit to the lab, which will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time (lasting two hours) for a $35 Amazon gift card

If you are interested in participating, please contact Angela Stewart at for more information.

Study on cannabis smoking, auditory function: Ages 21–45

Volunteers are needed for a study at the Hearing Epidemiology and Research Diagnostics Laboratory investigating potential effects of cannabis (marijuana) smoking on the auditory system.

They are recruiting individuals ages 21–45 who have been actively smoking cannabis for at least one year and do not use other recreational drugs. Participants are compensated $15 per hour for five hours of testing.

Interested? Email or call 303-735-7127 to see if you qualify or for more information.

Study on public speaking, social anxiety: Ages 18–25

Do you fear public speaking? Feel highly anxious in social situations? Have no major health problems? Ages 18–25?

You may be eligible to participate in a paid study at CU Boulder. Participation includes completing questionnaires, social tasks and a brief intervention for social and public-speaking anxiety. Participants will earn $32 for completing the two-part, four-hour study. 

To sign up for the study, please select experiment No. 1022 on the paid Sona website or email for more information. Deadline to sign up is Friday, May 18.

Study on emotion, mood in young adults: Earn up to $200

Interested in your moods and thoughts? Participate in a paid study on emotion and mood here on campus in the CU Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. 

Earn up to $200 to participate in studies involving answering questions about your feelings and thoughts, watching brief films, playing computer games and keeping a log of your emotions and activities. The study includes two separate visits and pays $10 per hour in cash each (first visit is two to three hours; second is four hours). There also is an option for paid follow-up phone interviews.

Please fill out the very brief survey to apply. If you have questions, please contact or visit the website.

Study on chronic back pain: Ages 21–70, earn $200

If you suffer from chronic back pain, you may be eligible to participate in a paid research study on the benefits of a novel mind-body treatment for chronic pain.

The research study consists of two MRI scan sessions four to six weeks apart on the CU Boulder campus, before and after treatment. MRI is safe and non-invasive technology for measuring brain function, and participants will be given a photo of their brain to take home.

You will be compensated $200 for participation.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Ages 21–70
  • Back pain for the last 3 months or more
  • No metal in the body (for MRI safety)
  • Not pregnant

For more information about the study and to help us determine your eligibility, please the CANLab website. You may also email or call 303-492-4299 for further information.

Study on exercise behavior change

This research is being done to help researchers understand the psychological factors related to health behaviors, including how rewarding people for completing health behaviors can change their thoughts and attitudes about those behaviors. The findings from this research will help us learn how to develop better interventions to increase health behaviors. This study will examine physical activity.

Participating in this study involves two study sessions at the CU Boulder Center for Innovation and Creativity (1777 Exposition Drive in Boulder). The sessions will be three weeks apart. The first session requires one hour and fifteen minutes. During the session, you will complete surveys that will ask you about how you think, feel and behave. 

For the 21 days after that session, you will complete a brief (three-minute) assessment every day via the internet at times and locations that are convenient to you. These assessments will ask you about how you felt that day and whether you engaged in any physical activity. We will also ask you to wear a heart-rate monitoring watch when you exercise during the 21 days and include information from the watch in the daily surveys. 

On the 21st day, they will ask you to come back to the lab for another assessment that requires one hour. Finally, two and four weeks after that, they will ask you to do two more online surveys, at times and locations convenient to you, which will each require 25 minutes.

If you participate in this study, you will earn up to $52.50 for your time and effort during the assessments. Additionally, you may have the opportunity to earn additional payments for your reported behavior during the course of the study.

If you are interested, please complete a brief online screening measure. If you are eligible to participate in this study, a member of the research team will contact you to schedule a research session. If you have questions before completing the screening or would like to learn more about the study, please contact the researcher, Casey Gardiner, via email at

Study on multiple sclerosis: Ages 45–65

The Neurophysiology of Movement Lab on CU Boulder's Main Campus is conducting a study to compare neuromuscular function in healthy adults with persons diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.


  • 45–65 years of age
  • Healthy and free of neurologic disease 

 The study will consist of two visits on separate days:

  • First visit (approximately 15 minutes): Familiarization session
  • Second visit (approximately three hours): Experimental session
    • Lower leg muscle contractions
    • Walking tests
    • Recording muscle activity

Compensation: $20 for the experimental session

If interested, please contact Leah Davis at for more information.

For kids

Study on self-control, language: Ages birth to 12

The Cognitive Development Center in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is looking for children ages birth to 12 years old who are interested in playing games that will help teach us about self-control, language and cognitive strategies. 

A visit, scheduled at your convenience, lasts about 60 minutes. Babysitting is available for siblings. Parents are compensated for travel, and kids receive a fun prize. 

To sign up, please do one of the following: 

For more information, feel free to check out their Facebook page and website.