Published: Feb. 19, 2019

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 CU college experience, mental health

Did you know one out of three college students experience significant emotional difficulties? The Gruber PEP Lab wants to understand your experience as a first-year student at CU. Earn $30 by completing an online survey sharing your own experiences, thoughts and feelings.

This research is being conducted by researchers in the CU Department of Psychology and Neuroscience (IRB#18-0483) as part of a partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Education, the University Exploration and Advising Center, the Center for STEM Learning and the Office of Data Analytics. 

To qualify, you must be a freshman at CU, ages 18–25, and fluent in English.

Please contact with the subject line “EMERGE Study,” and we will send you a survey link to complete at your convenience.

Study on engaging with nature; female students only

If you are a female CU Boulder student ages 18–24, you’re invited to participate in a research study. After completing a brief online survey, you will be invited to campus for a 30-minute in-person session, which will include online surveys and computer-based tasks involving short video and/or audio clips related to nature. 

Participants will earn a $5 Amazon gift card.

If you are interested, please follow the link below to enter contact information and scheduling availability, or email

Study on light exposure, the body clock

This study is about how typical artificial indoor lighting versus a simulation of a natural sunset influences the timing of the human body clock. The body clock controls 24-hour patterns of physiology such as sleep and hormone release. This work will have important implications for determining how implementation of new lighting technology can be used to promote sleep.

We are looking for healthy men and women, ages 18–45, to participate in a study lasting approximately 15 days consisting of wearing an activity tracking watch at home and two laboratory visits of about 7 hours each at the CU Boulder Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory.

Compensation up to $200.

For study details, email and ask about the Simulated Sunset study.

Study on understanding the emotions of others

Interested in your moods and brain? Participate in a paid neuroimaging study to understand your own emotions and the emotions of others on the CU Boulder campus in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience (IRB# 17-0358).

Earn between $15 and $25 per hour to participate in studies involving answering questions about your thoughts and feelings, watching brief videos, playing computer games and having an MRI brain scan taken. Study includes up to three separate visits (first is 4–5 hours, second is 3 hours, third is 1–2 hours). Option for additional paid follow-ups.

To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18 and 55 years old and either have:

  • Diagnosis of bipolar disorder
  • History of depression
  • No history of mental health conditions

Please fill out a brief survey to apply. If you have questions, please contact or 303-735-7547.

Study on sleep, performance, gut health

Are you aged 18–35 and healthy? Join a research study on sleep, performance and gut health

This study is about how sleep loss affects your ability to think and changes the helpful bacteria living in your gut. This research will help create treatments and strategies for people working long hours under stressful conditions at night (e.g., emergency workers and military personnel).

We are looking for healthy men and women, ages 18–35, to participate in two laboratory visits of approximately 3.7 days each at the CU Boulder Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory.

Compensation up to $1,680.

For study details, email and ask about the Navy study.

Study on resilience; ages 15–19

Do you want to participate in a study about cognition, emotions and resilience? Are you a teen ages 15–19? Or do you know a teen who may be interested?

The Research on Affective Disorders and Development (RADD) Laboratory is interested in understanding how certain cognitive abilities, such as being able to pay attention or learn actions that help you achieve goals, may help teenagers to cope with stress and stay healthy.

This is a two-year study. Over the course of the study, you will have two study visits at our laboratory in Boulder, each lasting about five hours. During these visits you will be interviewed about your life experiences; you will complete some computer games that involve paying attention and learning; you will have a neuroimaging scan while you either rest quietly or play computer games; and you will answer a set of surveys on a computer.

Also as part of the study, you will complete a set of online surveys and a brief telephone interview once every six months (five times total during the two-year study participation). At the end of the study, you will have a final telephone interview, lasting about two hours.

You can earn up to $750 for your time and effort completing the study.

To learn more, you or your parent/legal guardian (if you are age 17 or younger) can visit the lab's website, contact the lab directly at 303-735-8306 or email

For kids

Study on hearing for school-aged children

The Children’s Auditory Perception Laboratory is currently recruiting children 9–16 years old for a research study to learn more about how children hear.

Sign your child up to participate in research

The Child Research Participant Registry connects families and researchers, so that together they can advance understanding of human communication and methods to diagnose and treat children who have communication-related challenges. They invite families of children with or without communication challenges to join the registry.

To learn more, or to sign up your child, please visit this webpage. The research registry is affiliated with the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at CU Boulder.

During the testing, your child will sit in a sound-treated room and will listen to sounds presented over a speaker or through headphones. Your child will be asked to indicate when they hear sounds by playing games. The sounds we use are not loud.

One visit to the laboratory is required. The visit lasts about 1.5 hours. You will receive $10 per hour, and they will pay for your parking if you drive to the lab.

If you are interested, please email or call 303-735-6252.

The principal investigator for this research study is Angela Yarnell Bonino, PhD, Department Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. All testing will be completed in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) building on the CU Boulder campus.

Study on self-control, language, cognitive strategies

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 them 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, check out their Facebook page and website.