Published: April 15, 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

Students only

Study on eye movements during reading

The Emotive Computing Lab at CU Boulder is looking for participants for a study of eye movements during reading. 

You are eligible to participant in this research study if you:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Are a CU Boulder student
  • Speak English
  • Do not have significant and uncorrected vision impairments

The study contains two parts: 

  1. A visit to the lab, which will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time (lasting one hour and fifteen minutes) for a $20 Amazon gift card.
  2. A week later, they will email you a follow-up questionnaire to complete online remotely (lasting 30 minutes) for a $10 Amazon gift card.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Julie Gregg at eyetrackingandreading@gmail.com for more information.

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 gruberpeplab@colorado.edu with the subject line “EMERGE Study,” and we will send you a survey link to complete at your convenience.


For adults

Study for those who fear spiders

The CU Boulder Psychology Department is looking for adults aged 18–40 to participate in a study about attitudes toward spiders, which requires looking at various spider stimuli. 

This is a paid research study that consists of one approximately four-hour session. You will earn $60 for the completion of this study.

Eligibility criteria:

  • 18–40 years of age
  • Physically healthy
  • Experience significant fear of spiders
  • Qualify based on a short online survey

Email alex.kirk@colorado.edu if you are interested in participating.

Wearable study on sleep, rhythms

Interested in your sleep and circadian rhythms? Participate in a paid study on how your environment affects your 24-hour rhythm and sleep, here on campus in the CU Department of Integrative Physiology, and receive your personal sleep and rhythms report!

Earn up to $150 to participate in our study that will allow you to track your sleep, light and feeding/fasting cycles using app and sensor technologies for two weeks. The study includes three separate visits (the first two visits about 1 hour, and the last visit up to 10.5 hours). 

Please fill out a brief survey to see if you qualify.

If you have questions, please contact caselab@colorado.edu.

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 sleep.study@colorado.edu and ask about the Simulated Sunset study.

Study on hearing, cardiovascular disease

Volunteers are needed for a study at the Hearing and Epidemiology and Research Diagnostics Laboratory investigating potential effects of cardiovascular health on the auditory system. 

They are recruiting healthy adults ages 35–55, specifically individuals who do not have any of the following: tobacco smoking, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or use of cholesterol-lowering medication, high blood pressure or use of blood-pressure-lowering medication.

Participants will receive a comprehensive hearing evaluation and physical examination with blood draw. Participants are compensated $15 per hour for up to five hours of testing. 

Interested? Email Jenny Masters at heardlab@colorado.edu or call 303-735-7127 to see if you qualify or for more information. 

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 gruberpeplab@colorado.edu or 303-735-7547.


For kids

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.

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.