Published: July 13, 2020

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

Featured studies

Paid and volunteer research opportunities are also posted on the Buff Bulletin Board as they become available.

Study on chronic kidney disease

The Integrative Physiology of Aging Lab at the CU Boulder campus is seeking volunteers to participate in a clinical research study. We are looking for women and men with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease, ages 30–80, who are willing to consume one dose (approximately one-third cup) of beetroot juice every day for approximately three months. Benefits for volunteers include: cardiovascular health assessment, VO2max test, body composition, blood chemistry tests and compensation for time.

For more information, please email, or call 303-735-6410.

Study on moods and the brain

Have a history of bipolar disorder or depression? Interested in your moods and brain? Want a picture of your brain? Participate in a paid study to understand your own emotions and the emotions of others here on campus in the CU Department of Psychology and Neuroscience (IRB#17-0358)!

Study includes some or all of the following parts:

  • Visit(s) 1 and 1.5 – Behavioral Lab Tasks: Interview about thoughts and feelings, physiological monitoring (heart rate), computer tasks, questionnaires (two to three hours each at $20 per hour). Visit 1 will take place remotely via Zoom video call.
  • Visit 2 – fMRI Scan: View videos and pictures, and think about emotions while in a brain imaging scanner; complete computer tasks and questionnaires (two hours at $25 per hour and picture of your brain).
  • Opportunities to participate in paid follow-up surveys may also be available.

To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18 and 55 years old. Please fill out a brief survey to apply.

Have a question? Please email with the subject line “MASC Emotion Study,” or give us a call at 512-956-7371. 

Study on cognition, emotions, resilience

The goal of this study is to learn about cognitive abilities, the brain networks that are involved in those cognitive abilities, and emotional wellbeing over the course of adolescence. We are interested in understanding how certain cognitive abilities, like 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 a total of 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 all parts of the study.

Interested students should email or fill out the online study eligibility screen

Eye tracking study

We are seeking participants for a study of eye movements and brain activity during learning.

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

  • Currently reside in the Boulder area
  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Are fluent in English
  • Have not previously taken part in the Online Learning study with our lab 
  • Are in good health
  • Have no history of seizures
  • Have normal or corrected-to-normal vision
  • Are proficient with computers

What does my participation entail? The study requires one visit of approximately two hours to the lab on East Campus (1777 Exposition Drive, Boulder, CO 80309—see COVID-19 safety procedures below), plus one 30-minute follow-up questionnaire to be completed online.

The first visit will involve having your eye movements, physiological responses (e.g., heart rate), video of your face/upper body, and brain activity non-invasively recorded while you complete a computer-based reading task and answer several questionnaires. It will take approximately two hours and you will be paid $20 per hour, for a total of $40. About a week later, you will complete a 30-minute online survey; upon completion you will receive an additional $10. 

What are the COVID-related safety procedures? We will take utmost care to ensure your safety for the duration of the visit, with stringent procedures approved by CU administration. 

  • We provide masks, hand-washing stations and temperature checks on arrival
  • All occupants of the building are required to wear a mask at all times
  • All equipment is sterilized between uses with medical-grade disinfectant
  • You will be alone in the testing room for most of the study (a researcher will run the session from an adjacent room, instructing you via video conference)
  • Only three people will be in the facility at a time (<25% occupancy)

How will I get paid? Payment will be via an Amazon gift card. 

What are the next steps? If you are interested in participating, please contact us at

Online mock employment interview study

A team of researchers at CU and Purdue University are studying automated video interviews. Automated video interviews are increasingly being adopted by organizations and use computers to automatically screen job applicants. They seek to collect data to determine whether such technology can reliably, accurately and fairly assess job applicants.

They are recruiting undergraduates to participate in a mock video interview (approved Purdue University IRB protocol # IRB-2019-56; University of Colorado IRB protocol # 19-0562). The study consists of common selection tests (i.e., personality and cognitive ability tests) and an asynchronous mock interview. 

The study takes about 45 minutes to complete, on average. Full participation requires that you have a webcam (recording both video and audio) and laptop or desktop computer. By participating, you will gain experience on selection tests and automated interviews. For completing all components of the study, you will be compensated with a $10 Amazon gift card.

If you wish to participate, please follow the study link or copy and paste the address into your browser (we suggest you use Chrome or Firefox):

If you have any questions or concerns, feel welcome to contact Louis Hickman, PhD candidate, at

Study of collaboration

The Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Computing Lab at CU Boulder is looking for participants for a study of collaboration. 

You are eligible to participant 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 will take place online via Zoom and will last approximately 90 minutes. You will be compensated with a $25 Amazon gift card.

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

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.

Study on female menstrual cycle

Andrew M. Novick and his team at CU are investigating ratings of digital images (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral and erotic) across the female menstrual cycle.

Study participation consists of two study sessions (done online) over the course of two months. These visits will consist of: questionnaires about your mood and some stressful life events, and rating of digital images (how pleasant/unpleasant and arousing/non-arousing you find these images).

Participation is not limited to members of CU. You may be eligible if you are:

  • Between 18–35 years old
  • Not taking hormonal birth control
  • Have regular periods
  • Not pregnant and not planning to become pregnant within the next two months

Participation in the study is voluntary. Eligible participants will receive compensation via e-gift cards for completing study activities.

If you are interested in learning more or to see if you qualify, please fill out this short eligibility survey.