Published: Nov. 1, 2021

Several labs on campus offer opportunities for community members to participate in paid university research studies, many of which can be done online. See if you qualify for any of the studies. 

Featured studies

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

Students only

Study on internet memes

Do you love memes? Do you often find yourself laughing at them and sharing them with friends and family? If so, you would be perfect for a one-time, one-hour focus group discussion about them!

We are interested in knowing more about how people interact with memes on social media and what is going on inside their heads when they see them. Focus group meetings will be conducted in-person on the CU Boulder Main Campus during the month of November. Participants will be compensated with a $10 Target gift card.

If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact Chris Vardeman at

Study investigating the Mindful Campus Program

The Crown Institute is seeking current CU undergraduates to participate in a research study investigating the Mindful Campus Program, an 8-week course designed to promote mindfulness, compassion and community engagement. 

You can earn up to $125–$130 by participating in this study.

Participants will be invited to attend eight 90-minute Zoom sessions, complete surveys at three time points, and participate in focus groups to give feedback on the Mindful Campus Program. You must be 18 years old or older to participate. The IRB protocol number for this study is 21-0001.

By participating in this research, you will not only have the opportunity to learn and practice in a community setting, but also you may contribute to the creation of programs and policies to support undergraduate wellness and CU Boulder. Please reach out if you’re interested in learning about sections of the Mindful Campus course, specifically for BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ students. 

Please send an email to if you’re interested in learning more or complete the interest form.

Study on wellness, stress coping

The Research on Affective Disorders and Development Lab is conducting research on wellness and stress coping in CU students. We want to understand what makes CU students resilient or vulnerable to stress, and explore how campus-based programs may foster wellness. 

The study includes a few different parts: 

  • Everyone in the study will answer a set of electronic surveys and participate in two phone interviews over the course of one year.
  • Some qualifying participants will have the option to complete an in-person research visit, which includes an interview about life experiences, a set of computer games and a neuroimaging scan. 

The study takes place over the course of a year, and you will be compensated for your participation (maximum of $130 to $332 for completing all parts of the study). 

If you’re interested in learning more, contact the RADD Lab at, 303-735-8306, or complete our webscreen

CU affiliates only

Study on collaborative problem solving in STEM

The NSF AI Institute for Student-AI Teaming is recruiting participants for a research study who are native English speakers, are over the age of 18, and who are students, staff or faculty at CU Boulder. 

These studies take place at the Center for Innovation and Technology, Room 184G. In this type of study we investigate collaborative problem solving in science, technology, engineering and mathematics domains. In the study you will be working with other participants on a series of group problem solving tasks.

During the study we’ll be using cameras and microphones to record the interactions you and your group have with one another and with the tasks at hand. We’ll also use eye tracking to measure your gaze patterns during the experiment. Collecting video and audio data of you and your group’s interactions is mandatory for this study. If you do not want to be recorded with video and microphone, you may decide not to participate in this study at any time.  

These studies last 2.5 hours each, and the pay is $15 per hour ($37.50 total). You cannot earn course credit through this study.

Schedule an appointment online. To get directions to our lab, or for more information, please email

Technology study

The SHINE Lab is looking for people to participate in a new technology study. Eligible participants must be 18 or older; a CU student or faculty/staff member, and not have a history of seizures.

This study lasts 2–3 hours, and the pay is $15 per hour, plus a significant merit-based cash bonus. Participants often walk away with approximately $70-80 total. You cannot earn course credit through this study.

We will use non-invasive sensors to measure your brain and physiological activity while you play games in our lab with other participants.  
To sign up for the study, follow our website link to sign up for a study slot directly. The site will ask for your head size, which can be measured following the directions in this video. Alternately, email us at and we will get back to you right away with more information and instructions for signing up. 

For adults

Study on social anxiety

We are seeking socially anxious individuals to participate in a study of factors that contribute to social anxiety, as well as the impact of expressive writing about social anxiety-provoking experiences. The study includes a 1½–2 hour initial visit (completed in-person or online) and a 30-minute follow-up survey (completed online).

You will be paid up to $45 for your time, with payments made in Amazon or Visa gift cards.

You may be eligible to participate if:

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You are fluent in English
  • You are socially anxious

See if you qualify by completing a brief, anonymous screening survey, or email for more information.

This research study has been approved by the CU Boulder Institutional Review Board (Protocol #20-0370).

Study on CBD and mood health

The Research on Affective Disorders and Development Lab is conducting research on the effects of CBD on mood and behavior. We are recruiting young adults ages 18 to 30. 

One group we recruit will include people who are experiencing depression. The other group will consist of people who have never had any diagnosed mental disorder. 

The study includes a few different parts: 

  • You will answer short twice-daily surveys for six weeks on your mobile device.
  • You will complete three in-person research visits, each including an interview about life experiences, a set of computer games, a blood draw and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan. 
  • You will select and use a CBD product for up to six weeks.

The study takes place over the course of six weeks, and you will be compensated for your participation (maximum of $863–$1,038 for completing all parts of the study). 

If you want to learn more, contact the RADD Lab at or fill out our initial eligibility screening.

Study on effects of prebiotic supplement

Are you ages 18–35 and work two-plus consecutive morning shifts with a regular work start time between 4 and 7 a.m.? 

Join this Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory research study on the effects of a prebiotic supplement.

This study is about how early-morning work shifts change molecules in your blood, including your blood sugar levels, and alter the bacteria that live in your gut that typically help keep you healthy. As part of a larger research study, we are testing how a prebiotic diet alters how you and the bacteria living in your gut respond to you working early morning shifts.

We are looking for healthy men and women, ages 18–35, to participate in a research study that lasts approximately five weeks, with a total of eight visits at CU Boulder.

Compensation up to $400.

Get more study details and information on how to apply.

If you have any other questions, please email and ask about the Morning Shift Work Microbiome study.

Study investigating adults with multiple sclerosis

Researchers in the Neurophysiology of Movement Lab are conducting a study to investigate the acute influence of sensory stimulation on neuromuscular function and balance.

They are looking for adults ages 18–65 with a clinically confirmed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Participants must be able to walk but have some difficulty walking.

The study involves two separate in-person visits to our lab on CU Boulder Main Campus separated by 4–6 days. The evaluation sessions are approximately two hours each, and participants will be paid up to $100 for completing the study.

If interested, please contact Mohammed Alenazy by phone at 303-492-4975 or email at

Study investigating improvements in manual dexterity

The Neurophysiology of Human Movement Lab is looking for healthy adults ages 60–89 years to participate in a research study investigating the effects of manual dexterity training on the health of the neuromuscular system. 

The study involves nine separate visits to our lab (one visit: 30 minutes, two visits: 2 hours each, six visits: 1 hour each) over three weeks total on the CU Boulder Main Campus, for which subjects will be paid $120.  

If interested, please call 402-310-7298 or email and reference the manual dexterity study.

Study on lower-body muscles and balance

The Neurophysiology of Movement Lab is looking for participants 60-plus-years-old to train lower-body muscles and test changes in standing balance.

Participation involves 11 visits (two 2-hour sessions, nine 40-minute sessions) over 3-5 weeks. After their final session, participants will receive $150. Volunteers should be free of any walking impairments and be able to stand independently.

If interested, please contact Joey Carzoli at or 904-477-8678.

Effort and movement learning study

The Neuromechanics Lab is looking for volunteers for a study on learning and effort in a reaching task. We are interested in how the effort involved in a movement impacts how you learn in a new environment. The task involves using a robotic handle to guide a cursor to a series of targets.

You must:

  • Be English-speaking
  • Be 18–35 years old
  • Have normal or corrected vision
  • Have no movement control problems
  • Have had no recent orthopedic surgeries or broken bones

The study will involve 1.5 hours of testing in our campus laboratory (1B21 ECSL, 1111 Engineering Drive, Boulder, CO 80309). Subjects will be compensated with a $15 Amazon gift card.

Contact Rachel Marbaker with questions at or 719-373-1748.

Cardiovascular research studies

Health effects of new breathing exercise

The Integrative Physiology of Aging Lab is looking for volunteers to study the potential health effects of a new type of breathing exercise (a time efficient type of exercise) on blood pressure, vascular function and cognitive function.


  • Aged 50-plus years
  • Higher blood pressure (systolic BP 120-160 mmHg)
  • Willing to exercise up to 25 minutes per day, six days per week for a three-month period

Benefits include:

  • Detailed blood panel (cholesterol, glucose, etc.)
  • Physician-monitored exercise stress test
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Bone mineral density test
  • Monetary compensation for time

If interested, email or call 303-492-2485.

Health of effects of taking MitoQ antioxidant

The Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory is looking for volunteers (ages 60-plus) who are willing to undergo a three-month period taking MitoQ or placebo pills to study the potential healthy aging effects of MitoQ, an antioxidant that is attracted to the mitochondria of cells, supplementation on physiological function.  

Benefits include:

  • Detailed blood panel (cholesterol, glucose, etc.)
  • Monetary compensation for time

If interested, call 303-735-6410 or email

Study on team dynamics

CU Boulder is working with the University of California Irvine and the University of Notre Dame to understand what leads to effective, high-performing teams in the modern, digital age. 

Eligibility criteria

  • You are a member of a team or work group with size between 2 and 5 people (by team, we refer to a group of work colleagues with whom you closely interact on a specific project, or set of projects). Can be a work group at CU but is not required.
  • For teams or work groups with size of at least 3, the majority of your team (at least 3 members) must enroll.
  • You spend at least 10 hours/week with your team.
  • You have an iPhone running at least iOS 13 or an Android phone running at least v7.1.2.

What does participation entail?

  • No in-person visits, everything is done remotely.
  • Wear a fitness tracker (provided by us) as you go about your daily life that will measure your stress-related physiological responses.
  • Place one small Bluetooth beacon near your work space and run a background app on your phone, which will be used to track whether or not you are at your workspace (it will not track your exact position). Both the wearable and the beacon will be mailed to you.
  • Install a survey app and complete a 2–3 minute survey on the app each workday (Monday through Friday) for a 10-week period.
  • Complete a 20–30 minute survey at the beginning and at the end of the study.
  • Participate in a 15–30 minute interview during the study (conducted remotely) that will help us understand team success factors.

Earn $300 in total by completing the study (per person in the work group). Express your interest by completing this survey. For further information please contact

Study on blood pressure, cardiovascular health

The Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory is seeking paid research participants for a study investigating the potential healthy aging benefits of nicotinamide riboside on blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

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

  • Are at least 50 years of age
  • Are generally healthy and absent of clinical disease
  • Have above normal systolic blood pressure (>120 mmHg)
  • Are not taking blood-pressure medications
  • Are willing to take supplements (pills) for three months

What does my participation entail? The study requires multiple visits, over a period of 4-5 months, ranging from 30 to 120 minutes. Participants will receive a wide array of tests including a complete blood panel and blood pressure screening.

What are the next steps? If you are interested in participating, please contact us at Participants will be compensated for their time.

Study on anxiety, inflammation, stress––male participants needed

The CUChange lab in the Institute for Cognitive Science and Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is looking for participants for a paid study on anxiety (OASIS). 

They are looking for participants for a research study on the use of cannabis in people who experience anxiety (IRB #16-0767). You can make up to $335 for only three appointments! Must be 21 years or older. Open to the public.

Email for more details or fill in the online, confidential screening form.

Study on low-back pain, cannabis

The CUChange lab in the Institute for Cognitive Science and Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is looking for participants for a paid study on low-back pain (PRISM). 

We are looking for participants for a study on people with low-back pain who are interested in using edibles (IRB #17-0268). You can make up to $220 for only two appointments! Must be 21 years or older. Open to the public.

Contact or fill in the online, confidential survey.

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.

Want to see what your brain looks like?

The Intermountain Neuorimaging Consortium (INC) is a brain imaging research facility in the Institute of Cognitive Science at CU Boulder. They use MRI scans to study how the brain works and how the brain changes across the lifespan. They currently have six to seven studies that are looking for participants from a range of ages across the Denver metro area. 

Learn More & Enroll

Eye tracking study

The Emotive Computing Lab at CU Boulder is looking for participants for a study of eye movements and brain activity during learning.  

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

  • Are at least 16 years of age
  • Are a student (at a high school, college or university)
  • Are fluent in English
  • Are in good health
  • Have no history of seizures
  • Have normal or corrected-to-normal vision
  • Are proficient with computers
  • Have not previously taken part in the Online Learning study with our lab (check if unsure)

What does my participation entail? The study requires one visit of between 2 and 3 hours to the lab on CU Boulder’s 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 2 to 3 hours, and you will be paid $20 per hour for a total of $40-60.

About a week later, you will complete a 30-minute online survey; upon completion you will receive an additional $10. Note that travel compensation is not provided.

If you are under 18, your parent or guardian will also need to provide consent.

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, handwashing 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 six people will be in the facility at a time (43% of usual 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 sign up online. You can contact with any questions.

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.

For kids

Study on cognition, emotions, resilience in teens

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? 

At the Research on Affective Disorders and Development (RADD) Laboratory, we are 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 our website, contact our lab directly at 303-735-8306 or email us at