Published: April 4, 2022

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 investigating the Mindful Campus Program

The Crown Institute is seeking current CU undergraduates of all majors and backgrounds to participate in a research study investigating the Mindful Campus Program, an eight-week course designed to promote mindfulness, compassion and community engagement. 
 
You can earn up to $220–225 by participating in this study.
 
Participants will attend eight 90-minute sessions (these will be held in person or remotely, depending on the group), 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 mindfulcampus@colorado.edu if you’re interested in learning more, or sign up to participate.

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 raddlab@colorado.edu, 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 fluent 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 $25 per hour ($62.50 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 isat.aicl@gmail.com.


For adults

Insufficient sleep microbiome study

Are you aged 18–45 and spend less than 6.5 hours in bed at night sleeping? Join our research study on the effects of a prebiotic supplement.

This study is about how receiving less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night changes molecules in your blood, including your blood sugar levels, and alters 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.

We are looking for healthy men and women who spend less than 6.5 hours in bed at night sleeping, ages 18–45, to participate in a research study that lasts five weeks, with a total of five visits at CU Boulder.

Compensation up to $250.

Get more study details and information on how to apply.

If you have any other questions, please email sleep.study@colorado.edu and ask about the Insufficient Sleep Microbiome study. This study is part of The microbiome and responsiveness to stress: Countermeasure strategies for improving resilience to sleep and circadian disruption study.

Study on effects of electrical stimulation on walking, balance

Researchers in the Neurophysiology of Movement Lab on Main Campus are conducting a study to evaluate the influence of light electrical stimulation on walking and balance capabilities in healthy adults. 

Subject requirements:

  • 65–85 years of age
  • Free from neurological impairments
  • No recent lower body injuries 
  • Ability to walk for six minutes unaided

The study consists of two visits to CU Boulder Main Campus on separate days (approximately 2.5 hours each):

  • In each session, we will apply mild electrical stimulation using a TENS device and assess subjects' walking and balance capabilities.
  • Compensation: $50 for the two visits

If interested, please contact Mohammed Alenazy for more information: moal4255@colorado.edu, 720-231-9767.

Study on energy costs of reaching, walking

Purpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate the amount of energy it requires individuals to move. The Neuromechanics Laboratory will evaluate the energy demands of both arm reaching and walking.

Main eligibility requirements:

  • 35–55 years of age
  • Able to walk without the use of a cane/walking aid
  • Able to participate in two evaluation sessions (about a week apart) at CU Boulder

Participants will be compensated up to $200 for their time.

Hearing research study

The University of Colorado Hearing Research Lab is seeking adults ages 18 and older with normal hearing or with hearing loss to participate in a study on the perception of noisy speech that has been processed in a way that mimics hearing aids.

Testing will include listening to speech over earphones and will take place over three visits. Participants will receive a free hearing test to determine if they quality for the study and will be compensated for their time.

For more information, please contact us: hearlab@colorado.edu or 303-492-0067.

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 raddlab@colorado.edu or fill out our initial eligibility screening.

Study on effects of prebiotic supplement

Are you ages 18–45 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 sleep.study@colorado.edu 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 moal4255@colorado.edu.

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 taylor.tvrdy@colorado.edu and reference the manual dexterity study.

Cardiovascular research studies

Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular study

The Integrative Physiology of Aging Lab is looking for volunteers to study the effects of aging on cerebrovascular function. 

Requirements:

  • Ages 18–30 or 50-plus years

Benefits include:

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

If interested, email IMSTstudy@colorado.edu. Call 303-492-2485.

Cardiovascular study

The Integrative Physiology of Aging Lab is seeking volunteers to participate in a clinical research study. We are looking for women and men, ages 50-plus, who are willing to participate in water immersion sessions approximately three times per week for 12 weeks.

Benefits for volunteers include:

  • Cardiovascular health assessment
  • Exercise stress test
  • Body composition and blood chemistries

For more information, please email cvstudy.cuboulder@gmail.com, or call 303-735-4936.

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.

Requirements:

  • 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 IMSTstudy@colorado.edu 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 mitoqstudy@colorado.edu.

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 nrstudy@colorado.edu. Participants will be compensated for their time.

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 futureofwork.study@gmail.com.

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 oasis.custudy@gmail.com 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 prism.custudy@gmail.com or fill in the online, confidential survey.

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 eyemindlink@gmail.com 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 the family

Study to help alleviate joint pain in dogs

Remember when fetch was fun?

Does your dog have severe osteoarthritis that interferes with their quality of life? A research study with a new therapeutic being developed for use in humans and dogs for osteoarthritis is seeking volunteers for a no-cost treatment.

Robert Landry, DVM, is teaming up with CU distinguished professor Linda Watkins, PhD, in a clinical study involving treating dogs with a non-viral gene therapy delivered locally in the joint space to help relieve pain associated with debilitating osteoarthritis. This provides a naturally occurring, potent anti-inflammatory protein to calm the ongoing joint inflammation. 

Participation is free once your pet is determined to be eligible. 

  • Exams, blood work, gait analysis and X-rays (if needed), once determined to be eligible, are provided to participating dogs and paid through the study. 
  • You can keep copies of the diagnostic test results after the study. 
  • Your participation could lead to a revolutionary treatment of chronic arthritis pain in our companion animals and possibly set the groundwork for human treatments.

If you are interested in participating, please contact office@ccapmvetcare.com.

Study on infant gut health

Calling all exclusively breastfed infants: We need your help to learn more about how to give babies their best start when it comes to solid foods!

Your infant may be eligible if they are:

  • Full term: Gestational age ≥ 37 weeks
  • Generally healthy without conditions that would affect normal growth
  • Minimal solid food consumption
  • Receive breastmilk

Compensation provided.

Please contact Gabby Glime at gabrielle.glime@cuanschutz.edu or 303-724-1556 if you are interested or would like additional information.

Study on teens, stressful life events

Adolescence is a significant period for brain development, during which certain individuals may be at a higher risk for experiencing stress and mood problems. The goal of the RRAY study is to learn about how certain cognitive abilities might make individuals more vulnerable or resilient in the face of stressful life events.

We are recruiting all teens age 13–19 for this two-year study. The study involves two study visits a year apart at our laboratory in Boulder, each lasting about six 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 three 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 $1,335 for completing all parts of the study, and get to take home a picture of your brain!

Sound interesting? To learn more, you or your parent/legal guardian (if you are age 17 or younger) can contact our lab directly at 303-735-8306 or email us at raddlab@colorado.edu