The Best School in Town

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Sample Subject Pool FAQ Document


NOTE: The following document is a sample and provides guidelines about the type of information that a Subject Pool FAQ document should address. This form may be used as a template/guide but should be modified as applicable to each subject pool. Subject pool participants should receive the FAQ document (or online access to it) upon or prior to enrollment.


Scholarly discovery and innovation depend, in large part, on the research methods used to obtain them. Thus, an exposure to research and research methods is an experience that is valuable to understanding this discipline. At most universities some exposure to social/behavioral research is generally required of students enrolled in some introductory courses. At the University of Texas at Austin, the [Department name] requires each student enrolled in [list courses] to gain familiarity with, and an appreciation of, the aims, methods, problems, and results of [insert the general type of research performed in your department; e.g., psychological, social behavioral, educational] research.


There are two options the student has for completing this requirement:


   * [the research paper option OR list appropriate alternative assignments], and

   * the research participation option.


The two options are discussed during one of the first meetings of the [list courses] class. If you feel that you cannot complete the requirement in either of the ways outlined on this page, you should see the teaching assistant to discuss the possibility of alternatives.


How many hours of credit do I get for each research study?


The research studies vary in length. Some last a half hour, some last an hour, and a few are very long, like 4 or 5 hours.


Where do I sign up for research studies?


You may sign up by going to XXXX, clicking 'Experiment Registration', and logging in using your UTEID and password.


When can I start to participate in research studies?


You may begin participating in research studies on XXX XX, XXXX. You DO NOT have to wait until the end of the prescreening period.


How many online surveys can I participate in?


You can participate in ONE online study in addition to the prescreening survey.


The only exception to this rule is if you are selected for an online study based on your prescreening answers.


What is prescreening?


Prescreening is an online questionnaire that the experimenters use to find subjects who are eligible for their studies on special populations. The data you provide in this online system will be provided to the researchers and will be kept on a password-protected computer to which only department personnel will have access.


Do I have to do the prescreening?


You are not required to participate in prescreening. However, it is a good idea for two reasons. First, it gets your first 1.0 hour of credit out of the way. Second, by doing prescreening, you potentially increase the number of research studies you are eligible for.


When and where can I take the prescreening questionnaire?


See "Important Dates to Remember".


The prescreening questionnaire is available online from XXXX, XX XXXX to XXXX, XX XXXX. To register for the prescreening survey, log on to XXXX and select "Experiment Registration." Then click on "Browse All Experiments." You will see Prescreening Survey near the bottom of the screen, with the surveys that are available online anytime. Click "View." Click "Register for this session."


The survey is not available after XXXX, XX XXXX.


Can I still participate in research studies if I do not do the prescreening?


Yes, most research studies do not have prescreening as a prerequisite. Please remember that the prescreening is optional.


What is the last day I can participate in research studies?


The deadline for participating in Fall research studies is XXXX, XX XXXX. No research studies will be run after that date, and it is your responsibility to make sure you have completed all 5 hours by then.


What if I am re-taking XXX for a better grade; does this mean that I have to participate in the hours all over again?


No, but you will need to notify the Research Coordinator so that you do not receive an Incomplete at the end of the semester for not participating in any research hours.


What do I do with my green sheet?


The green sheet is your record of the research studies you participated in. It is very important that you keep an accurate record of your research studies and have the experimenter sign it every time you participate. If there is a credit recording mistake, the green sheet will be your proof of participation. Keep any online survey confirmation pages or debriefing forms from research studies you attend in person with your green sheet.


Do I turn in my green sheet when I have completed my hours?


No, please hold onto your green sheets and keep with your class materials until you see your grade post to your transcript.


How long does it take for the hours to show up on my record?


Credit is not reported instantaneously. It may take up to two weeks for your credit to be recorded on the system. Some researchers, due to the nature of their study, cannot report credits until the end of the semester.


What do I do if there is a mistake in my record?


E-mail the Research Coordinator at


What if the researcher cancels the experiment?


Just as you are allowed to cancel yourself from an experiment session 6 hours or more in advance, researchers are permitted to modify or cancel a session 6 hours or more ahead of time. When a research cancels a session 6 or more hours in advance, you do not receive credit for the experiment, nor will you receive a penalty. A cancellation notice will appear at the top of the screen when you login to the system and on your “Browse Registered Experiments” page. You will want to check the system within 6 hours of your session to confirm there has not been a cancellation.


What if I showed up to the session anyway because I did not see that it was cancelled?


I’m sorry, but that is why we have the “six hour” policy for both participants and researchers.


What if the session wasn’t cancelled online, but the researcher did not show up?


If you go to an experiment session, and the researcher fails to show up, submit a Research Error Correction Form within 5 days to the experiment coordinator located in XXX X.XXXX. Research Error Correction Forms can be found on the wall, outside of XXX X.XXXX or on the web as a downloadable PDF file (via the link to Research Error Correction Form). If a researcher fails to show, you will be given 1.0 hour of free credit, regardless of how many hours of credit the experiment session was worth.


Why is there an hour deducted from my record?


If you missed an experiment and did not cancel your participation at least 6 hours before your assigned time, you will be penalized ONE HOUR, regardless of how many hours of credit the experiment session was worth. This penalty applies for each experiment session you miss. If you have a verifiable excuse (doctor’s note, etc.) submit a Research Error Correction Form (found outside of XXX X.XXXX in the wall bins) within 5 days of the missed experiment to the Research Coordinator in XXX X.XXXX for reconsideration of the penalty.


How can I avoid getting docked an hour?


If you need to cancel an experiment, please make sure to login to the experiment system and un-register for that experiment at least 6 hours before the scheduled experiment.


What do I do if I get docked an hour?


You may either earn an extra hour's worth of experiment credit to make up for each penalty deduction you earn, or you may choose the non-experiment option and write the 5-page research paper.


How can I prove that I participated in an online study?


Always print out and save the confirmation page at the end of an online survey. You should be able to view your credit online within two weeks. If your credit does not show up online within two weeks, send a copy of the confirmation page to the research coordinator. You can hand deliver a copy to XXX X.XXXX or fax a copy to XXX-XXXX.


What if I participated in an online study and the “Browse Registered Experiments” site says that my credit is “Pending Verification”?


In this case, please review the instructions that appeared at the end of your survey (and are likely on the confirmation page that you printed out) and make sure that you followed them. If you have already done so, please contact the researcher.


I am unable to attend a study that I registered for. What should I do?


To cancel yourself from an experiment (which must be done 6 hours or more in advance) log on to the system and click “Browse Registered Experiments.” Click on “View” next to the experiment that you cannot attend. When the experiment session details come up, click on “Unregister.” You will then see a message saying that you are unregistered from the experiment session.


If you are unable to cancel yourself from a study more than 6 hours in advance due to an emergency or other serious scheduling conflict, contact the Research Coordinator as soon as possible. There is still a possibility that you will be docked an hour without appropriate documentation.


What if the weather was too bad for me to come to campus for my experiment?


If the University is still the operating, normal rules for canceling sessions still apply. The status of the University can be verified on the following Emergency Preparedness website: or you can call the university’s general information number, 512-232-9999.


I was registered for an experiment, but when I looked again, it was not on my list under “Browse Registered Experiments.” What happened?


The most common reason for this situation is that you did not read the eligibility requirements closely enough and signed up for a study for which you did not qualify. Although researchers are asked to notify you via email when they unregister you from their session, they are not obligated to do so, as they have already made their criteria clear.


It’s the end of the semester and I still have hours to finish! Help!


Consider the risk you take by waiting until the end of the term to complete your research studies. For example, if you only have 1.0 hour left to complete, and the 1.0 hour session that you are signed-up to participate in on the last day that the system is open gets cancelled by a researcher, you may not be able to finish the requirement by the deadline. Similarly, the only remaining sessions may have eligibility restrictions that prevent you from registering for the experiment. No exceptions will be made for students who leave their participation until too late in the semester.


What if I don’t finish the requirement by the end of the semester?


You will get an X (Incomplete) on your semester grade report for XXX XXX if you passed the course: if you earned an F in the class that grade will be posted even if you did not complete the experiment requirement.


What happens if I get an Incomplete for the course?


You will have until the end of the next long semester (Fall or Spring) to finish the research requirement before the incomplete permanently converts to an "F". Please also note that if you earn a failing grade in XXX XXX, an "F" will be released whether you complete the research requirement or not. Once you do finish the research requirement, your grade will be released.


How do I complete the research requirement if I get an Incomplete?


You will have some extra time but must finish the experiment requirement before the end of the next long semester. You can still use the paper option (see the requirements at http://xxxx) or continue to complete the required number of experimental hours when the system opens again in the next semester - just contact the Research Coordinator to have your user account re-activated if you would like to continue participating in research studies. After the first day of class in the next semester, you can log in to the system and continue signing up for research studies until the requirement is met. Be sure to finish before the last day for the system (usually one week before the end of classes).


Does that mean that I have to start my experimental hours all over again the following semester?


No, you will be able to continue participating with the hours that you earned during the semester you took the class. You will not automatically have access to the system to find new research studies; please contact the Research Coordinator to regain your access.


Can I participate in the same research studies I did the semester before?


No, absolutely not! This includes the prescreening survey. If you do, you will not get credit for any duplicated hours.


What if I don’t finish the requirement by the end of the next long semester?


The Incomplete (X) automatically and permanently converts to an F! Don't let this happen to you.


What do I do if I think I have finished the requirement (to get my grade released)?


You MUST email the Research Coordinator at to notify her that you have completed your requirement. She will then give you further instructions about how to get your grade changed from an X to the grade you earned in XXX XXX. Be sure to do this well before the last week of classes to be sure the grade change can be processed before last class day.


When is the research paper due (to avoid an Incomplete)?


If you would like to write a paper to fulfill the research requirement during the semester of your enrollment, it is due no later than the last class day of that semester. However, your instructor has the right to set the due date earlier than that (and many of them do). If you are unsure, please ask the instructor.


Where do I go for more information on writing the research paper to fulfill my requirement?




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