General Information About the Subject Pool

General Information About the Subject Pool

Research Participation Requirement

General information about the Subject Pool

The University of Michigan – Flint Department of Psychology seeks to conduct and support research endeavours by staff and advanced undergraduate students of the department for the advancement and understanding of behavioural research. Starting Fall 2005, as part of the requirements for all Introductory Psychology courses, you are asked to participate in at least two credit hours of research studies conducted by researchers in the department of psychology. Research studies vary in the credits (i.e., ½ credit, 1 credit hour) awarded for each. After participating in the two credit hours, you are encouraged to participate in additional studies for extra credit as/if offered by your instructor. Students who conscientiously object and elect not to participate in a research study have the option of completing an alternative writing assignment.

How do I find out about a study?

To facilitate the process of conducting research, students can use Sona Systems – an online subject pool research management software. Research opportunities for participation will be posted on Sona Systems ( where you can learn more about the details of research study and available time slots before you agree to participate. You should also receive an email each time a new study is posted by a researcher to your UM-Flint email account. Research investigators can use Sona Systems to post their project, recruit participants, confirm appointments, and record participation of students in their project. Students and instructors can track accumulated credit hours for satisfactory completion of the required hours and assess extra credit when earned.

How do I sign up?

After reviewing the details of the study and if you are qualified to participate (note that some studies may have specific requirements such as age, women only, left-handers, twins, etc.) you can select the appropriate study and follow the links. Depending when you sign up for the study, you may also get a reminder/confirmation of your appointment via email. Please note that you must sign up for a study via Sona Systems in order for you to receive your appropriate credit. You should not just walk into any study without first signing up yourself, even if the researchers says it is okay, he/she will give you a manual credit later. If you obtain a credit in this manner you run the risk of “donating” your time. When arriving for your experiment, you must have the following: Student ID Card/ID # and Instructors name. Please note that it is mandatory that you check and use your assigned U of M – Flint email account and Blackboard for purposes of this course and research participation.

Only projects that have been cleared by University of Michigan – Flint Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the use of human subjects in research are allowed to be posted. Students are free to complete their participation hours in any way they choose and can select projects to suit their personal interests and time commitments.

Why should I participate?

Participation in research provides students with experiential learning of the research process. In addition, the production of new knowledge into psychology depends in large part upon the participation of volunteers that contributes to the vast majority of studies conducted in our field. Thus, participating in research is a way for students to contribute to the process that has made their learning possible.

Who keeps track of my participation?

The Coordinator of the Research Subject Pool is Dr. Bellamy (; tel: (810) 762-3424). The appropriate credit hour will be documented in Sona Systems 48 hours of participation by the researcher. You should check that the appropriate credit has been registered after that time.

What if I don’t want to participate?

If you choose not to participate, you have the following options:

1)You may complete two writing assignments that will involve reading an approved psychology journal article and writing an essay by responding to a selected set of questions (each paper worth 1 credit hour).

2)Attend a poster session given by students in an upper-level psychology course or University sponsored research colloquium (e.g., Meeting of the Minds). Students will be required to write an essay by responding to a select set of questions (each poster session attendance worth 1credit hour). Please note that poster sessions vary in their availability and may not be offered during some semesters.

3)And/or combination of writing assignment & poster session attendance

Alternative assignment: Students who do not wish to participate in a study may read an approved article (on reserve at the Thompson Library Reserved Readings desk - Listed as: RR30 ) and write an essay based on a series of questions (available online at Go to "Departmental Resources: then click on "forms". There you will find a Word file and a PDF file, use whichever form is appropriate for your computer. All papers must be submitted by the last regular scheduled day of classes (not including study period or finals week) by 5pm.

Poster session availability will be posted in Sona Systems when/if available. Typically poster sessions are given towards the end of the semester, but it is not a given that poster sessions will be available.

What if I don’t attend an experiment or complete an alternative assignment?

Failure to participate in a study and/or complete the alternative essay assignment with the accumulation of 2 credit hours before the end of the semester will result in a grade of “I” (incomplete) until this requirement is fulfilled. If you receive an incomplete, you must complete the requirements within the first five weeks of the next Fall or Winter semester in which you are enrolled (or within one calendar year of receiving the incomplete, whichever comes first for students who are not enrolled over any term) or the grade will become an “N.”

Last Day to participate in experiments or submit alternative assignments is last day of semester (not including exam dates). After this date, you must contact your instructor, not the Sona Systems administrator regarding fulfilment of your research requirement.

What if I don’t attend an experiment I sign up for?

Agreeing to participate but failing to arrive on time is considered an unexcused absence. If you foresee that you will be unable to participate in a study, you must contact the researcher (not the coordinator and/or assistant; contact information will be provided when you sign up) at least 4 hours before your session to avoid an unexcused absence. If you miss the experiment due to an unforeseen emergency, you must contact the researcher within 24 hours of your absence and explain why you missed the experiment, providing whatever documentation (e.g., doctor’s note, towing receipt) is available. If the researcher decides that your absence was unavoidable, you will not be penalized and may be asked to reschedule. If you do not contact the researcher or if your excuse is judged to be insufficient justification for missing the experiment, you will become obligated to participate in an additional study (i.e., 1 credit hour in addition to the required 2 hours; or to complete an additional alternative assignment) for each unexcused absence. Failure to complete these additional studies / assignments by the end of the semester will result in a grade penalty or a grade of “I” until they are completed. Make sure you write down or print out all the information (time, place, contact name & number if you can't make it) about the experiment you sign up for.

*All forms for PSY 100 Research Subject can be found at U of M Departmental Psychology homepage Go to "Departmental Resources: then click on "forms". There should be a Word file and a PDF file, use whichever form is appropriate for your computer.