Frequently Asked Questions for Investigators

The following questions are commonly asked by investigators. Please read them to learn more about participating in the PRP:

  1. How do I use the Psychology Research Pool (PRP)? The first step is to get IRB approval for your study. Then send a digital copy of the IRB approval and the informed consent and debriefing forms for the study to the PRP coordinator at You may also include the optional flyer if you would like the PRP coordinator to post it on the departmental bulletin board. See the "Investigator Instructions for Using the PRP" located on this website for additional information. All necessary forms are also located on the website.
  2. What is an ArgoPoint? ArgoPoints are participation points given to students utilizing the PRP. A student will earn one (1) ArgoPoint for each hour of research participation. The points are always rounded up to the nearest hour. A student may also earn ArgoPoints by reading the psychological research articles posted on the PRP website and completing the corresponding writing assignments. After a student has read two (2) of the posted psychological research articles and completed two writing assignments (one writing assignment for each of the two articles), the student will earn one (1) ArgoPoint. At the end of the semester, ArgoPoints will be translated into extra credit points by the course instructor.
  3. Can I pay students to participate in my research? Students may do your study for ArgoPoints (extra credit) or payment, but not both. The description of your study will include the option of payment, and it is your responsibility to ensure that students who receive payment are not included on the ArgoPoint Participant Reporting form.
  4. Can I put restrictions (e.g., only females, only freshmen) on participants in my study? There may be projects that require researchers to restrict the type of student that may participate. If your study is restrictive, you have the option to also submit a research article that is similar to your study. The PRP coordinator will post this study as a suggested writing alternative to your study for those who cannot participate.
  5. Can I advertise my study somewhere other than the Psychology Department bulletin board? Researchers may post advertisements outside of Building 41 according to his/her own discretion. Fairness between researchers shall be attempted by keeping all advertisements limited to one flyer in a centralized location (the PRP bulletin board). Available studies will also be easily accessed by a link located on the main page of the Psychology Department website. You may not recruit from Psychology courses except by going through the PRP to maintain fairness to all students and investigators. You may link to your studies from your research or lab webpage. You may recruit from non-Psychology courses.
  6. When do I start collecting data? Once the necessary forms are approved by the PRP coordinator, your study will be listed on the website as available to participants. The PRP coordinator will then contact you by email to notify you of the posting. After you have been notified by the PRP coordinator that your study has been approved for inclusion in the PRP, you will need to download an ArgoPoint Participant Reporting Form. Please be sure that you understand how to use the ArgoPoint Participant Reporting Form, and contact the PRP coordinator if you have any questions. Also, be certain that any students who receive payment (or some other incentive) for your study are not also listed on the ArgoPoint Participant Reporting form. At this time, data collection can begin.
  7. What is an ArgoPoint Participant Reporting Form? If a student is receiving extra credit, the researcher must collect the name of the student, the participating course, the name of the course instructor, and the number of ArgoPoints earned. To maintain consistency and allow ease of consolidation across researchers, please use the Excel form that will be provided to you to record the necessary information. 
  8. What if I conduct an online survey? When students exit your online survey, please ensure that they are linked to a separate page that asks for their first and last names, the participating course, and the course instructor's name. Please be sure to consider this when designing your online survey. Then, it will be easy to download the names of all of your participants into an Excel spreadsheet and e-mail it to the PRP coordinator. If you do this, there is no need for you to transfer participants' names to the ArgoPoint Participant Reporting form. Please be sure to include the PI name on the Excel spreadsheet for reporting purposes.
  9. When do I stop collecting data? To allow the PRP coordinator enough time to report participation back to instructors, your ArgoPoint Participant Reporting Form must be returned by 5:00 p.m. on the specified deadline each semester. The next upcoming deadline may be found on the PRP website. You may continue to collect data after this deadline, but students may not earn ArgoPoints during this time. Please ensure that students are aware of this policy prior to his/her participation. The PRP coordinator will send a report of all students who earned ArgoPoints after the participation deadline each semester. For this reason, it is critical that your ArgoPoint Participant Reporting form is submitted by the deadline. No exceptions can be made for individual students.
  10. How should I debrief participants using the PRP? During data collection, you are required to provide students with a debriefing form when they have completed your study. In addition to debriefing the students, this form will serve as the students' proof that they participated in your study. To help to prevent the duplication of debriefing forms for the purpose of academic misconduct, please require that both the participant and the experimenter sign and date the debriefing form before leaving your lab. Please see the sample debriefing form on the PRP website. If students participate in a study online, please prompt them to print the debriefing form at the end of the study and retain it for their own records.
  11. What do I do regarding no-shows? Students will neither be awarded nor deducted ArgoPoints. Participation is completely voluntary. As such, according to OHRP ( now states: Under the provisions of 45 CFR 46.116(a)(8), students must be free to choose not to participate in research that they have signed up for at anytime prior to the start of their involvement in the research. Furthermore, students must be free to communicate their decisions not to participate in research in whatever way they choose, including by simply not showing up for the research.
  12. What do I do if a student does not complete the entire survey for my study? Students must not experience any loss of benefits if they begin your study and then choose to stop it for any reason. This requirement is true for survey research as well. Consequently, students should be awarded full ArgoPoints that are offered for a survey even if they decide to stop participating before they have completed the entire survey. Participation is completely voluntary, and a student must be free to stop their participation if they begin to feel uncomfortable. When creating your online survey, please be sure that students are directed to a proof of participation page that may be printed anytime that they choose to cease participation in the study. For more information on this, please see "Investigator Instructions for Using the PRP" - Step 1, Item 4.
  13. What if the researcher/research assistant is a no-show? If a researcher cancels his/her time slot(s) with MORE THAN 24 HOURS notice, no points are awarded to the student(s). With LESS THAN 24 HOURS notice, the researcher MUST grant the student(s) 1 ArgoPoint, regardless of the number of points the study is worth. With LESS THAN 24 HOURS notice, AND the canceled slot is for the participant(s)' FINAL APPOINTMENT in a MULTI-PART STUDY (i.e., a study that meets more than once), then the researcher must grant the FULL POINT VALUE of the study. The researcher may ask the student to reschedule, however, the student is not obligated to do so.
  14. What if my research assistant is also a student in a participating course? The research assistant may not complete your study for ArgoPoints, but may complete an alternative Article Response Form for ArgoPoints.

"Investigator Instructions for Using the PRP"

ArgoPoint Participant Reporting Form

Back to "Information for Investigators"


For more information about participating in the research pool, contact the PRP Coordinator at