Taking part in paid research studies can be a great way to make some extra cash. There are opportunities to take part online and in person. Research studies are always on the look out for participants who fit their criteria, you just have to find and get matched to studies you’re eligible for.
Prolific Academic is is one of my favourite sites for earning a bit of extra money online. Sign up and answer some profile questions and then you will be offered surveys or short activities which are run by academics or start-up businesses looking for participants.
The surveys are usually well paid in comparison to other sites, typically ranging between 50p for 5 minutes to £5 for 30 minutes. Also, these surveys are often actually INTERESTING. If you’ve ever done surveys on other sites you’ll know this is not always the case.
As these studies are primarily run by researchers rather than brands, lot of the topics are based around personality, attitudes and experiences. Sometimes you will be asked to do a short activity which may test memory or perception. It can be quite varied and that’s why I prefer it to most standard survey sites.
So far I’ve completed 39 surveys ranging between 2 and 20 minutes in length and earned £44.64. Pretty good for something you can whilst sat in front of the TV or on your phone whilst waiting for a bus!
You will sometimes get emailed with survey opportunities which fit your profile but you will find more by checking available studies on the site regularly. You don’t seem to get screened out as with other sites, if the survey says you are eligible and there are spaces available you can complete it.
Payment is by Paypal, you can cash out once your balance reaches £5 but I prefer to wait until £20, otherwise Paypal fees are deducted.
University based studies
There are other ways to get paid for getting involved in research but more often involve going to a physical location. Call for Participants is a good way to search for any paid opportunities at universities or research centres near you – set the filters to search for those where the benefit offered is cash or vouchers rather than ‘sincere gratitude’. Sometimes online only opportunities are available on here too.
I know that there are often studies at the universities in Leeds which are not listed on Call for Participants, so it can be worth seeing if your local uni it has its own page for studies seeking participant, or contacting the Medicine/Psychology departments (which tend to host the most studies) to see if they have a mailing list.
Payment can vary hugely for involvement in these studies but can be generous and also sometimes useful and informative if they are about a specific condition or issue relevant to you. For example last year I took part in a paid research study on motion sickness which involved two 1-hour coach trips and 1 hour focus group. I received £100 for this but also some useful information on managing my sickness when travelling!
If you’ve got a lot of free time you could consider taking part in longer, residential clinical trials where you can get paid hundreds or thousands depending on the length of the study. As with all of the above, you’ll need to fit the criteria they are looking for and you’ll also be required to abide by any study requirements whilst on the trial.
This is not something I’ve been able to do myself but I would like to give it a go to when my son is older and I hopefully have more time, as you have to go and stay at the unit for the duration of the trial. If you’re interested in finding out more, try googling Clinical Trial Participation + your area and see what is available. In Leeds there is Covance and you can read more about what’s involved on their website.
Bonus for Leeds people
If you live or work near Leeds University you might want to consider signing up to Luto. Here you can get involved with testing patient information leaflets i.e. the little booklets that come with packs of medicine and such like. It’s simple, takes no more than £45 minutes and payment is usually £20. You can participate once every 6 months.
Have you ever taken part in research or a medical trial? I’d love to hear about your experiences if so!