Research Participation Credits (SONA)

If you are taking PSYC 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002, you will have the opportunity to have an “up close” look at psychology research through research participation that is designed to foster understanding and appreciation of psychology.

  • lab studies
  • online studies and
  • reading and writing about research articles).

Research Participation credits are worth 4%:

  •    PSYC 1001 and 1002: 4% Research Participation Credits count towards final grade.
  •    PSYC 2001 and 2002: 4% Research Participation Credits count as bonus grades.

Participating in Psychology Studies for Credit

One way to earn research participation marks is by participating in psychology studies conducted by psychology professors, graduate students, and honours thesis students from Carleton University’s Psychology Department.

In order to see a list of the available studies, you will need to log into the SONA system at

There are two types of studies that you can sign-up for:

  • Lab studies (conducted in a lab, typically on campus)
  • Online studies (completed online from any computer).

Lab studies: For each 30 minute block that you spend participating in a lab study on campus, you will earn 0.5%. There is no cap (i.e., no limit) on the number of lab studies you can participate in up to the maximum of 4% towards your research participation credits.

  • (up to) 30 min lab study = 0.5%
  • 31-60 min lab study = 1.0%
  • 61-90 min lab study = 1.5%
  • 91-120 min lab study = 2% … etc.

Online studies: For each 30 minute block that you spend participating in an online study, you will earn .25%. There is a cap on the number of online studies you can participate in up to the maximum of 3% towards your research participation credits.

  • (up to) 30 min survey = 0.25%
  • 31-60 min survey = 0.5%
  • 61-90 min survey = 0.75%
  • 91-120 min = 1%…etc

Reading and Writing about Research Articles for Credit

An alternative way to earn your 4% research participation credits is by reading and answering questions about research articles (see your course outline for more details).

At the beginning of the term that you are taking PSYC 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002, you will receive an e-mail containing your SONA login information and instructions explaining how to use the system.  You will then have until the last day of classes for the term to earn your research participation credits (i.e., through psychology studies and/or alternative written assignments).

If you have not received an e-mail by the end of the first full week of classes or have questions, you should contact the Ethics TA (Melissa Salmon) at

How do I sign up for a study in SONA to earn Research Participation Credits

Participating in Online SONA Studies

Students may only earn up to 3% course credit by participating in online studies. The remaining credit may be earned by participating in standard lab studies offered through SONA, or by completing written assignments. For more information on the written assignments, please contact your course instructor or TA directly.

Exemptions to the Online Study Cap

Students who are officially designated as “Distance Students” with CUOL (i.e., students living more than 100km from campus), and students who are physically unable to come to campus, as attested by their letter of accommodations from the PMC, are exempted from the online study cap. If you are a student that fits these criteria and you wish to earn all 4% of your credit from participating in online studies, please contact the SONA Coordinator (Melissa Salmon) at

Note: Please check your course outline for the deadline to submit this request. If you do not meet this deadline, you will be subjected to the 3% online study cap.