Participate in Research Studies

Thank you for exploring the possibility of participating in studies at NYU Abu Dhabi. At NYUAD, we have a large number of faculty, students and staff conducting research with human participants. The studies they work on cover a multitude of disciplines (such as economics, political science, psychology, or linguistics to name just a few). The success of their work depends heavily upon the involvement of interested participants. For this reason, we aim to build a database of people interested in participating in research at NYUAD.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who is interested in participating in studies can register with our study participation database. Whether you are a student, a homemaker, a working professional, or retired, our only requirement for participation is that you should be over 18 years of age.

If you are a university or (corporate or charity) organization in the UAE, and would like to know how your students or employees can become a part of the research landscape of the UAE and benefit from participation, please contact our human subject enrollment specialist at    

Types of Studies

There are many different researchers working at NYUAD and they have very diverse research interests. Some might want to learn about financial decision-making, others about social decision-making, language processing or how you think about the weather, people, cars or animals. To let you know what kind of study we would like to invite you for, study invitation emails provide information about each study’s particular goal.

  • Advanced studies are studies that are conducted in a semi-transparent manner. These studies focus on phenomena that may change participants’ decision-making, if they are made aware about what is being studied. Hence, they inform participants only partially about the study goal at the beginning of each study and may provide temporarily misleading information. Advanced studies will always restore full transparency, i.e., all participants will be informed of the study's exact procedure and goal by the end of the study. Note that advanced studies will always give participants the option to ask for their data to be deleted, once they have been informed about the study in its entirety. Typical examples for advanced studies are experiments on helping behavior. Given that many people are more willing to help others when they are aware that their helping behavior is monitored, studies on helping tend to refrain from informing participants about their exact goal at the beginning of the study.

How We Select Volunteers for Studies

For most of our studies, we invite only a random subset of our volunteers. We do so to ensure that all our volunteers get an equal chance of being invited and that those with instant access to their emails are not the only ones who always get an invitation to participate. 

Sometimes we also only invite participants with certain characteristics, for instance, people who have not yet participated in former studies of a similar nature. As a result, after registering, it is possible that you may see studies in the calendar for which you do not receive an invitation email.    

Occasionally, an excess number of participants will be invited for certain studies. The study invitation email will clearly state whether this is the case. If it is the case, the first invited persons arriving at the study's location will participate. Participants who are invited and may not participate in the study due to capacity constraints or other failures will also receive a subsistence allowance.

Please note that sometimes you might receive an invitation email, but when you click on the enrollment link, it does not show availability. This means the session is already full. If we have more spaces, you will receive another e-mail.

What Do Participants Do at a Study?

Each study is a little different. We may want you to answer a questionnaire, participate in an interview, complete a computer-based decision task, solve a puzzle working with a group of people, evaluate pictures, videos, words or sounds. For each study, the study invitation email will provide detailed information about what you are asked to do before you decide to participate.

Location of Studies

The location depends on the type of study. If it is an online survey, you might be able to complete it from home. For other studies, we may invite you to visit our facilities. For each study, invitation emails will specify the exact requirements for participation.

Benefits of Participation

We provide a subsistence allowance for every study in which you participate. The exact amount of the allowance, however, differs across studies depending on their duration and complexity. As a fixed subsistence allowance, every participant who has enrolled for a study and shows up for participation at the agreed time and place receives AED 30. The average allowance is AED 100 per hour of participation. In general, the allowance may be dependent on the decisions you make in an experiment, but it is also designed to make participation more convenient for you.  Study invitation emails will provide exact information about allowances and means before you decide to participate. 

What Happens after You Register with Us?

Please note that registering merely means that researchers from NYUAD (i.e., faculty, staff and students) can invite you to participate in their research studies. You are not registering for any specific study at this time and are under no obligation to accept any of the invitations send to you after registration.

When you are invited for a study, you can choose to participate by explicitly confirming your participation. Confirmation is done by clicking on a link provided in the invitation email. After enrolling for a specific study you get an e-mail confirming your enrollment. When you enroll for a specific study, we expect you to participate. 

Put differently, you can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ towards participating whenever contacted to be part of a study. By signing up for this database you are NOT giving up any rights. You only provide basic demographic and contact information that can be accessed by our researchers as they aim to recruit participants for their studies.

Please also note that all researchers who have access to the database conduct their studies in compliance with the NYUAD Research Participation Protection Program. The database will not be shared with people unaffiliated with NYUAD unless they are on a specific project and their involvement has been approved by NYUAD.

For each study, a certain number of registered volunteers will get an invitation e-mail. When you get an e-mail that invites you to participate in a particular study, you can choose to answer positively to this email in order to be able to take part in the study. By doing so, you indicate your desire to participate. If you do not answer, we assume that you do not want to participate in the study. Put differently, it is completely up to you whether to accept any invitations sent to you.

You are free to stop participating at any time throughout the study, without having to provide a reason.

People who give their agreement to take part in a particular study have to keep in mind that if they do not turn up or turn up late, then the study might be canceled because of a lack of participants. By enrolling for a specific study, you agree with the following statements: I have been informed that if I do not turn up or turn up late for a study I have enrolled for, this may lead to the study being canceled. Therefore, I should aim to inform the principal investigator at least 24 hours ahead if I am not able to attend an agreed upon session.

To Cancel an Enrollment for a Study

The database does not have a feature that allows you to cancel your enrollment in a study. Please ensure you are available to participate before you enroll in a specific study. However, if you become ill or are not able to attend due to unforeseeable circumstances, please reply to the original invitation e-mail and ask to be excused from the study. Please notify us in advance so we can make arrangements accordingly. 

To Unregister from Study Participation

If you do not wish to receive further e-mails inviting you to participate in research studies at NYUAD, please send an e-mail to indicating that you wish to be unregistered, along with your name (as it appears in the database) and your registered e-mail address.