Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

Community Adult Volunteer Panel

Want to help our researchers make groundbreaking discoveries?

The Department of Psychology at U of T Scarborough is a major hub of research activity. Areas we study include memory, cognition, perception, and how the activity of molecules, cells, and networks within our nervous system are connected to behaviour and mental processes. We conduct research in person and online to study questions about human development, social behaviour, personality, learning, decision making, mental health, aging, and brain disorders and injuries.

Psychology research can’t happen without participants. We regularly require adult research participants from a broad range of ages and life experiences, especially adults 40 to 80 years of age.

What is the Adult Volunteer Panel (AVP)?

The Adult Volunteer Panel (AVP) is a community registry of adults who are willing to participate in our studies. From time to time, we invite you to take part in studies for which you qualify (based on age or other criteria). Members of the AVP typically take part in 1-2 studies per year. You may join the AVP for as long as you wish and may withdraw at any time.

COVID-19 Update (June 2020):
For everyone's safety, our campus is presently closed for all in-person research participation. However, we offer online studies in which you can participate remotely, and will be observing directives from Toronto Public Health in relation to restarting in-person research. If you're not a member of the AVP, please consider joining so that we can keep you updated as new studies open and as in-person research at our campus eventually resumes.

Am I eligible? What does a research participant do?

You must be at least 18 years old and cannot be currently enrolled in our first-year PSYA01/PSYA02 psychology courses (why?). You need to be fluent in English and able either to complete online studies using a computer or smartphone, or to come to our campus for in-person studies. You can opt to be invited for in-person studies, online studies, or both types.

Studies may involve as little as filling out a 20-minute online questionnaire, or may involve coming to our campus for one or more sessions in person. How often you take part depends on your availability and whether you qualify for a study that's currently running. If you’re interested, please consider joining the AVP!

To join:

  1. Read our Consent Form to learn more about what joining the AVP involves.
  2. Create a profile in our AVP system, to answer some short questions about yourself and to provide us with an email address and telephone number where we can contact you.

Benefits of participating

Are you curious about what kinds of work our psychology researchers do? The questions we're trying to answer and how we answer them? The methods or tools we use? You can glimpse all of these up close when you take part in our studies.

More important, as a research participant, you contribute directly to building knowledge in psychological science. To compensate you for this public service, our researchers typically provide a small payment for your participation, where their research funding permits. Other benefits are often mentioned in the consent forms of individual studies, which you will discover when you participate.

Further questions?

For more information, please email our Adult Volunteer Panel Coordinator at psychadultresearch.utsc@utoronto.ca.

Participant tutorial: Using the AVP Sona System (YouTube)
About our research (PDF)
More about our research (PDF)

Why can't I join the Adult Volunteer Panel (AVP) if I'm taking first-year psychology?

When our researchers run large studies requiring many participants, they advertise the studies on both our first-year psychology Sona system and the Adult Volunteer Panel (AVP) system. So, if you're already taking PSYA01 or PSYA02 this year at UTSC, please do not sign up for the Adult Volunteer Panel. We appreciate your interest, but our researchers already recruit students from your classes through Sona.

If first-year psychology students were also members of the AVP, they could in theory sign up twice for the same studies: once for their class, and once through the AVP. Please don't be tempted to do this. Why not?

  • If you participate in a study twice, your effect on the study is doubled
  • On the second round, you already know what the study procedure involves, and thus...
  • The overall results of the study cannot be considered valid, since your repeat practice makes you more "in the know" about the study's procedures than other participants are

Bottom line: Please wait until your course(s) is over before joining the AVP. Our researchers work hard to reach valid conclusions for difficult questions; to do that, we must ensure that the same individuals don't complete our studies multiple times. Thank you for helping us to create robust science!
 

UTSC Psychology researchers: How to recruit from the AVP