Research Ethics Review for Experiments with Participants from the Subject Pool

Important Dates for 2023-24 Second Term


For Experimenters who will recruit Participants from the Subject Pool:-

Commencement of submission for Subject Pool Allocation Requests: 8 JAN 2024

Deadline for Researchers to submit Subject Pool Allocation Requests: 19 JAN 2024

Posting of experiments on Sona Systems commences: 22 JAN 2024

Free quota period begins: 4 MAR 2024

Last day to apply for Research Ethics Review for experiments: 15 MAR 2024

Last day to run experiments: 29 MAR 2024

Introduction to the Subject Pool

In order to help students understanding the nature of experimentation in Psychology, students in PSYC1000 can sign up and participate in the experiments facilitated by Researchers in Psychology Department.  A maximum of 10% of the final grade can be earned through the participation in experiments.

Experimenters (Faculty Members and Postgraduate Students) who are interested in recruiting Participants from the Subject Pool can submit for "Subject Pool Allocation Request" at the beginning of a semester.  Please note that the window for applying for Subject Pool Allocation is the FIRST TWO WEEKS of a semester.  Result of Subject Pool Allocation will be announced at the beginning of Week 3.

For students in PSYC1000, 10% of the final grade will be devoted to study participation or written assignments.  Each hour of study participation accounts for two points (2%).  Each piece of written assignment accounts for four points (4%).  Any combination of study participation and assignement writing can be chosen for obtaining this 10% of the final grade.  For example, participating in five hours of study, and participating in one hour of study plus writing two pieces of assignment will both earn a student 10% of the final grade.

The Department uses 'Sona Systems', a commerical platform, to manage the Subject Pool.

Information for Researchers who will recruit Participants from the Subject Pool

Rules for Researchers
  1. DO NOT mention that your study will take less time than expected in the advertisement.  All Researchers are obligated to provide an accurate estimation of the time required for participating in your experiment.   
  2. Students in PSYC1000 can earn TWO Points of their final grade for ONE Hour of participation in Subject Pool experiments A maximum of 10 points can be awarded.
  3. From the beginning of Week 3 to end of Week 10 of a semester, Researchers should apply for Research Ethics Review for their experiments with the Research Committee of Department of Psychology, CUHK.
  4. Researchers should post their experiments using the Sona Systems (
  5. Aside from unforeseeable circumstances, if a Researcher reschedules time slots or cancel sessions, he / she must do it through the Sona Systems at least 24 hours in advance.
  6. All Researchers are expected to be punctual when carrying out their experiments.  DO NOT make our Participants wait longer than 15mins without being able to start your experiment.  Penalty to the Researchers could be resulted, should the Research Committee receive complaints from the Participants.
  7. Upon completion of participation, Researchers should grant credits to their Particpants within a reasonable period.
  8. Consent Forms and Debriefing Forms are formal documents for carrying out experiments.  They are to be reviewed during the Research Ethics Review procedure.
  9. Prior to commecning the experiments, Researchers should check and record the student I.D. numbers of their Participants.
  10. All personal and identifiable data collected during the experiments should be kept confidential.

You may download the forms and templates below.

You may download the detailed procedures below.

Information for Participants (PSYC1000 students)

Rules for Participants
  1. Students in PSYC1000 can earn two points from one hour of participation in experiments in the Subject Pool execrise organized by the Department .  A maximum of 10 points (10% of final grade) can be obtained.
  2. Researchers will recruits Participants from the Subject Pool for their experiments (studies) from Week 3 to Week 12 of a semester.
  3. Students must be registered as Participants for the Subject Pool, sign up for studies, and keep track of their appointments using the Sona Systems (
  4. Students are expected to be punctual when participating for studies.  Please make sure you schedule your appointments accordingly.
  5. Researchers cannot reject your attendance for not matching the requirement of their studies, if they failed to clearly specify the requirement during the recruiting stage.
  6. Aside from unforeseeable circumstances, if you are unable to participate in a study at a chosen time, you must cancel your sessions through the Sona Systems at least 24 hours in advance.  If you fail to show up for a study without cancelling, you will be penalized by losing points from your final grade.  A maximum of 10% could be deducted.
  7. If you are feeling unwell and cannot participate in a study, please obtain a note from a physician, stating you are not fit to do so.  Please provide the doctor's note to the Subject Pool Coordinator via email [] with relevant details.
  8. If a Participant arrives on time, but the Researcher cannot start his / her experiment within 15 minutes, the Participant can file for a complaint against the corresponding Researcher with the the Subject Pool Coordinator via email [] with relevant details.  The case will be reviewed by the Research Comittee of the Department.  Should it is determined that the Researcher is at fault, the Participant can earn the points without paricipating.
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