Participant Pool

Participant Recruitment

One of the most valuable resources the BRL offers is an active, readily accessible pool of participants from whom behavioral researchers can collect data. The BRL participant pool, open to both MIT and non-MIT individuals, currently consists of over 10,000 members.

To join the participant pool, one must be at least 18 years of age, live in the United States, and can understand spoken and written English without difficulty. Individuals who meet these requirements are given permission to create an account on Sona, which is an online platform researchers can use to post studies, manage participants, and perform other research administration tasks.

We aim to help you meet your participant recruitment targets smoothly and efficiently. Once you express interest in conducting a study through the BRL, we will set up a planning session with you to discuss subject matters pertaining to data collection, such as desired sample size, participant eligibility criteria, and the timeframe of your research project. Then, we will promote your study to prospective participants through some of the following channels:

Email — Sending email blasts to eligible participants via Sona.
Flyer — Putting up flyers around MIT and at various off-campus locations.
Social media — Creating posts and advertisements on social media.
Digital signage — Displaying recruitment information through MIT’s digital signage system.
Website — Featuring your study on the BRL website.
Face-to-face recruitment — Reserving promotional booths on campus, making announcements in classes, etc.

While the above recruitment methods have proven to be effective for most studies, we can certainly work with you to develop other promotional strategies if the need arises.

Participant Demographics

Members of the BRL participant pool are required to complete a prescreen survey containing basic demographic questions the first time they log into Sona. The following charts were generated from the data collected through this prescreen survey. We will update the charts periodically to ensure that accurate figures are presented.

Live in Greater Boston Area?



U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident?

Country of Birth

Native Language

Employment Status

Student Status

University Affiliation (of Current Students)