How can one participate in paid online research studies and get paid for your brain, your health, and your opinions?
Well, you’re in the right place.
Today, let’s look at 35 different opportunities to get paid as a participant in research studies.
Types of Paid Online Research Studies
A medical study involves a group of people within an age group, gender, race, ethnic group, or individuals with the same specific health issues.
Participating in these studies often involves answering a combination of interviews, tests, surveys, or experimentation to be able to answer questions on how to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure health disorders and diseases.
Aside from paid medical studies, market research makes use of paid online research to find out what customers want or need from various products and companies.
The cool thing about paid online research studies available today is that even if you are not a part of the target audience, you can still participate in the study in another capacity.
Online research studies can be either quantitative or qualitative.
Quantitative studies are the ones with static, pre-planned answers. A questionnaire with multiple-choice answers is a good example of this study. It is made as such so that the researcher can easily analyze the results.
Qualitative studies are a bit more complex since they involve open-ended answers.
However, this type of study ends up with better data. Focus groups and interviews are both methods used in qualitative studies.
How Much Can You Earn from Paid Research Studies?
Imagine earning up to $1,000 just for sharing your opinion, review of a product, or thoughts about a particular experience without even stepping out of the house.
You don’t even have to spend a cent to participate in these research studies.
Most of the time, you’d only have to be at least 18 years old and currently live in the US.
Even when you’re below 18 years old, researchers sometimes allow you to participate as long as you had a waiver from your parent or legal guardian.
The amount you earn from joining research studies depend on the following:
- Method of research — Did you join a focus group? Answered a lengthy interview? Filled out a survey form?
- Length of study — Some interviews only take an hour and earn you $150. Some focus groups could take several sessions and end only after several weeks.
- Type of payment — Not all companies pay cash. Some use PayPal, while others prefer checks, gift cards, prepaid cards, and so on.
Quick surveys can be as little as $10 and high as $100.
Focus group sessions range between $50 and $500 per session.
Interviews can earn you somewhere from $50 to $400 for an hour of your time.
Simply put, the amount you’ll be paid will vary from study to study.
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35 Ways to Get Paid for Research Studies Online
The following universities have year-long research studies in a wide range of topics.
Earn from $10 to $40 an hour if you participate in one of the school’s online studies.
The studies change regularly and vary widely from topics such as phone usage, changes in thoughts and feelings, Artificial Intelligence, sleeping patterns, psychosis, aging, and even products like hearing aids.
Join Harvard’s Psychology Study Pool and earn from $10 to $25 an hour, paid via gift cards.
The online studies are available year-round for both Harvard students and guests.
If you’re at least 18 years old, can read and speak English, and have never joined any research studies at the Center for Behavioral and Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon, you can sign up for their paid online research studies.
Topics range from personal beliefs, attitudes, decision-making, human judgment, interpersonal perceptions, and group performance, among others.
You’ll earn $8 an hour, paid in gift cards. Each study takes anywhere from 5 and 20 minutes.
Paid participants are needed for in-person studies in labs on campus, but may sometimes be able to participate online on a home computer.
Note that only students are accepted (ID will be requested).
For participating in an online survey or study, you can earn $16 an hour, as long as you’re 18+ years old and have a PayPal or Amazon.com account to receive payments.
No need to be a student at Columbia Business School, but you need to register in the CDS Virtual Lab Online Panel.
There are in-person and paid online research studies available at MIT.
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Payment amounts vary from study to study, but participants usually earn $11 to $20 per hour for online studies.
Anyone aged 18 or older, residing in the United States, and proficient in spoken and written English can join the BRL participant pool.
Membership is open to all; you don’t need any association with MIT to participate. Other requirements may be needed for studies requiring specific respondents.
As long as you’re a current Smith student (and eligible for certain studies), you can get paid for research studies online here.
Make sure you create an account, sign up for the studies that you want to participate in, and get paid once you fulfill your role.
You can find a lot of paid online studies here.
Currently, they have studies on Parkinson’s disease (and other neurodegenerative diseases), flavored water, biosensors, mushroom nutrition, linguistics, cancer, and so on.
Participants are paid somewhere between $10 and $500.
What’s great about Purdue University is that the studies are varied and open to the public.
You’ll be paid up to $25 an hour for online research studies, but you’d have to be eligible and complete a prescreen form.
You also can’t participate in the same study more than once.
The behavioral lab has some paid online studies, if you’re interested in topics like consumer behavior, organizational behavior, judgment, and other similar topics.
Most studies here pay from $10 to $20 an hour.
They also have in-lab and in-person studies.
If you’re interested in human behavior and is willing to participate in online studies, try to join if you’re eligible.
These studies pay between $10 and $20 an hour.
The studies from Boston University’s Behavioral Lab is open to both BU students and the general public.
You need to create an account at the SONA System website to see available research studies.
Each of the studies have different eligibilities and payment.
This college holds a wide range of research studies revolving MRI research, human brain, behavior, and so on.
There are studies exclusively for seniors, and those that are for teens.
There are two ways to volunteer for these studies:
- Join the CB3 Research Participant Volunteer Registry (and wait for them to e-mail you)
- Pick the study and contact researchers directly.
Pay can go as high as $80 per study.
Topics vary widely, but they are related to psychology and human behavior.
You can earn up to $20 an hour for just filling out a form as a smoker’s first-hand experience during stressful situations.
This next one isn’t a university, but it’s a comprehensive resource if you plan to participate in numerous market research and other online studies.
Pay ranges from $25 to $200.
Eligibility requirements vary between studies.
Make sure to check details and never pay to join a focus group or study.
15. Brand Institute
Want to be at the forefront of the pharmaceutical industry?
Join consumer market research panel groups by signing up with Brand Institute.
It’s sort of like an interview since you are required to answer ten questions with a video.
In exchange for your thoughts, you’ll be paid $50.
Earn somewhere between $50 and $250 by participating in healthcare or consumer market research studies.
The company pays people for online, phone or group interviews about their clients’ products, services, ads, or other campaigns.
Payment goes as high as $400.
(Quick shoutout to my Alma Mater… We Are!)
… and they are seeking just about anyone who’s alive to participate in a research study. With over 200 current open studies, odds are, you’ll qualify for something they have available.
Keep an eye out for “Total Compensation” to see just what the study pays.
20. User Interviews
Get paid for your feedback on real projects.
Create an account by filling up a form and wait for project invitations if you’re eligible.
There are online and in-phone interviews available.
If you live anywhere near Yale campus, be sure to sign up for their newsletter as they frequently put out requests for both in person and paid online research studies.
You will be paid, in cash, at the completion of your study.
They also have a Facebook group that announces when new studies are available to participate in.
Georgetown’s Department of Psychology is regularly looking for both students and non-students alike to participate in studies.
Average pay will run you about $10 per hour, so it can be some nice change to pick up in your spare time.
Their research includes personality, memory, and impulse control tests to name a few.
UCLA offers both in-person and online research studies to check out.
They have a massive list of open opportunities for you to click through. The highest paying ones often need you to come into their offices for scans and interviews, but there are a lot of remote positions available too.
Web designers and developers working on websites and applications value the input of real-life users and are willing to pay for these users’ opinions and insights
You can get paid anywhere from €15 to €40 per hour and even up to €100 for special projects.
Payment is credited through Transferwise or PayPal.
Yet another survey site, American Consumer Opinion (ACOP) pays you for your answers to their survey questions.
You can even get paid up to $100 if you fit a certain demographic and able to participate in special projects.
Research studies on this site may not be constantly available, though. It’s best to check back frequently.
Recruit and Field is a market research company that hosts paid online research studies all around the US and even in international locations.
They look for participants from any gender and age for their studies, including professionals and medical professionals (doctor, nurse, lab technician).
They normally pay via PayPal but also offer Amazon or digital gift cards.
The pay ranges from $100 to $275 for phone interviews, online surveys, and sometimes in-home product testing.
27. Focus Group
Focus Group is an aptly named online community comprised of participants interested in sharing opinions and views on popular products and brands through in-person, telephone, or online surveys.
The pay ranges from $75 to $200, and specialized health studies may pay more.
28. 20|20 Panel
Since 1986, 20|20 Panel has been recruiting participants to share their opinion on various companies.
They specialize in qualitative market research, which is achieved via in-person or online roundtable discussions. You can get paid from $50 to $350 to participate in these discussions.
They also send out quick surveys for which you can get paid smaller amounts (from $1 to $10).
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a directory of all the paid research opportunities in the country?
FindFocusGroups is probably the closest one, as it lists more than 75,000 verified and legitimate focus groups in the country.
It’s quite simple to search by city and state, and check the information for details on whether the discussions are online or in-person.
It’s difficult to know how much the average payment would be, but upon browsing the first few studies on the homepage, they range from $50 to $300.
SIS International conducts focus group discussions in cities all over the US and globally and collects consumer feedback on anything from appliances, skincare products, gadgets, and just about anything.
Rates range from $25 to $200 for 2 to 3 hours of your time.
31. Apex Focus Group
Apex Focus Group connects regular people like you and me with researchers, who will pay for participants to join clinical research trials, phone interviews and focus groups.
As a participant at any Apex Focus Group study, you can be paid up to $750 a week.
Online and in-person studies are available.
If you live near New Jersey, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, or Minneapolis, you can participate in current Fieldwork research studies.
Most of the paid focus groups are face-to-face (but online are sometimes available).
Each study lasts about 1 or 2 hours. Participants earn between $75 and $100 for their time.
This company mostly looks for participants who have rare diseases and medical conditions. As such, only eligible people can benefit from the studies.
However, anyone who qualifies will receive $120/hour.
You can share your views via online surveys, clinical trials, or web-assisted phone interviews.
The federal government continually seeks individuals willing to participate in clinical trials testing different medications and treatments.
Studies are often conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
You can check out a list of ongoing clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov.
Unlike other paid online research studies on this list, DScout is an app you can download.
You need to register to become a “scout” and participate in research “missions,” which will earn you money after completion.
DScout studies are usually 1-on-1 interviews or video responses, so you’d have to be comfortable in front of the camera.
Missions pay from $50 to $100, each lasting about 30 minutes.
Can I turn these Paid Online Research Studies into a Full-Time Job?
While paid online studies are highly interesting and offer legitimate side cash, this gig cannot replicate the steady income and benefits you can get with a full-time job.
You’d have to consider that many research studies:
- have eligibility requirements (which means you’re not guaranteed a slot every time)
- cannot be joined twice (once you’ve participated in a specific study, you can’t do a repeat)
- have varying payments (there’s no stability in such income)
I do think it’s a legitimate side gig if you’re in between jobs or have a lot of free time on your hands.