Estimating your study's completion time

To avoid underpaying your participants, try to estimate your study completion time as accurately as possible by running a pilot study.

At Prolific, we believe in ethical rewards for participants, our minimum reward per hour is £5/$6.50 USD.

What is the best way to estimate completion time? 

  • Run a pilot study on Prolific, with the study set up exactly as it will be for the full sample.
  • Then, take into account how long people in the pilot study took to complete it.

Participants were underpaid! How do I fix this?

  • You need to award adjustment payments to any approved submissions, to increase the overall reward to meet the minimum reward per hour requirements.

What happens if my study falls below the minimum payment rate?

If your study is still active:

  • We’ll pause it, and contact you.
  • We’ll ask you to pay the appropriate adjustment payment amount to participants who have completed your study.

If your study is complete:

  • We’ll contact you, and ask you to pay the adjustment payment amount to participants who have completed your study.
  • If you need more participants for your study, mark the initial study as “complete”.
  • Then duplicate the initial study and increase the estimated completion time and reward.

- You'll need to add the ‘previous studies’ prescreener to your study to avoid participants taking both versions of the study

If there is no response to the message we send you within a reasonable amount of time:

  • Your account might be temporarily frozen.
  • If we receive a response indicating that appropriate steps have been taken to resolve the issue, we will reinstate the account.
Please note: Prolific uses the median to work out your study's average completion time, so that extreme completion times do not skew the data.
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