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Study cost

Getting started

To create a new study on Prolific, login to your account and select new study from the side menu of your account

What you'll see:


How many participants are you looking to recruit?

Here you can state how many participants you wish to complete your study. Please note that for a representative sample study this number must be between 300 to 1500 participants. For other study types, you can recruit as many participants as you wish!

Data collection for your study will continue until it has reached this maximum number of complete submissions. You can only ever have this number of submissions active, awaiting review or approved at any one time, but returned, timed out, and rejected submissions are excluded from this total. You can read more about this here: Submission statuses explained.

You can increase the number of places on your study after launching it, so feel free to launch to a small number of participants at first and then add more places when you're sure that everything is working smoothly. Please see How do I run a pilot study? for further advice.

How long will your study take to complete?

Here you can provide an estimated completion time for your study. Your estimated reward per hour is based on this time, so it's very important to estimate this accurately and in good faith to avoid misleading participants or causing your study to fall below our minimum payment rate.

If you're not sure how long it will take to complete your study on average, try testing it on some of your friends / colleagues, or run a small pilot study on Prolific before recruiting your full sample!

The estimated completion time must written as a whole minute (e.g. 5 or 6 minutes, not 5.5).

Please note that if you underestimate the completion time for your study, you may be asked to provide additional payment to participants. You can read more about this here: How do I resolve underpaying studies?

Maximum allowed time

Prolific also sets a maximum allowed time for your study. This can be seen to the right of your study's estimated completion time and is set automatically based on your study's estimated completion time. It is designed to give all participants plenty of time to complete your study successfully.

Please note that participants who go over this time and are inactive may become timed out on Prolific and replaced by another participant. Participants who go over this time can still complete your study if they are still active. More information about this can be found here.

How much do you want to pay them?

Prolific strongly endorses the principle of ethical rewards. That is, researchers must reward participants with at least £5.00 or $6.50 per hour, although we recommend you pay participants at least £7.50 / $9.60 per hour. You can read more about this here: Prolific's payment principles.

Here you can state how much you will pay participants for completing your study. Base rewards are fixed at the amount you set, so all participants will receive the same amount regardless of their completion time.

Please note that you can increase payment to participants (e.g. if your study becomes underpaying, or you wish to offer bonus payments), but this figure cannot be reduced once the study is launched.

There is further guidance on participant payments here: Paying participants.

Hourly rate

Here you can see the reward per hour rate for your study, based upon your estimated completion time and participant payment amount.

Show cost breakdown

You can select the toggle here to see a breakdown of the total study cost. This will show how the total cost is split between participant payments, service fees and VAT (if applicable).

 Next step: saving your study

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