Earning money while helping with academic research
Since retirement one of the most interesting ways I have found to supplement my pension is by helping with academic research.
I joined Prolific which is a website that links academics from around the world with participants willing to help complete online research studies. Many studies are on psychological topics but a variety of other subjects are covered. Surveys can take from a few minutes to an hour or sometimes more. You are told in advance how long a survey will take and what the fee will be. Payment is generally about £5.00 per hour and can be made via paypal or donated to charity. Unlike most survey sites you rarely get disqualified from a study . You don’t need a degree to join and participants from most countries are accepted on to their panel.
So far I have completed about 200 studies and earnt over £200.00
click here to find out more Prolific I get a small bonus for referring a researcher who wants to run a study.
Volunteering for local university research studies
Many universities also recruit volunteers directly for studies. I recently participated in a a study on dopamine and memory run by the University of Bristol. This was a very interesting experience which involved two overnight visits to the Bristol sleep clinic and an E.C.G., E.E.G. and an MRI scan. Luckily I was recruited as a healthy control. I enjoyed doing the memory tests and meeting the students. I also received very generous expenses and dinner and breakfast on the two nights I spent at the clinic.
Helping students is something I miss since giving up work and I feel it is a worthwhile use of my time. If you would like to give it a try, it is worth checking to see if your local university is looking for volunteers for studies. .
I was also invited to a tasting session for high protein biscuits. We spent
an enjoyable half an hour discussing such things as crispiness and crunch. We soon discovered that if you are developing a product to be used as a supplementary food for the elderly you need to assume that at least some of them will have false teeth.
Another study was on cicadian rhythm and memory. I had to wear a glucose monitor for four days and check my blood sugar regularly.
A Bristol company which recruits volunteers for focus groups and telephone interviews is People for research
I have not taken part in any project with them myself but I think they are reliable. Most focus groups take place in Bristol, London or another big city but they recruit people nationwide for phone interviews.