ISPR Student Pool

Child undergoing an electroencephalogram
What is the ISPR?

The School of Psychology runs a research participation program designed for students enrolled in introductory courses that examine human behaviour and cognition, the ISPR Student Pool. The goal of this program is to encourage students to get involved in research projects and is designed to benefit both the students and the researchers. Participation in research is valuable in helping students to understand the research process, and in relating this first-hand experience to the topics covered in participating courses. A great deal of knowledge of psychology and related fields is based on research involving human participants, and such research is possible only when there are people willing to participate.

The Integrated System of Participation in Research procedures were developed in compliance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Research with Humans. The procedures have been reviewed by the University of Ottawa Research Ethics Board. 

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Rules, Rights and Responsibilities

Rules and Regulations

What Is Involved and How to Participate

    1. ISPR participation is a mandatory component of several participating introductory courses.
    2. You can earn four percent of your course grade based on a total of four participation points by participating in research studies, and/or by viewing films of research methods in human behaviour. “One point” refers to the equivalent of one hour research participation or one hour of viewing a film and answering a short questionnaire, and this is worth one percent of your course grade.
    3. You cannot earn more than four percent of your course grade by viewing films and/or participating in research.

All research participation/film viewing sign up will be administered online through the School of Psychology's Integrated System of Participation in Research (ISPR) online portal.

Students enrolled in a participating course will use the ISPR system to search for current studies, read their descriptions, and ultimately sign up to participate in studies that interest them. The system tracks the progress of the students and informs them of the number of points earned, dates and times of sessions, and keeps them up to date on new events.

Signing Up

If you wish to participate in a laboratory study, you must sign up for that study before 6:30 PM the day before the day the study is taking place (i.e. if you want to sign up for an experiment on Wednesday, you must sign up for it before Tuesday, 6:30 PM). For most online studies, you may sign up and participate at any time during the semester.

Cancelling an Appointment

The deadline for cancelling an appointment is 6:30 PM on the day before your appointment (i.e. if your appointment is on a Tuesday, you have until Monday, 6:30 PM to cancel it). If you miss an appointment or need to cancel it due to extenuating circumstances, you must contact the system administrator (

You should have access to the contact information in the ISPR portal for the experimenter conducting the study you are participating in, and you may also contact him/her directly.

Missed Appointment Penalty

The penalty for missing an appointment is that 1 participation point will be deducted from the total of points you have accumulated so far. This does not reduce the total number of points you can obtain by participating in studies. For example, if you miss one appointment without warning the researcher, you would have to do an extra study to get your maximum amount of points. This penalty is applied because a missed appointment directly costs time and resources to a researcher who depends on your input for their research.


Although most of the studies are worth one point each, some studies may have other values. This will be the case when the participation in one study requires more (or significantly less) than 60 minutes, or when your participation will be required a second time. The number of points allocated to each study is displayed with its description.

Alternative to Research Participation

The alternative to signing up for research studies is to view films presenting various topics related to human behaviour and research methods. These films are determined in advance by the administrators of the ISPR and are presented on a regular basis during the latter part of each semester. Each film and post-questionnaire is worth 1 point and lasts approximately one hour. These film sessions will appear in the same location as studies in the ISPR online system. 

Rights and Responsibilities of Research Participants

As a Research Participant, you have the right to:

  • Know who is doing the research, and the title of the research.
  • Have the purpose, procedures and duration of the research explained to you.
  • Be told of the risks and benefits associated with the research.
  • Be assured of confidentiality and told how it will be kept.
  • Know of any compensation, and alternatives for points.
  • Have your questions answered.
  • Be reminded of the voluntary nature of the research.
  • Omit the answer to any question or withdraw from the research and still receive points for your participation.
  • Know when and how you can see a description of the findings of the research.

If you choose to participate in research, your responsibilities include:

  • Showing up for appointments on time. If you sign up for an experiment, please show up at the designated time. If you cannot participate, please cancel your appointment within the allowable time limit. Failure to show up for your appointment without any notification may result in a point penalty.
  • Listening carefully during the informed consent and instructions and asking questions if you have any at all.
  • Respecting any request by the researcher to avoid discussing the research with others until all of the data have been collected.

Any questions or comments you might have about your rights as a research participant may be addressed to Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research, 550 Cumberland St., Room 160, (613) 562-5387 or by email at

Student orientation video to the ISPR
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