The INSPIRE laboratory, in collaboration with the University of Ottawa, runs a research participation program called the Integrated System of Participation in Research (ISPR) Student Pool.

The ISPR Student Pool is designed for students enrolled in introductory courses that examine human behaviour and cognition. 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 in 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 ISPR 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.   

Ethics and confidentiality are very important to us and discussed further on the Ethics page.  

Rules and regulations 

What Is Involved and How to Participate  

  1. ISPR participation is a mandatory component of several participating introductory courses such as PSY, LIN, ADM, CMN first and second level courses.  

  2. Students can earn four percent of their course grade participating in research studies, and/or by viewing films on research methods in human behaviour. “0.5 points” refers to the equivalent of a study that is less than 30 minutes. “One point” refers to the equivalent of one hour of research participation or one hour of viewing a film and answering a short questionnaire. One point is worth one percent of a course grade.  
  3. Students cannot earn more than four percent of their course grade by viewing films and/or participating in research.  

All research participation sign up will be administered online through the School of Psychology's Integrated System of Participation in Research (ISPR) online portal. For those who do not wish to participate in research studies and prefer obtaining their points through viewing films and answering related questionnaires, please email us.  

Students enrolled in a participating course can 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 

Students who wish to participate in an in-person laboratory study*, must sign up the day before the study is scheduled to take place (e.g., if you want to participate in an experiment on a Wednesday, you generally have to sign up for it the day before on Tuesday). For most online studies, students may sign up and participate at any time before the closure of ISPR that given semester. Students must make sure to have the correct course code linked to their ISPR account otherwise they may not receive their points at the end of the semester.    

To check the deadline to complete ISPR requirements, please refer to the right panel of the ISPR login page.  

Cancelling an appointment 

If a student misses an appointment or needs to cancel it due to extenuating circumstances, they must contact the system administrator and the researcher conducting the study. The researcher’s contact information is provided on the ISPR portal within the study description.

Missed appointment penalty 

If an appointment is missed, 1 participation point will be deducted from the total of points students have accumulated so far. This does not reduce the total number of points students can obtain by participating in studies. For example, if a student misses one appointment and does not warn the researcher ahead of time, the student will have to complete an extra study to get their maximum amount of points. This penalty is applied because a missed appointment directly costs time and resources to a researcher who depends on students’ input for their research. 


Students can earn 4% of their course grade participating in research studies, and/or by viewing films on research methods in human behaviour. One point is worth one percent of a course grade.   

To receive points, students will be required to select a study among the available studies on the ISPR portal and sign up to participate. There are a wide variety of studies which include surveys, zoom calls with the researcher, and in-person studies. It all depends on the student’s interests! We recommend that students take their time and read the descriptions for each study, as some may be more interesting to a student than others. We also suggest students check the portal regularly as research studies get added throughout the semester and can sometimes fill quickly!    

Students must ensure that they are signed up for the study in which they are participating within the ISPR system, and that they are not simply completing it by clicking on the survey link! If a student is not properly signed up for the study, the researcher will not be able to give the student their point.     

When selecting a study, the points associated with each study will be shown (Please see below the ISPR Point System). Once a student has finished a study, the researcher will award their point. While some studies are set up to automatically grant points after students have completed them, other studies require that the researcher manually grant points. Thus, it may take up to a few days for students to receive their points after completing a study.     

Students can do as many studies as they would like to get their points (e.g., for four points, you can participate in 8 studies worth 0.5 points, 4 studies worth 1 point, 2 studies worth 2 points etc.). Please note, even if a student obtains more than 4 points (e.g., 4.5 or 5), they will still only receive 4% towards their course mark. 

ISPR Point System

Study TypeLength of StudyPoints Allocated
in-person or online meeting*up to 60 minutes1 point
in-person or online meeting*61 to 90 minutes1.5 points
in-person or online meeting*91 to 120 minutes2 points
in-person or online meeting*over 120 minutesconsult with the INSPIRE Team
online surveysup to 29 minutes0.5 points
online surveys30 to 60 minutes1 point
online surveysover 60 minutesconsult with the INSPIRE Team
multi-part studies irrespective of modality (in-person, online meeting or online survey)any lengthconsult with the INSPIRE Team

*online meetings are a type of study that takes place over Zoom with the researcher and participant.

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. If a student does not wish to participate in research studies and are interested in obtaining your ISPR points through these film alternatives, please email the team. The films are sent to the student by email and cannot be found through the ISPR portal.  

It is recommended to let the ISPR Team know early in the semester that you would like to participate in the research alternative as the deadline is typically 1 week prior to the ISPR deadline