Policies and Procedures

Department of Psychology Subject Recruitment Policies and Procedures

These policies and procedures apply to the recruitment of research subjects through the Department of Psychology at Drexel University from amongst the student body, our electronic presences, our laboratories, or lecture halls. Research protocols that have not been fully approved by the Drexel Institutional Review Board are not eligible for recruiting participants from Psychology Department courses. Approval to recruit does not convey any endorsement on the part of the Department of Psychology.

General Policies and Procedures


All research conducted in the Department of Psychology at Drexel University in courses or through e-learning, the web or other access vehicles involving our students, faculty, or staff requires adherence to the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the full approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Drexel University.

Instructor Discretion

All recruitment from Psychology courses is at the exclusive convenience of the Course Instructors in all respects which includes any requirements that may be set for: extra credit, record keeping, scheduling or any other condition which they, or these policies and procedures, may require. Instructors or Section TA's who are also Principle Investigators (PI) on a research project cannot recruit participants for this project from their own classes.

Required Departmental Approvals

All recruiting requires the documented approval of the Course Instructor and the Director for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Psychology. An information sheet containing project information and approvals must be on file in the Undergraduate Office. Approvals are not automatic, especially if the instructor of the course is an adjunct, auxiliary, or untenured faculty member. In the absence of any specific rationale to the contrary, recruiting will be preferentially directed to sections of Psychology 101 (see below).

Extra Credit

The protocol and Course Instructor may approve the awarding of extra credit for research participation. Department policies and procedures require this to be uniformly awarded across all sections in the Department under the following rates and conditions. Each half-hour of participation may earn 1 extra credit percentage point over the entire course. The maximum extra credit that may be earned is 4 percentage points. Research that requires more than two hours of participation shall only offer the maximum of 4 extra credit percentage points. Extended research across terms may offer up to 4 credits per term. If students have the opportunity to earn extra credit for participating in a research study, the Course Instructor must offer an alternative way of earning a comparable amount of extra credit that does not involve participating in research. Protocols may offer payment or other approved remuneration or other non-course related incentives in addition to extra credit. Credit for participation shall be recorded in full at the time a subject shows up. Normally a control slip will be presented at that time to the participant for the Course Instructor's records. In addition all research protocols offering extra credit must return a complete student/credit list to the Course Instructor by the final week of classes in that term. Extra credit cannot elevate a grade above 100%.


A PI who is also a Course Instructor or TA cannot recruit research participants from their own course. Classroom recruitment must consist of a presentation by the PI or a member of the research team, and include a handout with approved contact information, schedules, and research details. Neither the Psychology Department nor the Course Instructor are permitted to assume any responsibility for scheduling, directions, or any other form of subject contact.

Access by Extra-Departmental Researchers

The Department of Psychology provides research experiences for its students primarily as a pedagogical opportunity and not as a pool for general research. As such, research protocols that are primarily psychological in nature and that involve psychological research are afforded preference. Extra-departmental researchers with an approved Drexel University IRB protocol may petition the Undergraduate Director for permission to approach a Course Instructor with a research proposal.

Adjudication and Appeals

Students who are not able to resolve disagreements regarding extra credit or research participation at the Instructor level may appeal to the Undergraduate Director as is normally provided by usual academic procedures.
If Departmental permission for an apparently otherwise complete protocol is withheld by the Undergraduate Director, an appeal may be made to the Head of Department, or in the case of a conflict of interest, to the Director of the Doctoral Training Program. Under no circumstances is there an appeal to overturn the decision of an individual Course Instructor not to allow recruiting of participants from his or her own course.

Psychology 101

The Department of Psychology Subject Recruitment Policies and Procedures are to be included in documentation made available to all sections of PSY 101, 111, and 112.

Research Extra Credit Policy for General and Pre-Professional Psychology

As an important means for understanding and experiencing ethical psychological research, students in the General Psychology course (PSY101) or the Pre-Professional courses (PSY 111 and PSY 112) may be provided with the opportunity to voluntarily participate in formal research projects outside of the classroom. This experience affords students the potential for insight into human behavior and an appreciation of the research methodologies and techniques used in the social and behavioral sciences.
Only research protocols that have been reviewed by the appropriate IRB will be approved. The ONLY way you will be initially contacted is in class. Since opportunities may vary from term to term, participation will be awarded "extra credit" only and will generally be available equally across all participating sections. Equivalent extra credit can be earned without the necessity of participating in research through involvement in extra credit as specified by the Course Instructor. Up to 4% of the course grade can be derived from extra credit for participation in research experiments or alternatives. The total value of credit earned cannot allow the course grade to exceed 100%.

Approved by Psychology Department Faculty Meeting 3/13/96, Revised 9/21/98, 12/5/05