Research Support

Whether you plan to conduct a lab study using BRL facilities, an online study using the BRL participant pool, or an online study using a research panel or crowdsourcing platform, the BRL team is here to provide advisory, logistical, or technical support throughout your project.  Please email to schedule an introductory meeting and planning session with the BRL Coordinator.

Launching Your Study

  1. Schedule and attend introductory meeting and planning session — Topics for this meeting include research design; space, equipment, and software requirements; overall timeframe of the project; study duration; scheduling preferences; desired sample size; participant eligibility criteria; participant compensation amount and method; and research personnel. While you may not have finalized every detail of your study at this stage, we encourage you to think about each of the above topics before meeting with us.
  2. Obtain COUHES approval — You must obtain approval from COUHES (MIT’s institutional review board) and email a copy of the approval letter to the BRL Coordinator before starting your study. In addition, all individuals associated with your study must complete an online training course on human subjects research. For more information, please visit the “COUHES Approval” page of our website.
  3. Conduct pilot study — You are encouraged (but not required) to conduct a pilot study to test out your research methods, procedures, equipment, software, and so on. You may recruit pilot study participants from your circle of acquaintances.
  4. Add study to Sona — You will be given access to our research management platform, Sona, where you can add your study and make it available to all or some members of the BRL participant pool. To learn more about Sona’s features, please watch this video tutorial.
  5. Reserve time slots — We use Google Calendar to keep track of lab usage. If you plan to conduct your study at the BRL, we will send you a link to view (but not edit) the BRL Calendar. You may then check this calendar for available hours and email the BRL Coordinator to reserve time slots. When making reservations, please adhere to our scheduling policies, which are listed on the “Lab Policies” page of our website. Once we add your time slots to the BRL Calendar, you can make them available to participants on Sona. For online studies, researchers simply need to post a single time slot on Sona specifying the participation deadline as well as the maximum number of participants allowed.
  6. Recruit participants — To help you gather the participants you need, we will promote your study through various channels. 
  7. Begin research — At this point, you should be ready to formally begin your study. As your study progresses, we will continue to offer logistical support and advisory services so that you may complete your research project with ease.