Behavioural Research Lab participants in computer lab

Frequently asked questions

For researchers and participants.

If your particular question is not addressed below or elsewhere on the site then please do get in touch with the Behavioural Research Lab Administrator (

About the LSE Behavioural Research Lab

What does the BRL do?

The Behavioural Research Lab is a purpose-built facility set up by the LSE Department of Management for the use of researchers examining behaviour in organisations. This can be in fields as diverse as team dynamics, leadership, decision making, creativity, consumer choice, incentives, and behavioural game theory.

The main room is a computer lab with 20 PCs. This is intended for research that involves computer-based studies.

There are also four small discussion rooms which are designed for research involving group interactions.


Where is the BRL?

The BRL is located on the Lower Ground Floor of Clement House, 99-101 Aldwych, London WC2B 4JF.

Upon entering Clement House, go through the doors immediately to your right (before the sliding glass doors) and down the stairs. Go all the way to the bottom, through the double doors and through the next set of double doors on your right. The entrance to the lab is on your right.

There is a map on our Find us page.

Frequently asked questions for researchers

Who can carry out research at the BRL?

All LSE faculty members are welcome to conduct studies in the lab with priority given to Department of Management faculty. MSc and PhD students are also permitted to use the lab facilities under guidance from a supervisor. External researchers and organisations from outside LSE are not currently permitted to use the BRL, nor undergraduate students.

How much does the lab cost?

The cost of running a study in the lab is £170 an hour for LSE staff, where applicable. There is no charge for students. Please see the Costs section on our Conducting Research page for more information.

What type of studies can I run?

You can find out more about our services and facilities by visiting the our facilities page.

How do I receive guidance regarding setting up a new study?

Our full-time Lab Administrator is happy to offer assistance and guidance to any researcher interested in running a study in the lab. The Administrator can advise regarding the logistics and practicalities of running a study but does not have expertise on experimental design. For guidance on designing behavioural experiments, please refer to our recommended reading list.

The Lab Administrator can be reached at If you would like to meet in person, please book an appointment in advance in order to avoid disturbing studies running in the lab.

How do I attract participants?

We have an active database of around 2000 participants. Once your study has been set up in the participant sign-up system, timeslots created and approved by the Lab Administrator, an email will be sent advertising your study and participants will be free to sign up for an available timeslot. Typically, timeslots will fill up within an hour.

How much will I have to pay participants?

Participants must be paid a minimum of £5 for up to 30 minutes, and £10 for up to an hour, in either cash. If you are planning an incentive-based study, an alternative payment structure is permitted providing there is a similar level of incentive for participants.

How do I organise participant payments?

If you would like to withdraw cash from a research account you must complete a Cash Advance Form. This must be completed and signed by an authorised party, and then passed to LSE Finance at least 14 days before the start of your study for processing. You will then be contacted by Finance when the cash advance is ready. In some circumstances your request may be passed to Accounts Payable who will issue you a cheque which can be cashed at the NatWest Bank.

Payments will be given to participants once they have completed their participation and signed a payment receipts form.

If you have a study that includes extra financial incentives, you are responsible for keeping track of how much each person should be paid, and making sure you have the right amount of money to pay them. The BRL has no cash reserves.

What kind of participants can I expect?

Based on statistics gathered in early 2012, our participants are 69% LSE affiliated, 89% from Higher Education generally, 62% female, with 40% being 18-21 years old, 49% being 22-29 years old, with 35% originating from the UK/Ireland, 31% originating from Asia/Pacific and 19% from the rest of Europe.

We can set up pre-screen filters if you are looking for a particular demographic in your study. Our filters currently ask the following information:

  • Affiliation (university)
  • Status (undergrad student, postgrad student, etc)
  • Year of graduation
  • Length of time in the UK
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Region of origin
  • Number of external lab studies participated in

How can I find a research assistant?

If you do not have access to research assistants, we can give you access to our list of interested volunteer occasional research assistants (VORAs) along with their CVs. There is a section on this on the booking form. If you are interested in contracting a paid Research Assistant, please contact us.

If you recruit your own research assistants, please note that they should arrive in the lab 10 minutes before you need them to start helping you prepare. This will ensure the Lab Administrator has adequate time to give them a brief training session regarding the participant process from greeting participants to paying and debriefing them.

Do you offer any IT/programming assistance?

The Lab Administrator can help with general IT issues, as well as advising on available software applications in the lab.

The BRL does not currently offer any programming or experimental design assistance, but should you require this service we recommend using our preferred partners Expilab Research. Please see our Software and Equipment page for more information.

Will I receive any support on the day of my study?

The Lab Administrator will be present at the beginning and end of your study to ensure everything is set up correctly. The administrator will often be present for most of the rest of your study if you have any questions, but may be away on occasions.

Please note that the Lab Administrator is there to facilitate your study, but not to assist in running it. Please ensure you have an appropriate number of research assistants to effectively manage your study, welcome and sign in participants at the beginning of each timeslot, and to debrief and pay them at the end.

How do I know when the lab is available?

The lab is open on Mondays-Fridays between 9.30am and 5.30am and all lab sessions should run between 9am and 5pm. To check the lab's availability, please see the BRL's availability calendar.

The calendar is also included in the booking form.

How do I book lab space?

You can book space at the lab by using our BRL booking form. You will be asked for information about yourself and your research, and will request proof of research ethics approval and a budget code to cover the refundable deposit.

How do I get research ethics approval?

All research in the BRL needs to have approval from the LSE Research Ethics Committee. Information on this can be found on the research ethics, policy, procedures and guidance website.

If you complete the checklist in Part I of Annex B and answer 'no' for each question, proceed to Part II and complete the Self-Certification section. Please upload a copy of the checklist onto our booking form for our records.

If some of your answers in Part I are 'yes' but you already have ethical approval for this study from a recognised external institution, your study will also be automatically approved provided you submit a copy of the external approval. Please upload the external approval letter onto our booking form for our records.

If some of your answers in Part I are ‘yes’ and you do not have ethical approval from any other institution, then you may need to submit your study to the LSE Research Ethics Committee. Please upload a copy of the checklist onto our booking form and the Lab Administrator will contact you.

How do I find out more about carrying out behavioural research?

Please see the approved reading list, which provides a set of references that cover conducting experimental behavioural research.


Frequently asked questions for participants

What is behavioural research?

Behavioural research is the analysis and investigation of human behaviour through observation and scientific experimentation. Studies are conducted in fields as diverse as team dynamics, leadership, decision making, creativity, consumer choice, incentives, and behavioural game theory. To carry out these studies, researchers recruit students or members of the general public to participate in computer exercises, surveys, or group activities.

The field of psychology has long relied on laboratory research and, as management scholars explore the psychological aspects of organisational behaviour and decision making, they have begun to see the advantages of using laboratory methods. With its researcher-controlled environment, lab research is an important complement to field research.

How much will I be paid?

You will usually be paid £5 for any studies last up to 30 minutes, and £10 for studies that last up to an hour. On occasion, a study may involve an additional financial reward or prize draw, which you will be notified of when the study is advertised.

What will I be expected to do?

This depends on the study being carried out. Tasks could involve completing an online survey, being asked for your opinion, taking part in a group activity or playing a computer-based game. The study description should give more information on what is expected when you log into the Sona participant sign-up system.

How do I sign up for a new study?

If you have not yet registered on our sign-up system you can do this here. Once on the login screen, click on the 'Request Account' link on the right. Complete the information requested to complete the registration.

Once you are registered as a participant you will be eligible to receive invitation emails to take part in any study for which you meet the criteria set by the researcher.

When you log into the system you will be able to see and sign up for any studies which still have free time slots. Please note that available timeslots fill up very quickly.

I have been notified about an upcoming study, but when I log in there are no timeslots available.

The available timeslots for this study may have all been taken. With a participant database of several thousand people, the timeslots often fill up in a matter of minutes.

Some studies have eligibility criteria such as age, gender, or type of student. The system will not show studies for which you do not meet the criteria.

What if I am late?

Many of our studies are reliant on participants being on time. In cases where a group is required to work together the study may be delayed or even cancelled if one person is not present. Some studies only have short timeslots and it may not be possible to fit in a participant who is not available at their allotted time.

If you do find yourself running late, please let us know by emailing us at or by calling the BRL reception on 020 7955 6059.

What if I am no longer able to attend a study which I have signed up for?

Please notify us that you cannot attend as soon as possible. Not only will it give someone else the chance to sign up, but it also ensures the researcher has enough participants to effectively run the study.

You can cancel your place using the sign-up system (if more than 24 hours before the start of your slot), or if you are having trouble you can email us at

Please note that if you do not show up and have given no notice, you will automatically be marked as an 'unexcused no-show' by the system. This will prevent you from taking part in any further studies.

What do I do when I arrive at the BRL?

Please report to reception, which is on the left-hand side of the lab as you enter. When you sign up for a slot you will have been emailed a unique ID number which will be used to identify you during the study. You will be asked for this number to mark your attendance. While waiting for the study to begin you can sit in the reception area, or if it is particularly busy the lab administrator may direct you to an alternative waiting area.

When ready the researcher will then give you a quick briefing and take you into the lab to conduct the study. Please turn your phone off before entering the main lab.

When will I be paid?

If the study is being held in the lab, you can collect your payment from the researcher at the end of the study. You will be required to sign a receipt to confirm you have received your payment.

If a study is being run online, you will be informed how you will be paid. This could be in the form of Amazon vouchers or by Paypal, for example.

How can I find out more about the study I've taken part in?

If you would like more information about a study you have participated in, please contact the primary researcher. Their email address will be on your study confirmation email and also the study information page on Sona. Please note that queries to researchers should only relate to the research. Questions about study times, payment, or other general matters should be directed to the Lab Administrator at


How can I get involved in research at the BRL?

In addition to taking part as a participant, we occasionally recruit Volunteer Research Assistants (VORAs). If you are an LSE student and would like your name to be added to our list please send a copy of your CV to, together with a description of any relevant experience, and any skills you have such as programming, literature review, research, statistical, or even acting. We also need to know which department you are based in, and your availability.

Once we have this information, we can pass your details onto any researchers looking for research assistants for upcoming studies. They will then get in touch with you directly if they feel you might be suitable for their study.

Our researchers come from different parts of LSE and cover different academic areas, and usually bring along their own research assistants. If you want to assist in conducting research in lab, it may be more effective to identify faculty members working in your chosen field of interest and approach them directly to offer your services.

 The BRL does not recruit paid staff.


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Contact us


BRL team: +44 (0) 20 7955 6059


BRL team:


LSE Behavioural Research Lab, Lower Ground Floor, Clement House, 99-101 Aldwych, London WC2B 4JF