Behavioural Research Lab participants in computer lab

Conduct research

Our facilities and software are suitable for a wide range of studies.

Researchers can conduct a variety of studies including computer-based surveys, tasks or games and discussion-based experiments or focus groups.
Behavioural Research Lab - researcher and participants
Who can use the BRL?

The BRL is open for use by LSE staff, LSE PhD students and LSE Master's students at no charge, unless significant funding is being received. 

Unfortunately use of the BRL is not permitted for LSE undergraduate students. 

The use of our participant database and recruitment tools are not permitted for studies hosted outside the BRL.

External researchers or commercial organisations are not permitted to use the BRL facilities unless in collaboration with LSE staff.

What does it cost to use the BRL?

Researchers should budget for both the BRL’s hourly rate and participant payments when planning on running in the BRL. The BRL’s hourly rate is £170 for research supported by grants and participants are generally paid £5 for a 30 minute study or £10 for a 60 minute study. If you need a cash advance from a LSE account, please follow the instructions on the Cash Advance Form (PDF). Please be aware that this process can take up to two weeks. Please see the ‘Budgeting’ section below for further information. 

When is the BRL available?

The BRL is open from 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday. Lab studies should begin no earlier than 10.00am and finish by 5.00pm in order to allow enough time to set up and shut down the lab's facilities. We have several rooms, so depending on your needs you may be able to run a study at the same time as another researcher.

In the event of scheduling conflicts, consideration will given to research bringing funding to the BRL, Department of Management researchers, and those who have had prior use of the lab.

Please complete the BRL Booking Form to book time in the BRL and refer to the 'Making a booking and recruiting participants' section below for full information about this process.

Step-by-step guide to using the BRL

1. Preparing and designing your study

The BRL is a versatile space for researchers, so it can be used to conduct a wide range of behavioural studies. As our facilities include a large computer lab, 4 meeting rooms, and an observation room, researchers can use the space to conduct a variety of studies including computer-based surveys, tasks or games and discussion-based experiments or focus groups, for example.

For researchers that are new to conducting behavioural research, please refer to our recommended resources:

Please see the BRL’s facilities and software pages for information on the rooms, equipment and software available in the BRL.

The BRL doesn't offer programming or experimental design assistance, but should you require this service we recommend using our preferred partner Expilab Research. 

Expilab logo

Expilab specialises in the programming and design of behavioural experiments in social sciences, consumer research, and public policy-making. Expilab's research platform allows creation or replication any online environments from search engines, web-stores, showrooms, healthcare portals, social networks to fully-functional and realistic online gambling websites.

Their full-time, professional service and support will ensure your experiment is well-designed and enables you to make the most efficient use of your time.

To find out more about Expilab, please visit their website:

If you are a student working with an external organisation, you may also want to use our letter to contact organisations template (PDF).

2. Obtaining ethics approval

All studies taking place with the BRL (lab-based and online) must be approved by the BRL's research ethics approval procedure. Please refer to the BRL Research Ethics Handbook and complete the online ethics application form.

For projects with no significant ethical implications, your application for ethics approval will be reviewed within 1 week (during term time).

Please note that any project involving an element of deception, ethical implications beyond what the BRL Ethics Committee is able to approve, or vulnerable populations will need to be reviewed by the LSE Research Ethics Committee. Please see the Research Ethics Committee page for information on their decision-making timeframe.

When completing the BRL's online ethics application form, all researchers will be asked to submit a brief description of the participants and procedure that will be used in your study and to attach a copy of your participant information sheet, consent form, and debriefing sheet. For projects that may have ethical implications, researchers will be asked for additional details. Please see the online ethics application form for full details.

If you would like templates for the above forms, please see the appendices of the BRL Research Ethics Handbook.

3. Budgeting

Researchers should budget for both the BRL’s hourly rate and participant payments when planning on running in the BRL.

BRL Hourly Rate:

 LSE Staff

 £170 per hour (where applicable)

 LSE Students

 No charge (supervision required)

 External Organisations

 Not currently permitted

The LSE Research Division will be responsible for determining which projects should be charged. If there is a large lab study component in a research project then the Research Division will ensure lab time is properly budgeted at the application stage. Please contact the Research Development Team (of Research Division) at for information on budgeting lab time in your application.

Once a project has been determined to contain a lab study element, the Research Division will direct grant applicants to speak to the Behaviour Lab Projects Administrator so that a better understanding of required lab hours can be determined before formally submitting the funding application.  If the application is successful researchers can then make a lab booking based on these hours. If it is determined at any point that additional hours are required, the Lab Administrator will communicate this to the Research Division who will update the costs accordingly. At the end of the lab study the final hours used will be reported back to the Research Division who will determine the total lab charges which need to be paid from the grant.

These costs are only for lab time. They do not include other research-related costs such as materials and participant payments (see below).

The hourly charge does not apply to PhD or MSc students, and will not apply to lab time spent testing and setting up.

Participant Payments:

Generally, participants receive £5 for 30 minute and £10 for 60 minute studies. Some studies deviate from this (are longer or have variable payment), but it usually works out to be at least £10 per hour.

To withdraw funds from a LSE account, please use the BRL's Cash Advance Form (PDF) and allow up to two weeks to obtain the funds.

4. Making a booking and recruiting participants

After reviewing and completing steps 1 - 3 above, you are ready to make your booking in the BRL!

To do this, please complete the BRL Booking Form. This will give us more information on the study you intend run, ensures you provide us with the paperwork we need and enables you to make any specific requests. If Research Assistants are needed for your study, you’ll be asked for some additional details and we can advertise a post for you.

After submitting the BRL Booking Form, the Behaviour Lab Projects Administrator will create a researcher account for you and add your study in Sona (our participant sign-up system). You will then be able to review and edit your study.

Before conducting your sessions, you should arrange to test the software you'll be using for your study. Lab time can be arranged for this with the Behaviour Lab Projects Administrator.

Finally, once you are ready to recruit participants for your study, we can use Sona to invite participants to take part in your study. We maintain a large participant database of around 2,000 contacts who have expressed an interest in participating in paid research, consisting primarily of LSE students and staff, but also those from surrounding universities as well as members of the public. We are happy to recruit participants for BRL studies through our database provided each participant is paid as outlined above.


LSE Management LSEManagement

Mobile payments could help lift communities out of poverty, according to research conducted with the Department of……

2 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Management LSEManagement

An LSE Management alumna writes about missing home even while having some of the most impactful experiences of her……

10 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

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