Researchers at The University of Alabama seek volunteers to participate in studies. Brief descriptions of active projects in need of volunteers are provided along with contact information.

Note to researchers: Only projects approved by the UA Institutional Review Board are eligible for inclusion on this page. All projects submitted by students will be sent to the faculty adviser for approval. When a new project is added, a link to this page may be included in the email newsletter, Inside UA, distributed to the campus community. For consideration, please use the Submit News form and note the purpose in the description.


Researchers with the Center for Youth Development and Intervention at The University of Alabama are conducting several research studies seeking child, teen and young adult participants. They include:

Teens, young adults with autism spectrum disorder needed for trial

In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, researchers at the UA Center for Youth Development and Intervention are interested in learning whether a new program helps teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders manage emotions. Participants need to be between the ages of 12-21, and, along with ASD, have an IQ above 75. Participants are randomly assigned to one of two therapy programs. Participation involves individual sessions and online resources, and there is payment for assessments. For more information, contact or 205-348-3535.

Children with autism diagnosis wanted for online counseling study

Children ages 8 through 12 with a diagnosis of autism can participate in a study of the appropriateness and effectiveness of an online, psychological group counseling program. Children will be randomly assigned to take part in the program or to a waitlist group. Those on the waitlist can choose to participate in the program after a waiting period ends. Called Social Motivation Intervention Leveraging E-learning, or SMILE, the program is designed to help children with autism show more interest in making friends and interacting with other children. SMILE will take 2-3 months and includes group counseling sessions with six to eight children twice per week for up to four weeks for six total group sessions. A trained clinician will lead these sessions over ZOOM. A licensed psychologist will supervise the clinician. Caregivers will also take part in online group sessions with other parents over ZOOM. These sessions will also be led by a trained clinician. Each child may earn up to $45 for completing a study assessment before and two after participating. For more information, contact Grace Lee Simmons at 205-348-6551 or

Clinical trial for children 6-11 with low empathy/concern

One study evaluates a new computerized treatment for children ages 6-11 with certain difficulties, including low empathy or concern for others, which are difficulties that can put them at risk for developing behavioral problems. The therapy is called FAST: Facial Affect Sensitivity Training for Young Children. Participants will be randomized to either receive therapy or placed in a no-treatment control group. The program is free. Families will be paid up to $300 for finishing the study in either group. Children will earn small toys and a total of $40. For more information, contact coordinator Kalyn Prothro at or 205-348-2472.

Trial for managing emotions for teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, researchers are interested in learning whether a new program helps teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders manage emotions. Participants need to be between the ages of 12-21, and, along with ASD, have an IQ above 75. Participants are randomly assigned to one of two therapy programs. Participation involves individual sessions and online resources, and there is payment for assessments. For more information, contact or 205-348-3535.

All ages sought for studies of the brain

The Brain Research Across Development, or B-RAD Lab, seeks participants of all ages to help researchers learn about how the brain grows. The research uses electroencephalography, which is a wet cap, eye tracking and computer games. There will also be some table-top tasks in some studies. Researchers need adults, adolescents ages 10-17, adolescents ages 11, 12 or 13, and people of all ages with a neurodevelopmental disorder such as autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety disorder. Participants will be compensated $20-$50 upon completion of the study. Contact the lab at, 205-348-4201 or fill out an online form at


The UA Department of Psychology needs participants ages 7 to 13 who are strong readers as part of a reading comprehension study. The study involves between 3-4 hours of testing, similar to school work, and a 60-minute fMRI scan. Children with ADHD cannot participate. Participants can be compensated up to $125 for the first scan and tests and an additional $125 for the follow-up scan and tests 11-16 weeks later. To participate or learn more about the study, visit its website or contact 205-202-0616 or


Participants are needed for a research study from the UA Department of Psychology. Those eligible will wear a blood pressure cuff while completing brief, anonymous questionnaires that assess social interactions, stress and blood pressure on a cell phone for four days. An initial, hour-long visit with researchers is required. Participants will receive $100 for completing the study. Participants must be aged 35-70. People are not eligible if they have Stage 2 hypertension or a resting blood pressure greater 160/100 mmHg, frequent illicit drug use, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, permanent neurological deficit, shift work schedule, or current pregnancy. To find out if you’re eligible and let us know you’re interested please go to: more information, contact or 205-578-8542.


To learn more about the sleep health of high school students, researchers in the UA Department of Psychology seek participants aged 14-17 along with their families for the Teen Sleep Health Study. This study can be completed via mail or online from a smartphone, tablet or computer. Adolescents who complete both parts of the study can receive up to $63, and their parent can receive up to $48. Those interested in participating and learning more can email the researchers at as well as call or text at 205-523-5520.


The Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research seeks volunteers in Tuscaloosa County to take part in a study on severe weather events. Trained UA students will remotely conduct interviews of participants before, during and after severe weather events during the 2022 spring severe weather season. The researchers will contact participants as forecasts of severe weather becomes available. As a participant, you will be able to share your experiences with these severe weather events and the weather warning process and learn more about being prepared for severe weather. The information will be reported to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Severe Storms Laboratory to improve distribution and communication of tornado warnings as well as publication of findings in academic journals and books. To volunteer, or to get more information, contact Dr. Laura Myers at 205-348-5714 or


Adult African American couples married or living together for at least six months are needed to participate in an online study. Each partner will complete an online survey that take no longer than an hour, which will assess experiences of discrimination, general sleep habits, perceived social support, stress and mood. Additionally, the survey will assess COVID-19 symptoms, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Each participant can be compensated up to $20. Couples must share a bed at least four nights weekly and not be pregnant. Survey responses are not linked to identifying information. To be considered, fill out the online screen. For more information, email


Faculty from the Capstone College of Nursing and the College of Community Health Sciences seek participants to complete two brief surveys about risk for kidney disease and knowledge about kidney disease. Participants will be asked permission to provide the most recent blood chemistry from their health provider. To be eligible, participants must have either diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer or an autoimmune disease like lupus, or a family history of kidney disease or are a smoker. Those who complete the surveys will be given a $15 gift card. For more information, please contact Sabrena Andrews at or 205-348-8838.


Researchers in the UA Department of Educational Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies seek participants to understand how children develop helping behaviors. One parent and their child who fluently speaks English and ages from 3 to 5 years can participate in this study. The parent will complete questionnaires, and their child will participate in storytelling activities. The study takes about 30 minutes. The parent and the child can complete the study either through an online video call or in-person at the UA Child Development Research Center. A $20 gift card will be given to the parents. Those interested in participating or obtaining more details can contact Nahide Gungordu,


A study in the UA Department of Kinesiology seeks participants in an effort to help understand the relationship between exercise and cognition. Participants must be at least 45 years old with no medical conditions that impact cognitive function or restrict exercise participation. There is a study for those who exercise regularly and another for those who do not. Both studies require two to three visits to the lab to complete a series of computerized tasks assessing cognitive function and also cardiovascular measurements. Participants will obtain an evaluation of cognitive function and information about their cardiovascular and physical fitness. Those interested can take a survey or contact Peixuan Zheng at or 205-239-3077.


The UA Institute for Rural Health Research seeks participants to determine whether increasing fruits and vegetables in supplement form improves learning and memory. The two-year study is sponsored by NSA, the makers of Juice Plus, a capsule with concentrated fruits and vegetables. Participants must be at least 50 years old, have a cell phone and have no history of cognitive impairment. Participants will receive 2 years of Juice Plus supplements and up to $100 over the course of the study and complete quarterly cognitive tests and surveys along with three blood samples during the study. Those interested can sign-up online or contact Dr. Raheem Paxton or Robbie Minor at 204-348-1683 or