You may have heard of earning money online by being paid for online university research studies. The best site, in my opinion, has to be Prolific.
Also known as Prolific AC, this site has provided me with a steady small side income that I have used to save for things we need. Have no doubts, before you do this, that it won't make you a millionaire, but every little helps, right?
What is Prolific AC or Prolific Academic?
Prolific, formerly known as Prolific Academic, is a site where you are paid to participate in research studies.
What Is Prolific's Purpose?
In their words, ‘Prolific is the world's largest crowd-sourcing community of people who love science. Researchers post studies and recruit the right participants fast. Participants earn rewards while helping to advance human knowledge'.
Registering on Prolific
Who Can Register On Prolific?
At present, if you live in any of these country codes, you can be a participant in Prolific and earn money via surveys.
Users from the following (OECD) countries should be able to participate:
AT, AU, BE, CA, CH, CL, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IL, IS, IT, JP, KR, LU, LV, MX, NL, NO, NZ, PL, PT, SE, SI, and US.
Signing up for Prolific is easy.
How Can I Sign Up For Prolific?
To register for Prolific, sign up via the website. Remember to check that you are signing up as a participant and not a researcher.
Once you fill in your information, you will need to verify your email address and phone number.
Don’t worry; it will not be used to spam you but just serves as verification.
Verification with Facebook is also one option and could give you access to studies via researchers who prefer to research via Facebook also.
Sign up as a participant in Prolific
How does Prolific Work?
Initially, when you sign up, Prolific will ask you a set of screening questions to determine key information about approximately 15 areas of your life.
This will determine which demographic you fit into and then provide researchers with their key audience.
When your key information fits with what a researcher is looking for, a Prolific study will appear in your dashboard.
You can then choose to answer the study or not. The site will give you helpful information such as:
- How much time will the survey take
- How many spaces are left
- Who is the study being conducted by
- How much will you be paid by the hour
Example survey selection screen
A good thing to do is to ensure you have enough time to carry out the study. Prolific will rate your responses on a scale of up to 100, which will also affect future studies you will receive.
Top Tips For Receiving Surveys From Prolific
- 1Good quality responses
- 2Add Prolific's chrome extension and get notifications of surveys.
- 3Look out for notifications within your email.
What kind of studies can you participate in on Prolific?
Using Prolific, I have completed studies from these below, but there are many more types out there:
- Testing my reaction times in a game
- Testing my team and communication skills
- Recording my reactions to certain faces.
- Questioning me about products and my preferences.
- Asking me about my mood and related events.
- My opinions on political events.
Cashing out on Prolific
What Will I Be Paid For Each Of The Prolific Surveys?
Prolific surveys vary in the price paid but start from $6.50 an hour. The best-paying Prolific survey, so far, that I have received and cashed out was £6 for 15 minutes of work.
When will I be paid for my study?
Researchers will need to approve your survey for you to be paid. If, after 22 days, it hasn't been approved, then Prolific automatically approves it.
Usually, in my experience, it doesn't take longer than three days to get them approved.
How will I be paid, and how do I cash out on Prolific?
Prolific cash out uses Paypal, so you will need a Paypal account for this.
When you have £5 (just under $7 USD) in your account, you can request a payment. PayPal payments can take up to five business days to reach your account.
Recently Prolific has added an ‘instant payment' feature, so you can cash out instantly to Paypal. To do this, you must have made at least four cash-outs (with PayPal) since September 2018. Therefore your 5th cash out (since September 2018) will be ‘instant.'
Prolific submission history.
Making Money On Prolific
How Much Money Is It Possible To Make On Prolific?
The amount of money made every month via Prolific can be variable.
My husband, for example, has managed to earn, on average, £60 a month.
He has afternoons free to log in to Prolific and always has his laptop to hand. Logging in quickly is his advice – many afternoons, he just has the Prolific tab open because he loves to surf the web. As soon as a survey comes in, he’s there!
Using me as an example now. I make £20 per month. I work during the day, but on three evenings a week, I catch surveys between 4 and 6 o’clock. Later in the day, I don’t see any new studies.
The site is great, as I make enough money a month to treat us to a small thing, or I use it to overpay my mortgage.
As they say, every little helps!
Making Money Via Prolific Surveys – Top Tips
Log in during the working day
During my vacation time, I find that I can make more money via Prolific. One day I made £10 and was on my laptop writing my blog at the same time, so it didn’t feel like work.
Normally, I am at my day job during daytime hours, so I receive little in the way of studying during the evening.
Have access to a computer
Prolific is perfect for you if you are near a computer and you are at home or in and out all day. Most surveys ask you to be using a computer. Some will penalize you if you try to complete them using a phone due to the fact that some software is only compatible with laptops or desktop computers.
If something goes wrong, let the researcher know.
Recently I had an internet dropout, so the study completely crashed. I had to end the study early. I always make sure I message the researcher, telling them what happened because they rate responses, and I want to keep my rating high. This allows me to maximize the number of studies I will receive.
Below is a normal completion screen. If anything goes wrong, you can always find a link to contact the researcher.
Make sure you follow the instructions.
If the study asks you to close off all distractions, this is usually because you will need to concentrate fully. Good-quality responses are necessary to keep your rating high and receive the maximum amount of studies.
Read the questions carefully – don’t just click randomly through.
Again, your rating will be lowered if you do this, and you wouldn’t be paid for your time.
Researchers might do a quality check question to ensure you have read the question within the Prolific survey. They will usually ask you to do a specific thing. If you haven’t been concentrating, this will be obvious, and they will disregard the entire study you completed.
Is Prolific the right fit for me?
The only way to determine whether this is the case is to give Prolific a go. Personally, I love it. In fact, while writing this post, I have completed two very different studies – both equally interesting.
It’s perfect for you if you love taking a few minutes out and having a break from your routine. Or when the kids are at school.
Is Prolific Legit?
Yes, it is. It is a survey website, like any other, and is not a scam.
Prolific was set up to aid university research, so every study you answer is vetted and comes from a trusted source.
Pros and cons of Prolific
Pros of Prolific
- You get the opportunity to answer a range of studies.
- Generally, you don’t have to wait too long before you are paid.
- You can fit studies in between a hectic schedule – I think the longest survey I did was 1 hour, but they generally last, on average, 10 minutes.
- On the dashboard, there is information as to how long a study will take, so you can make decisions as to whether you want to answer them or not.
- Low cash-out amount – You can cash out at £5.
- Some surveys might ask you to complete further research.
- Prolific studies are matched to you – The pre-screening questions you are asked ensure that you don’t waste valuable time applying to do a survey and not qualifying for it.
- Some studies are really good fun!
Cons of Prolific
- Some surveys don’t work properly, and I have had to return them (although this is rare).
- If there are two of you on Prolific in one household, only one of you will be able to participate in some studies. My husband beats me to it every time!
- Sometimes the chrome extension will notify you of a study available, and by the time your browser has loaded, all the places on the study have gone. (Although, this is probably an internet issue and not Prolific’s fault.)
Will Prolific keep my information safe?
Yes, they will only email you when:
- They have updates on how to use Prolific (only every few months).
- They have studies you are eligible for.
- Researchers have approved your study answers.
- You have a payment in process with Paypal.
Prolific keeps your other information safe and secure. It will not give out your information for marketing purposes. This includes your phone number, which is only asked for, for verification purposes.
Prolific Survey – Conclusion
While you won’t get rich overnight making extra money via Prolific, over time, you can earn small amounts to supplement your income. Actually, it’s a fun way and different from other ways of earning a side income.
The surveys are better paid, on average than other survey sites I have registered on.
Pre-screening takes away the frustration of not qualifying for surveys, so you know if a survey appears on your dashboard, you definitely will get paid for it!
Over the past six months, I have continued to use the site, so this is a recommendation in itself, and also, this is not an affiliate review – Prolific does not have an affiliate network anymore. I only recommend things I truly think are great.
Give it a go and have some fun earning bits and bats! It all adds up!