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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a research study?

A research study is an organized, scientific project conducted to answer a particular problem or question. Such studies contribute to the collective knowledge in a field of study, enlighten associations between different factors or characteristics and help us understand the best ways to deal effectively with a wide range of issues. 

2. What happens during a testing session?

The procedure may be different for each research study. Some studies consist of an online survey to be taken once or repeatedly across days or longer periods of time. Some studies may include a behavioural or functional task. The informed consent form will describe the procedure for the particular study you are interested in. Most of your participation in our research can be done online, without requiring in-person visits.

3. Who conducts these studies?

These projects are conducted by researchers and students who are associated with the Laboratory for Integrative Lifespan Research at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., Canada. 

4. Who is funding this research? 

Our projects receive funding from organizations such as National Institutes of Health (NIH;, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR;, Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI;, and through funds supporting the Mohr Research Chair in Adult Development and Aging at the University of Victoria.

5. Who can participate? 

Each study has different criteria for inclusion which may include such factors as age, gender and medical conditions. It is important that only people who meet these criteria participate in the study. This is not meant to exclude anyone, but rather to focus on individuals who are most appropriate for the particular research question. We require that all participants are at least 18 years old.

6. What should I know before I volunteer?

Please find out as much as possible before agreeing to participate in a study. You should consider the purpose of the study, what is involved for you as a participant, the risks and benefits, the time commitment required and whether or not compensation is offered. All of these details will be documented on the informed consent form for each study. If you have any further questions, please contact the researcher.

7. What is informed consent?

Informed consent is the process of learning the procedure and conditions of participation in a research study, and having any questions answered by the researcher. If you are interested in a study, you will be provided with the consent form that includes details of the study such as its purpose, procedure, time commitment and potential risks and benefits. The decision to participate in a study is entirely yours.

8. What if I read something on the consent form that I don't like? 

If you have concerns about a study after reading the consent form and talking to the researcher, you are free to decline to sign the consent form without penalty. Your participation must be completely voluntary.

9. What are the benefits and risks of participating in a research study?

Benefits: Participating in our research helps investigators with the Laboratory of Integrative Lifespan Research and the University of Victoria contribute to scientific knowledge about health, cognition and well-being across the lifespan. You will also be informed of new and upcoming studies which may also interest you. We will summarize the findings from our studies on our website, so you can learn more about the research to which you contributed.

Risks: Potential risks involved with any study will be clearly stated on the associated informed consent form. Please consider the risks carefully and talk to the researcher if you have any concerns. Some studies involve questions that you may find to be personal. Other studies ask participants to complete a behavioural or functional task, which can sometimes be frustrating or stressful . Please carefully consider all risks before agreeing to participate.

10. Can I leave a study after it has begun? 

Yes, absolutely. You may discontinue your participation in the study at any time, without penalty or loss of compensation (if offered). If you withdraw during a study, we would prefer to keep the data you have provided up to that point. However, we will destroy your data from that study if requested.

11. Do I have to live in the Greater Victoria, BC region to participate? 

If you live anywhere in B.C., you are eligible to participate in our studies. At this time, we are not accepting enrollment of volunteers from outside of British Columbia, Canada.

12. Can you give me feedback about my participation?

As we keep all data anonymous, it is not possible for us to provide you with feedback about your individual performance. However, we are more than happy to put our overall findings on the website once all data collection and analysis is completed.

13. How can I learn about the results of the studies I participate in?

We will put our study findings on the website after data collection and analysis. It is also possible that results from some studies will be reported in scholarly journals, theses and presentations to professional societies as well as the public.

14. Will it cost me anything to participate? Will I be paid? 

Participation in a study will never cost you any money. Conditional on funding, some studies may offer a monetary compensation.

15. How much time is involved? 

The time commitment depends on the study design. This information will be provided in the informed consent form.

16. How will my privacy be protected? 

Please see our privacy policy for a more detailed explanation of how data are collected, stored and used. All information that you provide is held in the strictest confidence and identified by a code number. No names or other personally identifying information will appear with any data. All information is stored in secured, locked locations and may only be accessed by researchers working directly with that project.

17. How long will it take for someone to contact me after I register in the Volunteer Research Registry? 

After you submit your registration form, a researcher will be in contact within a few days to verify your information. If you are eligible to participate in ongoing studies, you will be invited to review the study’s information statement and decide if you would like to participate. It is also possible that you may not be eligible to participate in any studies at that time and you may have to wait some time before we begin a study suitable for you.

18. What if I am under 18? Can I still register for the Volunteer Research Registry? 

Unfortunately no, 18 is the minimum age for participation in our studies.

19. What are my rights and responsibilities?

As a participant, you can expect your privacy and confidentiality to be protected at all times, to be fully informed about the study and to be able to ask questions or withdraw at any time. Your responsibilities as a participant are to follow the study procedure, answer all questions fully and honestly, inform the researchers of any circumstances that may affect your participation, and ask questions of the researchers if you have any concerns.

20. What if I no longer want to be in the Volunteer Research Registry?

You may remove your profile with the Volunteer Research Register at any time by logging in and clicking the appropriate button.

21. Whom should I contact if I have questions? 

If you have general questions about this lab or the Volunteer Research Registry, please email the Volunteer Research Registry Administrator at Questions regarding a specific study should be directed to the researcher leading that study.