If you are interested in using the Behavioral Research Lab's resources there are a number of steps you must take in order to properly submit a request. Please note that these steps are structured in such a way as to keep lab operations running smoothly, so be sure to follow them exactly. You must also look over the information on our SONA System and lab policies and etiquette before asking for permission to use lab resources. For a list of the specific tools and technologies in our lab rooms please click here.
- Requesting IRB Approval
- Requesting a Researcher Account on SONA
- Requesting Lab Room Space
- Requesting Lab Room Access
- After Hours Research
- Requesting to Use our Online Database
- Requesting Lab Computer Access
- Requesting Petty Cash
- Requesting Lab RA Assistance
All studies conducted in the Behavioral Research Lab must have received IRB approval prior to running subjects and collecting data. Studies without IRB approval will be refused the use of all lab resources.
- Review the information on the website for Columbia University's Institutional Review Board. Take note of the section on “How to Apply for IRB Approval.”
- Use Columbia University's Rascal System to pursue a human subjects application. Indicate on your application that you will be using the Behavioral Research Lab website and mailing list to recruit subjects, as well as any other means you may be using.
- For specific support with the IRB process, see our “Resources” page for Columbia University IRB contacts.
Researcher accounts allow the user to place information about their study on the SONA site, make their study information visible to participants, and create study time slots. If you are interested in getting a research account for either yourself or a research assistant, you must complete the following steps:
- Read all the information on this website underneath the “For Researchers Section”, or have your research assistant read all the information under the “For RAs” section. This will ensure that you have a firm understanding of our policies.
- E-mail the lab coordinator with the name of the person requesting an account, the name of the sponsoring faculty (and the name of the supervising graduate student for RAs), your UNI, and a contact email address.
- Once your account is set up if you have not already (but you should have) reviewed our SONA systems guide, do so. You may not place time slots on SONA until you have properly requested lab room space (see below)
Our lab has four rooms with different capabilities available for researchers to use. As we aim to fairly coordinate room usage amongst a large group of researchers the following steps are crucial to keep the lab in order. Failure to follow these instructions will result in a loss of lab privileges.
- Visit our calendar website.
- Read over the descriptions of our lab rooms- B203, B204, B205, and 304 Uris Hall. Decide which lab room fits your needs (ex: need lots of computers? check out rooms B203 or 304). Determine what dates and times you would like to reserve the room for. Room reservations must include the set-up and break-down time of your study. This means that if it takes you 15 minutes to set up your experiment and you reserve the room at 10:00, your first experiment should occur no earlier than 10:15.
- Check the availability of the room for those dates and times on the Lab Room Reservations Calendar. If the room is available, proceed to...
- E-mail the lab coordinator with your name, the name of your study, the faculty sponsor, any RAs running the study for you, and your desired dates, times, and room number. Please note that you may not reserve rooms past three weeks in advance. Your reservation will not be confirmed until the lab coordinator receives all of this information.
- Receive a confirmation from the lab coordinator for the dates, times, and room you requested. You may now post time slots on SONA for the confirmed times.
The main lab is located in the basement of Uris Hall and includes rooms B203, B204, and B205. These rooms are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, whereas room 304 Uris may be accessed at any time by a researcher with the door code. The lab rooms not only contain data from everyone using the space but expensive equipment as well which is why we like to keep track of all those with access to the lab rooms.
If you are requesting access to the basement rooms for before or after lab hours,
please read the following section on after hours research.
If you are requesting the access code to room 304 Uris,
Speak with the lab coordinator. By receiving a confirmation email with the code, you are agreeing to keep that code to yourself. If you wish to give the code out to any research assistants please inform the lab coordinator when you do so.
The basement lab is open from 10am-6pm. If you would like to run in the lab after hours you may, but be aware of the following:
- Reservations must still be made for any lab rooms to be used. If, for example, you would like to run from 3-7pm you would submit a reservation request for 3-7pm; it would not be appropriate to submit a reservation request for 3-6pm and then stay an extra hour.
- For after hours (or early hours) access to the basement there are key copies available. To ensure that copies are available for you, please include a request for which keys you would like as part of your room reservation request. After the request is confirmed the key copies will be stored in the key lockbox in the hallway; researchers will be provided with the code to the lockbox when necessary. After finishing up for the day all key copies must be returned to the lockbox. Do not leave for the day without replacing the keys in the lockbox. Reseachers will be held accountable for any missing keys. Please also note that the code will change periodically without notice and keys will not be kept in the box unless requested.
- Room 304 may be accessed at any time (not just 10a-6pm), dependent on reservations. Room 304 is open with a door code and therefore researchers running before-, after-, or weekend-hours will not need to check out a key for access.
- When closing the lab it is the researchers' responsibility to ensure that the rooms' doors are locked and all lights are shut off in the lab. Researchers running after hours should also confirm that the main entrance door closes securely at the end of the night.
- Petty cash cannot be used for early-, after-, or weekend-hours sessions. Participant payments during these times must be provided out-of-pocket either by the faculty member (strongly suggested) or researcher running the study, who can then request reimbursement from the University at a later date. Here is a template email message for requesting reimbursement. Please use this as an example and modify it to accurately represent your reimbursement needs. Please note that petty cash cannot be used for such reimbursement, and this process must properly go through the University.
- Review the information in the Online Lab Guidelines pdf.
- If you have any questions or concerns please contact the lab coordinator.
In order to be able to use our computers you need an account to log in on them with. If you are in the Business School, use your GSB username/password to log in. If not, you will need to create an account to access the computers. Creating an account must be coordinated with ITG, so if you are interested in getting one please inform the lab coordinator well ahead of time. There are a couple of scenarios for computer accounts:
- You are a researcher who plans on using Behavioral Lab facilities often during the semester. Ask for a personal account.
- You are a researcher who uses the lab often and has personal RAs to help you run studies. Ask for a personal account. Your RAs can then use your personal account to log on and run studies.
- You are a researcher who uses Behavioral Lab facilities infrequently, or you are a researcher who does not feel comfortable sharing your log in information with RAs. Ask for the general log in information. This account is shared by users who do not use the lab very often.
Please note that all accounts will be wiped clean every month on the 15th. This is to ensure that our machines are able to run to the best of their ability. If you have any important files saved on your account, you must save them externally or everything will be erased on the 15th.
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If you are requesting petty cash from the lab in order to pay your participants review the information in the Petty Cash Manual prior to making any requests. You may also review the Accounts Payable human subjects payment policy.
The lab has a number of research assistants available to help those conducting research with everything from subject running to data analysis. The RAs will be paid out of the supervising faculty member's COSTAR account. Please visit the RA scheduling page of the calendar website for step-by-step instructions on hiring one of our talented RAs.