Research volunteer
Research volunteer
Credit: Rob Judges. This image comes from Oxford University Images

Get involved with our research

Some of our research projects rely on the generosity of people like you. Whether it's harnessing the power of your home PC, taking part in a clinical trial, or simply volunteering your time for a study, you may be able to contribute to some of the ground-breaking projects which make the University of Oxford a world leader in research. Watch this space for ways in which you could get involved.

Investigating the use of virtual reality food scenarios

Ethical Approval Reference: R64533/RE003

What is the purpose of the research?

Interest in the uses of virtual reality technology in healthcare is increasing. We are interested in the potential uses of virtual reality to help people with eating problems. To date, there has been limited research investigating virtual reality technology in this area. The aim of this study is to see if there are any differences in the way people with eating disorder features react in virtual reality food environments compared to those without these features. This will help us to understand how useful this new technology could be in helping to develop future treatments. Our longer-term goal is to investigate the use of virtual reality to enhance evidence-based cognitive-behavioural treatment for eating disorders.

Who can take part?

  • We would like to recruit adults (aged 18 years or over).
  • We are looking for people with features of an eating problem (e.g. binge eating) and people without features of an eating problem.
  • We are unable to include people in the study who are severely underweight; are markedly depressed or have suicidal thoughts; are pregnant; or who have photosensitive epilepsy.
  • Additionally, people should not take part if they are at moderate or high risk of developing a severe course of COVID-19 (according to the NHS guidance: Please note, individuals within these categories who have been double vaccinated are permitted to participate.

What does the study involve?

We have revised study procedures in accordance with recommended safety measures for protecting against COVID-19. Both the researcher and participant will complete a COVID symptom assessment form on the day of the study session, wear protective equipment (a face mask for participants, and a face mask and gloves for the researcher), and practice social distancing where possible. The researcher will also perform enhanced cleaning of the virtual reality equipment.

If you would like to take part, you will be asked to complete some online eligibility questions, which will take approximately 10 minutes. If you do meet the criteria for study participation, we will email you to arrange a time to come in to our department in Oxford to take part in a study session.

In the session, you will be asked to complete some questionnaires about eating problems and your thoughts and feelings. You will experience an introductory VR scenario and two further VR scenarios, with a brief questionnaire after each one. The entire session should take approximately one hour.

  • You will be paid for your time and travel expenses.
  • Your help will contribute to our work to develop better treatments for people with eating disorders.

How can you take part?

If you are interested in taking part, please email

Volunteers needed for the Oxford Sleep-Wake Study

Long-term monitoring of rest-activity cycles and mood.
Department of Experimental Psychology
Ethics Approval Reference: R75745/RE004

The purpose of this research is to gain an understanding of how activity and sleep relate to mood. We are looking for healthy volunteers, aged 25-45, to complete a four-week study from the comfort of their own home/workplace.

To be eligible for this study you must be:
1. An 'office worker' (you work sitting at a desk, indoors, for your working day)
2. Living within the Oxford Ring Road, full-time (Monday-Sunday), in October/November 2021
3. Working within the Oxford Ring Road, full-time ('9-5', Monday-Friday), in October/November 2021
4. A smartphone user with a consistent internet connection indoors and outdoors
5. Able to read and understand English

You would complete the study whilst going about your daily life. You would wear a watch-like device for four weeks and you would complete three one-minute daily surveys. At the start, middle, and end of the four weeks, there will also be three additional short surveys to complete.

If you wish to participate, please follow this link which will take you to our screening survey. If you complete the screening survey, you will be entered into a lottery where you may win a £50 Amazon Gift Card. If chosen for data collection, you would also be compensated £100 for your time.

If you are interested and would like more information, please contact the study team at the

There is no obligation to take part.

The effect of difficult interpersonal memories on emotional responses

Central University Research Ethics Approval (University of Oxford) Reference: R74372/RE001

Can you help us? We are researchers from the Clinical Psychology Department at The University of Oxford, and we are interested in learning more about the link between difficult interpersonal memories and emotional responses.

We are interested in hearing from people who identify as having obsessional and compulsive problems, and those without current experiences of mental health difficulties.

We are hoping to develop a deeper understanding of factors that may contribute to distress in this area, with the hope of tailoring and improving treatments for these individuals.

We are looking for volunteers aged 18 years and over. Participating in the research will take approximately 1 hour, and will involve a short telephone discussion, an experimental task via video, and completion of some questionnaires.

If you are interested and would like more information, please click on the following link:

To register your interest or for further information, please contact

(Likely closing date: 01/05/2022)

Seeking poor sleepers for insomnia research

Trouble sleeping? Researchers from the Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford are evaluating different interventions aimed at improving sleep. We are looking for poor sleepers between the ages of 18 and 65. Participation will involve spending overnights in the sleep laboratory at Oxford, monitoring your sleep/wake cycle, and completing computerised tasks. Depending on the study you volunteer for, you will either undergo an online self-help treatment programme or lab-based non-invasive brain stimulation sessions prior to bedtime. You will be reimbursed for your time.

If you are interested in taking part or would like more information, please click on the following link or contact the research team directly at

Volunteers with lazy eye wanted

We are looking for volunteers with a history of lazy eye, patching or amblyopia to take part in our brain scanning study on how binocular vision relates to brain chemistry.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for healthy, fluent English volunteers aged 18-45 with a history of lazy eye, patching therapy or amblyopia.

You will also be asked questions about your medical history to check your suitability for an MRI scan.

Participants will be reimbursed for their time.

How can I find out more?

If you are interested and would like more information please contact Betina Ip in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, by emailing or visit

CUREC No: MSD-IDREC-C1-2014-146

Oxford Vaccine Group

The Oxford Vaccine Group, part of the Department of Paediatrics, is an independent multi-disciplinary clinical trials and epidemiology group based at the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine. OVG works towards the goal of developing new and improved vaccines for the prevention of infection in adults and children, enhancing the understanding of immunity and studying the epidemiology of infectious diseases.

To find out which research projects are currently recruiting volunteers, please see the OVG website or email

Vaccine Trials

The Jenner Institute works to develop innovative vaccines against major global diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and influenza and often needs participants for trials. To find out which trials are currently recruiting volunteers, please see the Jenner Institute website or email

Oxford Education Deanery 

We warmly welcome interest from teachers in local state-maintained schools that are members of the Oxford Education Deanery that want to engage with/in research and/or undertake continuing professional development. Opportunities available to eligible teachers include the NQT induction programme, Action Research Fellowships and the Enhanced Masters in Learning and Teaching. We are also keen to work collaboratively with local Deanery schools to develop research projects that meet school needs and disseminate findings effectively. If your school is not a Deanery member and you are interested in joining, please follow this link for contact information.

Nuffield Centre for Experimental Social Sciences

The Nuffield Centre for Experimental Social Science (CESS) is currently recruiting for its pool of individuals interested in participating in paid experiments in social sciences.  

CESS currently conducts online experiments that can be completed from the comfort of your home (while we prepare the reopening of the physical laboratory). Typical CESS studies involve reading instructions and making a series of decisions at a computer that may affect the final compensation that is received by you and other participants.

Participants make at least £3 for every experiment they show up for and earn additional average payments of £8/hour depending on decisions made during the experiment. Participation is entirely voluntary and you can remove yourself from the participant pool at any time.

For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact

Oxford eXperimental lab for the Social Sciences

The Oxford Internet Institute, together with the Saïd Business School, is recruiting individuals to participate in computer-based experiments involving online surfing behaviour as well as economic and political decision-making. We pay our subjects well, there are no special skills required and you don't have to be a student to take part!, run by researchers at the Department of Physics, harnesses the power of volunteers’ computers to produce predictions of the Earth’s climate and test the accuracy of climate models. You can take part by running a climate model as a background process on your computer, and you'll get to see your own, unique version of the world evolve.

Experimental Psychology research

The Department of Experimental Psychology is always looking for volunteers for a changing portfolio of research projects. 

Diabetes clinical research

Clinical trials – the controlled testing of the safety and effectiveness of new therapies with lots of patients – are essential to medical science, yet recruiting volunteers can be a problem. If you’re interested in learning about the benefits and what’s involved, a new website has been launched by the Diabetes Research Network, coordinated by the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) and Imperial College London.

Free Speech Debate

Join Professor Timothy Garton Ash's global debate on free speech.  Read and criticise the project's 10 draft principles. Explore controversial examples. Hear the thoughts of others. 

The editorial content of the website is being translated into Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

Ancient Lives

Armchair archaeologists are needed to help decode ancient Egyptian papyri, written in Greek.

Galaxy Zoo

By taking part in classifying galaxies with our Department of Astrophysics, you'll not only be contributing to scientific research, you'll also have the chance to view parts of the Universe that literally no-one has ever seen before.

Moon Zoo

Become a virtual astronaut and examine the surface of the moon. You'll not only get the chance to spot things that have never been seen before - everything from lost Russian spacecraft to previously unseen geological features -  but you'll also help us answer vital scientific questions.

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