Students Staff

Using the lab

Conduct your study

students in ESSEXLab booth

We want your study to be a success. Follow our steps to apply, schedule and conduct your study in ESSEXLab.

Why use us?

Our state-of-the-art ESSEXLab is dedicated to social science experiments and is open to all researchers, whether you're from Essex or another university, businesses or organisations across the globe. Researchers from all over the UK come to ESSEXLab to conduct their research.

Not all studies are experiments. Experiments have a major advantage over observational data - you can assess causality through random assignment and direct manipulation of variables. Our lab allows you to control the nature of treatment, environment and measured dependent variable, allowing you to know what you did, and what effect it had.

While we specialise in, and encourage, experimental research, we also welcome other study designs with our approval and lab availability.

ESSEXLab features

  • Access to internal and external participant database with currently over 1,500 participants.
  • 32 multi-media equipped workstations with noise-cancelling headphones, separated by partitions to ensure privacy and anonymity.
  • Computers are all networked to allow interactive experiments.
  • We have an experimenter office with server, printer and one-way glass for your experiments.
  • Lab can be divided into two sound proof partitions for 16 participants each, allowing us to cater exactly to your research needs. Instructions are also displayed on overhead screens.
  • Lab has two master computers with front USB ports, DVD drives and MS Office software controlling two video projectors and two televisions.
  • We have stereospeaker and wireless microphone audio equipment.
  • Every term, we fund experiments up to £2,000 to assist with pilot and small-scale projects.
  • ESSEXLab Mobile lets you conduct studies anywhere.

We'll meet your needs

You have access to an ever-growing database of participants where you can filter participants by the characteristics you need for your research, such as gender, race or age.

Depending on how much support you need, our experienced lab team can help you design and run an experiment, or can leave you to conduct your study yourself. We also have a full-time Lab Manager on hand to support you.

Our experienced lab team consists of sociologists, economists and political scientists from departments ranked highly in the Research Excellence Framework.

Conduct a study

There are a number of steps to take before conducting your study.

Lab availability

Check our lab calendar to see when it's available for your study.

External use

Our external charge-out rate for the use of ESSEXLab from 1 February 2016 is £147 per hour. More information is available from the Lab Manager.

Learn from us

We regularly host events and courses. All of these help you to get the most out of ESSEXLab and carry out your research successfully. Many of our events focus on introducing social science researchers and businesses to experimental design.