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The Collaboration Laboratory (ColLab)

Three different hands turning three attached gears to move in coordinationThe idea of a collaboration laboratory (developed by the OPRC to go beyond the widely used participant pools in the field) aspires to create a space where researchers and participants come together to contribute to the production and acquisition of scientific knowledge, rather than researchers pooling from a pool of participants to advance science.

The ColLab aims to progress psychological research, theory, and practice by approaching social challenges and psychological questions using new collaborative methods. It uses a web-based management system, to link researchers and their studies with students looking to gain research experience.

It also aims to provide researchers with access to the largest most diverse student participation system in the UK. Students studying Psychology modules at The Open University can participate in ongoing research conducted by academics and postgraduate researchers here in the School of Psychology and Counselling. Students’ participation is voluntary and NOT linked to module assessment.

We take our obligation to recruit students into ethical and meaningful studies seriously as part of the ColLab’s commitment to aligning social justice and psychological research. Therefore, all studies in the ColLab must have approval from the Human Research Ethics Review (HREC) process prior to posting it on the system.

We expect study participation in the ColLab to be a potential learning experience for students. For this reason, we are obliging all researchers who use the ColLab to provide a pedagogical debrief to all student participants.

The OPRC is committed to methodological pluralism and interdisciplinarity. Studies in the ColLab can collect data for any kind of qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods research. They can be conducted online or in person, completed at a specific time or during a specified period, and run using other research (Gorilla, Qualtrics, etc.) or communication (Zoom, Teams, etc.) platforms.

To learn more about the ColLab or use it as a researcher, please get in touch with us to create an account (

If want to use the ColLab as a student participant, please directly sign up via the OPRC ColLab website.