paid research studies

You must have come across paid research studies if you have ever searched for extra income options.

These are a step-up from survey sites and require more participation, but they pay well.

Research studies are one of the many side hustles that are worth your time for the following reasons:

  • They pay well (depending on the study).
  • They are “quick money” gigs.
  • The studies are quite extensive and interesting.

Though they are a good way to earn money on the side, you should tread carefully when taking part in paid research studies. There are many scams out there claiming to be legit. Always sign up with trusted and legitimate market research companies.

If you are ready to part with a good amount of your time for money—definitely more than your typical surveys—you can look into research studies.

What are paid research studies?

When companies or organizations need a larger pool of data about products or services, they offer paid research studies. These studies are often extensive and have higher pay than surveys. Paid studies can be done online, one-on-one, in groups, or over the phone. Clinical trials are another form of paid research studies that primarily focus on medical conditions. 

survey junkie logo

Survey Junkie

Make money by sharing your opinion! Survey Junkie rewards you for taking surveys and testing products. Get free gift cards or cash!

Top picks and alternatives for paid research studies

Survey Junkie – Top website for high-paying surveys, focus groups, and free products. Survey Junkie pays out $40,000 to members every day!

User Interviews – Diverse studies with flexible options that pay up to $150.

Swagbucks – Get paid to do things you do everyday, like watching videos, playing games, etc.

Clinical Trials – Earn extra money by participating in clinical studies.

FlexJobs – Most trusted job board, with more than 50 categories of jobs. They are hand-picked and updated every day.

20 Paid research studies you can do for extra money

#1. User Interviews

user interviews logo

User Interviews

Participate in research studies and earn extra cash in your free time! User Interviews has paid over $25 million in rewards to its members till now. It’s simple: sign up, give your opinion, and get paid.


User Interviews is one of the more popular websites for participating in paid research studies online. It has many types of studies available including in-person interviews, phone interviews, multiday studies, etc. The studies can pay up to $150, depending on the duration and the type of study.

You can sign up on the website, and once you pass the screening survey, you can participate in the study you are interested in. User Interviews is available in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, and South Africa.

Pay:

Up to $150 per study. 

#2. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is a popular survey panel often has product research studies available. In addition to high-paying surveys, Survey Junkie offers product testing, in-person focus groups, and phone surveys. The pay may range anywhere from $50 to $150 for these opportunities.

The best thing about Survey Junkie is it’s a legit survey panel with loads of extra income options like surveys and product testing. Just sign up and get started.

Pay:

Can pay up to $50 to $150 per study. 

#3. Fieldwork

Fieldwork is another market research company that has paid research studies in 11 locations in the US, like San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, New York City, Minneapolis, and more. Even if you don’t live near these cities, you can still register in the company’s database to get phone or online studies. Fieldwork has different types of studies, including taste tests, product trials, shop-along reviews, etc.

Pay:

The discussions range from 1 to 2 hours, and the pay is around $75 or more for one to two hours.

#4. Mindswarms

Mindswarms is a market research company that pays its participants to share their views about products and services via video. You can record your answers on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Once you sign up, you can apply for studies in your dashboard. After some screening questions, if you are selected, you can record your answers through video.

Pay:

You get $50 for answering 10 questions about products, and payments are made via PayPal.

Related:
23 Product Tester Jobs from Home in 2023 (Extra Money & Free Stuff)
20 Best Sign-up Bonus Apps for Free Money in 2024
31 Clever Ways to Make Money Doing Nothing (Updated 2024)

#5. Respondent

Respondent is another research study website that has many paid research interviews available. This website works similarly to User Interviews. You can sign up online and choose the studies via the website or through email invitations. Once you go through the screening surveys, you can proceed with the study.

Pay:

The pay is usually around $120 per study and is made via PayPal. Keep in mind that Respondent takes a cut of 5% from the pay.

#6. American Consumer Opinion

American Consumer Opinion (ACOP) has been around for a long time and is a trusted website for surveys and research studies. This survey panel is available worldwide, and it sends you invites for studies whenever they are available. Unlike other websites, American Consumer Opinion only pays in points.

You can accrue anywhere from 50 to 5,000 points for surveys depending on their length, which can be redeemed for cash via PayPal. You can also enter into sweepstakes or donate to charity.

Pay:

Pay depends on the study.

#7. Inspired Opinions

Inspired Opinions is backed by the Schlesinger Group and has many diverse market research studies including in-person interviews, telephone interviews, online surveys, etc. It is available in the US, the UK, Spain, and Germany.

Pay:

The in-person studies pay up to $100 for two hours, and the online surveys are paid in points that can be redeemed for Amazon e-vouchers.

#8. Engage in Depth

Engage in Depth has paid research studies for two demographics: general consumer/business professionals and medical/healthcare community members. Their studies range from in-person, telephone interviews to online, video and mobile studies.

You can sign up from anywhere globally.

Pay:

The pay can go up to $200, depending on the study. Payments are made via virtual gift card after 5 to 7 days.

#9. Probe Market Research

Probe Market Research offers online and phone interviews as well as in-person studies. Once you fill out the online form with all the required information, the company will contact you if suitable studies come up.

Pay:

The pay is usually between $50 and $400, depending on the study.

#10. Brand Institute

Brand Institute has regular studies available in pharmaceutical and market research areas. You can sign up with your details and get email invites for new studies.

It accepts participants from all over the world.

Pay:

The pay depends on the type and length of the studies.

#11. watchLAB

watchLAB homepage

watchLAB offers paid focus groups, telephone and in-person interviews, and online studies. You can sign up online and get email invites, or check its Facebook page for new studies.

If you pass the screening questions, you can go ahead with the study. Online study payments are made via checks.

Pay:

Up to $50 to $100 per study.

#12. Plaza Research

Another website that provides various market research studies is Plaza Research. It has focus groups, online surveys, and telephone and in-home interviews.

It mainly looks for consumers, parents, kids/teens, students, physicians, and business professionals.

Pay:

The payment depends on the length and type of study.

Universities offering paid online research studies:

#1. Carnegie Mellon University

You can participate in online or in-person studies conducted by Carnegie Mellon University. The length of an online study ranges from five minutes to one hour.

Type of studies: Personal attitudes and beliefs, human judgment and decision-making, preferences, interpersonal perceptions, group performance, interaction with computers and machines, and public policy perceptions.

Pay:

Payment usually averages around $8 per hour for online studies, or participants may be entered into a lottery to win a larger prize. In-person studies pay around $10 per hour.

#2. MIT Behavioral Research Lab

The Behavioral Research Lab of MIT has many studies available, and you need to sign up online before you get started. If you are 18 years of age or over, live in the US, and speak and write English without difficulty, you can join the participant pool.

It offers both in-person and online studies.

Pay:

The pay is around $11–$20/hour for online studies and $15–$25/hour for in-person studies.

#3. Yale School of Management

Yale School of Management has both online and in-person studies. You can sign up to be considered for upcoming studies or like its Facebook page to learn about new studies.

Pay:

The payment is usually cash or Amazon gift cards.

#4. Harvard University Psychology Study Pool

You can participate in online studies with Harvard University Psychology Study Pool. Participants must be aged between 12 and 99 years old. Credit studies are for Harvard students, and payment studies are open for anyone.

Pay:

Payment goes up to $25 per hour and is paid through gift cards.

#5. Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business recruits participants for in-person or online studies. You must be 18 years or older and complete a prescreen form to participate. You can sign up for these studies even if you are not a US citizen.

Pay:

Average pay is up to $25 paid in cash or gift cards.

#6. The University of Texas at Austin Department of Psychology

This university has many in-person paid medical studies available; you can check them out here. They are suitable for current students and others as well.

Pay:

Pay ranges from $20 to $150, depending on the study.

#7. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior has studies related to brain functioning and behavior. It has both adult and child studies, and you can sign up online.

Pay:

The pay is up to $100 per study.

Frequently asked questions

Where can you find research studies online?

You can find many research study opportunities with the companies listed above. Always go with trusted and legit websites when looking for paid studies.

How much can you get paid for research studies?

There are many types of research studies; they can be in-person, online, over the phone, etc. How much you earn depends on the type of study and the duration.

They can range anywhere from $5 to $200 per study.

Are paid studies legit?

Yes, they are legit and pay well. Sign up for the right ones with all your details and respond to the invites on time. Keep in mind that standard research studies take more time and involvement than surveys. The upside is they pay more.

High-paying alternatives to focus groups

If you want a more stable income and want to do it flexibly, here are some of the best alternatives:

#1. Proofreading

Got a keen eye for detail? Love correcting errors in documents? Then proofreading might be a perfect fit for you. This is a high-paying job that has the potential to become a profitable business. If you are keen to give this a try, check out this workshop, where you will discover the skills needed to become a proofreader from home.

#2. Blogging

Blogging is an excellent way to make extra income entirely online, and the best part is that it is quite flexible, and you can do it along with a full-time job. I am making around $5,000 a month blogging part-time, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for extra income online. I have a super easy-to-follow a step-by-step guide to starting your own money-making blog.

#3. Bookkeeper

I know you might be thinking this job might be for accountants or people with experience in bookkeeping. It’s not. You can be a work-at-home bookkeeper without any experience. Bookkeeper is a perfect online work option, giving you extra income. If this is something you are looking for, then check out this detailed post about bookkeeping.

Final thoughts 

If you are looking for ways to earn money from home or to do side gigs without any commitment, participating in research studies for money is a great choice. Paid research studies are great extra income earners if you have some free time on hand. Just take care to sign up only for authentic studies and choose only the ones that suit you.

About Sireesha Narumanchi

Hi, I am Sireesha and thank you for stopping by to know me. I am a work-at-home mom, side hustler and a firm believer in making 'working from home' a success for everyone. I have worked in a remote job for over 11 years and tried many side gigs. I have been featured on many popular websites like Forbes, Business Insider, American Express, QuickBooks, The Muse, Moneyish, Virtual Vocations, Spark Hire, Bustle, Fairygodboss, Side Hustle School, Payoneer, Jobbatical, Skillcrush.Read more...

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