Participant Recruitment & Study Management Made Simple

Manage your participant pool with Sona Systems comprehensive research platform for universities.

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Participant Recruitment and Management Made Simple

Manage your participant pool with Sona Systems comprehensive research platform for universities.

Learn More

Universities using Sona Systems typically see participation rates increase by 25–50% and no-show rates drop to below 5%.

Set Up Lab or Online Studies

Use Sona Systems for research in a lab setting, online studies, or a mix of both.

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Run Studies for Cash or Credit

Grant participants course credit or cash after they’ve completed a study.

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Recruit Your Own Participants

Set up and run your own participant pools for richer participant profiles.

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Lab Study

Quickly and easily run lab or online studies

Our software allows researchers to set up lab or online studies, giving them ultimate flexibility and control over their research.

  • Manage Study Schedules
  • Prescreen Participants
  • Restrict Eligibility
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Grant subjects credits or cash for paid and unpaid studies

Granting credits or monetary compensation to study participants can be done in just a few clicks. There are no more long delays or follow-up after a study is complete.

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Grant Credit

Recruit and manage your own pool of participants

We make it easy for researchers to recruit and manage their own panels for richer participant profiles and study outcomes.

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Produce credit completion reports or system summaries

Our system generates a variety of reports, which give administrators the ability to monitor overall system usage, such as open time slots or the number of credits granted.

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We have over 1,000 customers in 30 countries and 6 continents

We serve all of the top 50 universities in the US and the majority of all universities in the UK, Canada, and Australia. Since 2002, we’ve had more than 56 million study sign ups and continue to see this number grow.

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Sona Systems Testimonials

“I just wanted to say what an excellent system you’ve produced. I don’t usually feel motivated to contact companies and tell them how good I think their product is, but your system is just so well-designed, easy to use and reliable that I felt moved to do so in this case! To be honest, when it was first suggested that we try the system, I was very skeptical about whether it would be worth it, but having used it these past few weeks, I’m a convert – it has made running experiments SO much easier for me! So – well done!”

Dr. Graham Hole, Department of Psychology, University of Sussex (UK)

“Sona Systems has responded rapidly to our specific needs and the great customer support made for a smooth transition.”

Lisa Cromer, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon

“Our experience with Sona has been very positive. The system is reliable and it allows us to manage an important business process with relative ease. The staff at Sona Systems communicate proactively when there are changes to the software and they respond to input from their customers.”

Chris Gale, Administrator, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan

“Managing experiment sign ups for two to three thousand students a term is one of the easier parts of my daily grind thanks to the quality work you guys do.”

Stephen Blass, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University

“Our site runs on Sona Systems servers, and it has always been fast and reliable. More importantly, we don’t have to involve our own IT staff in the operations of the software, which is a big advantage for us.”

John W. Philbeck, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, George Washington University

“Imagine nearly 8000 student sessions, hundreds of experiments, dozens of researchers, and you sitting in the middle of a sea of paper, complaints, missed sessions, confused students, frustrated experimenters and educators, and many millions of dollars in research grants on the line for a department with a #1 nationally ranked program. Now imagine, in the span of 1 quarter, removing almost all paper and providing 24/7 access, increasing participation, greatly reducing staff time and errors, providing real-time feed-back and reporting to all concerned parties, and sailing through Human Subject approval with a turn-key system. Furthermore, imagine no server management costs, and no technical staff time needed beyond walking staff through initial setup, and you have our experience with Sona Systems.”

Jon Hauser, Department of Psychology, University of Washington

“Sona Systems provides an online experiment management system that is user-friendly and compliant with human subjects’ regulations. What really sets Sona Systems apart from other companies, though, is their interest in constantly improving the system and incorporating customer feedback into upgrades.”

Dr. Kristine Jacquin, Department of Psychology, Mississippi State University

“This system has been an exponential improvement over our old paper-based system and saved us countless hours of work.”

Jeremy Shelton, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Lamar University

“I’ve been continually impressed with your responsiveness to your customers combined with the elegance of your solutions.”

Dr. Michael Erickson, Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside

“Sona really is a ‘golden’ system. We use it to manage our participant pool and we can’t imagine using anything else. It is easy to use, incredibly versatile, and affordable which is important in this sort of economy. We love the system.”

Michael Bernstein, Ph.D., Administrator, Psychological and Social Sciences Program, Penn State Abington

“One of the best things about the system is your staff – they are incredibly responsive and I never have to wait long for help. This is really essential – usually when I send queries to you, it’s because I have received a query myself from a confused participant or researcher. I can always rely on your staff to respond to my questions within hours, so it’s really very helpful to be able to get back to people so quickly.”

Diane Sivasubramaniam, Ph.D., Department of Psychological Sciences and Statistics, Swinburne University of Technology (AUSTRALIA)

“My colleagues were very pleased with how the system operated in our first semester. It improved management of research enormously. It also allows us to collect data systematically on how much research we are doing for the first time. Thanks!”

Kenneth Kallio, Ph.D, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Geneseo

“We just wanted to thank you for all your help and support during our first year. The pool would have collapsed without your software, partly because it was our first attempt at running a pool but mainly because of our very large student numbers, which would have led to impossible administration problems. Your system works extremely efficiently and we would have no hesitation in recommending it to other Psychology departments.”

Jane Humphreys, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of the West of England

“The software was has so many configurable features, it met our unique needs perfectly.Sona Systems staff is always extremely responsive and helpful whenever we have questions. Sona Systems is continually adding new features to improve the software, many based on our requests.”

Jeffrey Loewenstein, Ph.D., Behavioral Research Lab, Columbia Business School

“The software has been a wonderful asset for the department! Not only has it made my job 2-3 times easier and more efficient, but it also makes the students’ job the same, thereby increasing the number of them who finish their research requirements successfully.”

Eric Wruck, Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University

“Sona was instrumental in helping us to establish a subject pool at University of California, Merced, the 10th UC campus. Low-maintenance and easy to use, Sona made it possible for our faculty and students to collect thousands of data points in a short period of time, and it gave student participants valuable learning opportunities. Cognitive Science, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology have already benefited from Sona here at UC Merced, and we expect more participation in the coming years.”

Teenie Matlock, PhD, Founding Faculty, Cognitive Science Program, University of California, Merced

“Sona Systems has greatly improved the efficiency of our office, and your customer service is excellent!”

Ruth Rorem, Department of Psychology, Biola University

“It has made research more feasible here, increased student participation in studies and generally decreased our workload. What more could we want! Thanks for a great product and great support.”

Michele Acker, Chair, Department of Psychology, Otterbein College

“The Sona scheduling software has revolutionized the Research Participant Group operated by my lab. Its ease of access has increased usability for both participants and researchers, and most importantly, has improved signups and the level of support we can offer. Using this software, my lab has grown a flourishing group of participants who are active and engaged. This software platform has allowed us to easily recruit large volumes of participants on short timelines. I can’t recommend this software highly enough.”

Brianna Groot, Social Sciences Research Laboratories (SSRL), University of Saskatchewan

“Our UNM faculty and students have found the system both easy to use and extremely convenient. It has replaced an antiquated paper-based signup system, eliminated “lost” paper-signups, improved student security, and has dramatically improved the speed for getting credit to students after their participation. Our students are also more likely to participate in research studies than defer to alternatives (for example, writing reports on published research).”

John Dencoff, Research Coordinator, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico

“I’m impressed with your software. You’ve certainly covered a lot of bases (most of which I would never have anticipated) with the system preferences and features.”

Dr. Mark Vincent, Psychology Dept., Augustana College

“The entire department is VERY pleased with the Sona Experiment Management System and how it makes our work so much more efficient.”

Lonnie Yandell, Ph.D, Department of Psychology, Belmont University

“I feel privileged to write this testimonial because I am highly impressed with the Sona system and the amazing support that is offered. I was introduced to the Sona system as a user primarily and simply loved its various features which helped me in managing my research. Now, as the administrator of the Sona system for JCU Singapore, I even adore it more because whenever I face challenges, the prompt technical support helps me to get the things done right on time and makes my life easier. I truly endorse the Sona system and would highly recommend it to other universities/institutions for efficient management of their research programs. It’s a paperless online system which also helps in going green, reducing paper waste and saving our planet.”

Manisha Agarwal, Research Coordinator, James Cook University (Singapore campus)

“The rates of incompletes in the semester after we started using the Experiment Management System dropped to under five percent as compared to incomplete rates of around 20 percent using pencil-and-paper sign-ups. In addition, research participation easily doubled as compared to students who chose alternative forms of research credit. As a research pool coordinator, I like the fact that all the features mentioned make my job so much easier and free up time for me to do what I want…research. The instructors in the department like the system because they do not have to rely on me to receive information about their students credit.”

Martin Bink, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of North Texas

“I am so delighted that we chose to team with Sona Systems to help manage our research study. The system is elegantly designed and very intuitive to use, allowing our research staff to easily recruit, screen, and track our participants from start to finish. I cannot say enough about the customer support offered – they are just amazing human beings who have provided me with countless solutions to any question I had about how to best use their system for the study’s needs. I am very impressed with the entire Sona experience and recommend it highly.”

Sarah Morgan, Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“The Sona Participant Management System has been a fantastic solution for the PEEL Lab for many years. Their support team is amazing, highly responsive, and has been incredibly helpful by creating solutions for PEEL specific issues such as the implementation of custom APIs. Many Thanks!”

David Danz, Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory (PEEL), University of Pittsburgh

“As a new lab manager, using Sona Systems has been vital in the success of my lab. I have been able to increase my subject pool by 150% recently and have more efficient studies overall.”

Tayler Bergstrom, University of California, Anderson School of Management

“The software has made the staff here very happy. Sona Systems software is some solid coding and their support is of a rare caliber.”

Lawrence Sweet, Experimental Social Science Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley

“Our university previously used Sona’s predecessor system and was initially reluctant to transition to Sona system. We continued to encounter and desire functionalities that were not available in our prior system, but that Sona provided and supported. Sona made the transition to their system seamless and were on-hand to answer questions during roll out. To this day, any time that our university has questions, we receive a response within hours regardless of whether we email during or “outside of” business hours. As of yet, there is not a single inquiry that they have not been able to expediently get to the bottom of. If there is something you think you cannot do in Sona, I encourage you to ask about the functionality. Sona welcomes feedback on functionality and routinely updates their system to incorporate user requests. We have been very satisfied with the product and the supports that Sona System provides.”

Carrie Robertson, Ph.D., Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University

“After switching to the Experiment Management System from Sona we experienced the usual growing pains of switching to a new system. Most of the issues could be solved by referencing the excellently written documentation that is provided and for the occasional questions an email to the support team. Every email I have sent to the support team was answered incredibly quickly a with a smile. Sona Systems has by far the best support team I have ever seen. Keep up the amazing work, and excellent product.”

Jason Lorenz, University of Alberta School of Business

“In all my 25 years of running studies, I have never had 100% of those who signed up for my study actually show up — until we started using Sona Systems software.”

Robert Kunzendorf, Ph. D, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Lowell

“I tell all my colleagues at other institutions not only about the software, but about the extraordinary customer support. How you all manage that level and speed of support is amazing!”

Shane Pitts, Division of Behavioral & Social Sciences, Birmingham-Southern College

“The system seems to be working really well, and clearly improving the throughput of participants. Remarkably hassle-free, given the numbers involved.”

Peter Hancock, Ph.D, Department of Psychology, University of Stirling (UK)

“Sona Systems software has been a tremendous asset to the department and is incredibly user friendly. Customer service is unsurpassed!”

Kandy Stahl, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Stephen F. Austin State University

“Overall, the system is fantastic. In fact, the system is so well received that I received an accolade for “Graduate Student Teaching”, as I facilitated a smooth transition between systems and subsequently “educated the department”– no doubt I have the Sona support team to thank for making the transition so fluid.”

Josh Haby, Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

“The experiment management software has considerably reduced the staff time needed to manage all our experiments. The web-based interface has made it easy for our students to sign up for experiments. They no longer have to come to our offices and use paper sign-up sheets.”

Jennifer S. Lerner, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University

“We have found the Sona system to be extremely well designed and entirely suited to our needs. It has transformed the way in which we administer participation credit and has been of distinct benefit to staff and students alike. As many others have noted, the customer service is superb.”

Dr. Mike Page, School of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire (UK)

“This is an incredible system and the support is simply brilliant! The number of students failing to complete required hours is a mere fraction of what it used to be.”

Matt Crawford, Ph.D., Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol (UK)

“Your system is awesome. I’m very impressed with your courtesy and customer service. Your prompt and professional replies to email is outstanding. Everyone in our department: instructors, students, experimenters, and me as subject pool coordinator LOVE the system. The frequent updates and flexibility make your system really stand out.”

Christine Belz, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno