Research Opportunities

The Linguistics Department uses an online system called Sona to announce and organize research studies.

How to Sign Up

Participants can earn extra credit towards courses in which they are enrolled and/or monetary compensation by participating in linguistics research studies. Instructors can use Sona to track students’ study participation, and researchers can use Sona to recruit participants for studies. If you have any questions about Sona, please contact the system administrator, Prof. Nicol, at


  1. Go to,
  2. Click “Request Account”, and fill out the account request form.
    1. For “Email Address”, you should use your email address.
    2. For “Courses”, you should select only the courses in which you are currently enrolled and for which you intend to participate in research studies for extra credit this semester (once you have an account, you can change your courses if necessary; e.g. the next semester).

Once you have completed the account request form, you will receive an email address with your login and temporary password. Log into your account to see currently available research studies and to sign up to participate in one or more studies.

You can participate in some studies for extra credit and others for monetary compensation. Please read carefully when selecting a study in which to participate, as the form of compensation you will receive is listed in the study description. You cannot receive both types of compensation for the same study.

  • If you are participating in a for-credit study, you select which course you would like to receive credit for when you sign up for a timeslot. Each study is typically worth 1 credit. The amount of points that a credit is worth in your course will have been determined by your instructor.
  • If you are participating in a for-pay study, you still must select a course when you sign up for a timeslot. If you are not enrolled in any of the available courses and are only participating in the for-pay studies, you should select the “*FOR PAY ONLY*” course during account registration.

If you sign up for a research study, please show up for your timeslot. If you cannot make your scheduled timeslot, you should log into Sona and cancel your appointment. If it is too late to cancel via Sona, you should email the researcher and inform them that you cannot make it for your appointment. Failure to properly cancel your appointment results in your account receiving an unexcused absence, and once you have accrued three unexcused absences your account is banned from the system automatically.


Please contact the system administrator at to request an Instructor account. You should include both the name of your course(s) and the maximum number of credits which students should be able to earn for extra credit in your request.


Please contact the system administrator at to request a Researcher account. Once you have received your login information, you will be able to create a study in Sona. Once you have created a study, it must be approved by the system administrator before participants can view and sign up for the study. When you create a study, there is a button you can click to request that the system administrator check your study for approval.

Please note, if you are creating a for-credit study you cannot restrict your study to native English speakers only. Department policy holds that you must run all participants, not just native English speakers. Studies which do not follow this instruction will not be approved.

Once a scheduled timeslot has passed, you should log into the system and either grant credit to the participant for that timeslot or mark them as having an excused/unexcused absence. If you do not take action within 240 hours, the participant will automatically be granted credit for participating.