Looking to top up your bank balance from the comfort of your own home but don’t know where to start? Participating in online research and surveys is a great way to earn a little extra cash in your spare time.
Designed as a two-way platform, Prolific is perfect for those who need access to a specific demographic for research purposes. With over 2000 registered recruiters, Prolific has supported more than 8,000 successful studies for clients all over the world.
Prolific was built to deliver quality work and research opportunities that offer fair compensation for completed surveys. With a minimum payment of $6.50 per hour, this platform is certainly one of the more lucrative options currently available.
Founded and launched by Katia and Phelim back on April 10th, 2014, Prolific came about through Katia’s frustration of not being able to find or recruit participants readily for her Ph.D. research.
After a stint of trying various online platforms that were available at the time, Katia simply wasn’t happy with the slow and limited service on offer. This led her to contact Phelim, and in turn, resulted in the development of an easy-to-use and researcher-friendly crowdsourcing platform, Prolific.
How To Sign Up
Signing up to Prolific couldn’t get any easier thanks to their extremely user-friendly webpage. Just to make things even clearer for you, we’ve included a simple step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Click the “Sign Up” button located at the top right-hand corner of the homepage. This will redirect you to a very basic registration page asking for general information, such as your name and email address. This is where you also select whether or not you are looking to participate in a study or register your own.
Step 2: After confirming your registration, you will be directed to your dashboard where you will find a demo survey that lasts for 24 hours upon activation. Answering the questions in this survey will demonstrate how the Prolific platform works.
Step 3: Apply away! After you’re all set up, you will then be able to apply for a variety of studies where you will take a short eligibility test before finding out whether or not you are a fit for the survey.
How It Works
The Prolific platform works through a cash reward system where members are offered a set fee for the study that they qualify for. Upon reaching the $7 mark, members are able to request a withdrawal from their account. However, there is a small fee for this transaction, so it’s advised that members wait until they reach the $28 threshold for lower fees.
Upon a successful study application, the host of the study will list the amount of time that they expect the study to take. This is also the part where the host states the fee that he or she is willing to pay per hour and the number of elements available.
To gain access to a wider array of studies, members can add further supplementary information to their profile in the “About You” tab. Here, you’ll find sections such as your educational background, geographic variables, and even the languages you speak. Filling in each of these sections will greatly increase your chances of finding suitable surveys.
Being an entirely cash-only reward system is extremely attractive to all of those who search for ways to make money online, the general opinion being that this system easily outplays those that offer gifts or redeemable points. However, the huge bonus of Prolific is that members can withdraw funds directly to their PayPal or Circle accounts, thus making funds available instantly as opposed to having to wait the typical six to eight weeks for a check in the post.
This all being said, upon completion of the survey, you will have to wait a couple of days so that the researchers can evaluate your answers before any payouts are made. New members can also only cash out on Tuesdays and Fridays until they have three successful payouts. After these have gone through, they’ll be able to withdraw instantly to PayPal.
More than that, the members also have the option to donate their funds directly to a charity that Prolific are supporting.
Prolific is extremely easy to get started with, and you can be signed up with a fully filled out profile in minutes. The demo study provided by Prolific is also great and makes the entire process easy to understand, allowing you to make quick work of any real studies that you are able to join.
While it’s great how easy and quick everything is to set up and use, there is one major downside to Prolific, and that’s the frequency of studies. Members are randomly sent invites to studies, which you may not necessarily be eligible for. This can be a little frustrating.
We found that you can typically expect to participate in one study every three to six weeks with the payments varying for each one. Customer service is great, and answers to your questions are easy to find via the “Support” tab on Prolific’s fantastically simple dashboard.
- Reliable payout methods
- Useable for research hosts and participants
- Easy-to-use platform
- Small fee charged on payouts
- Low survey frequency
What happens if a researcher doesn’t take action on my survey?
After 21 days, Prolific will automatically approve any submissions for that study if the researcher fails to take any action. This will count as a successful submission, and your typical payment process will proceed.
What are the fees on withdrawals?
The initial payment threshold is $7 and is subject to fees. Accumulating more than $28 can reduce these fees when using Circle. Below this $28 amount, Circle will charge 1% plus $0.14 per transaction. All PayPal cashouts are charged with their typical 2.9% plus $0.28 per transaction.
Can a household have multiple accounts?
Multiple accounts per household are allowed. However, only one account per household is eligible to participate in each study. This means that if person A and B are from the same house and person A participates in study X, then person B is automatically ineligible for study X.
Prolific is a 100% legitimate way to make some extra money online. However, if you’re looking to make money quickly or full-time, then you cannot solely rely on Prolific. With its lower frequency of surveys on offer, it’s definitely worth using but should ideally be paired with other survey sites for optimal returns.
If you’re looking for cash payouts over rewards, then this is definitely a platform that you should add to your repertoire. It’s even great for those on the go as you can access the platform through your mobile device, allowing you to earn some extra cash on your morning commute.