Can you really make money with Prolific Academic? Yes! You really can and it is by far my favourite survey site, and here’s why!
What makes Prolific Academic so great?
Prolific Academic is about so much more than feedback on a new crisp flavour or the design of the packaging for a new brand of washing powder. These are surveys that are forming part of legitimate, and often academic research studies. The vast majority of the studies I have done have been put together by a team of academics and the studies have been approved by the Board of Ethics at that institution (usually a Higher Education one including some very well known academic institutions). As this is the case – the topic is usually far more meaningful, and may actually help make a difference. There has been a lot of surveys since the pandemic began about the impact on people’s lives and I hope that by taking part it is helping researchers understand the impact this has had on different groups of people.
What is being studied or researched on Prolific Academic?
Quite often you will be told at the start of the study what the survey is about and what they are trying to achieve. Sometimes however, you know there is perhaps a little more to it than they are letting on. It will have still been approved by the Ethics Board, so perhaps they can’t tell you upfront so as to sway the results, but some of them are really interesting. I’ve done studies about all sorts of things from trying out new apps through to emotional wellbeing in the workplace. I love it when they ask at the end what you think the survey is about. Sometimes it seems really obvious, and on other occasions I have absolutely no idea! In my opinion that adds to the interest factor – as there’s clearly things being studied and analysed that are above and beyond my comprehension!
Are there many studies on Prolific Academic?
Again, yes! You might get emails from time to time telling you that there is a new study for which you are eligible, however I would recommend that you log in regularly as quite often by the time you’ve received the email and logged in, the survey is full. You can even get a browser
Do you get screened out like on other survey sites?
No! This is another reason why I love this site. You fill out a very comprehensive sign up form, which gives lots of information about your demographics and other information. You don’t have to fill it all out, but if you do, you are more likely to be eligible for more surveys. Due to this extensive questionnaire, you are only offered surveys which you are able to participate in, hence eliminating being screened out. Down the line they might add additional eligibility questions which again help work out what surveys and studies you are suitable for, and you will get a notification about these.
Each of the surveys will tell you up front if you need to complete it on a particular type of device as well, as some may not be suitable for mobile devices. Some may also require the download of software, but that will also be stated in the pre-survey information.
How long do the surveys take?
Each survey or study tells you up front the estimated time that it should take. That can be really handy if you only have 10 minutes – you won’t waste that time starting a study you won’t have time to finish. On average the ones I have taken part in have taken between 5 and 15 minutes, but it’s a good indicator of how much time you need to set aside.
How much money can you earn on Prolific Academic?
The longer ones obviously pay more, but you can decide if you have enough time to complete them – they also tell you up front how much you will be earning per study so you can decide if you think the time is worth it. Their rates are very competitive and they add up really quickly. You really can make some serious money from Prolific Academic. I’ve made nearly £600 so far.
I normally withdraw my earnings everytime I get to about £20, although you can withdraw with as little as £5, and now they’ve removed all PayPal withdrawal costs you don’t lose anything by making more frequent
Anything else I should know?
Due to the nature of the studies and that they are forming part of legitimate and academic research studies, quite a few of them have “attention” questions – meaning you have to pay attention as you do the survey and select the correct option (e.g. it might tell you to select “Slightly Disagree”). Make sure you read all the questions thoroughly and answer as truthfully and accurately as you can. If you miss any of these sort of questions, they may refuse any payment, so it is not worth rushing through it just for the sake of doing it quickly.
You will be asked at least once if not more times to read the instructions and guidance and give your consent to take part and for your anonymised data to be stored and processed. Studies will have been run through ethics panels where appropriate and any risks will be flagged as well.
Prolific Academic used to have a referral programme, meaning for every person you referred, and who reached the minimum withdrawal of £5 you would get a small bonus. They have gotten rid of this, so I get nothing for referring you, but I absolutely stand by the fact that this is the BEST survey site around and worth joining even though I get nothing from it!
You can withdraw from any survey whilst completing it, and usually after – but within a set time period.
Find out more about my other favourite survey sites here.