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About Participating

At the Early Social Development Lab, we always have a variety of studies on the go for children from birth through early childhood. All our studies are safe, fun, and quick! If you’re interested in participating or learning more about our research, please contact us
What to Expect

Taking Part Online

After contacting the Early Social Development Lab about taking part in online studies with your child(ren), you will receive an email back that includes information about the study, available dates and times to take part, and an e-copy of the consent form for your review. 

Once a date is chosen, an ESDL team member will send you a confirmation email with the date and time of the scheduled visit, a link to connect with a team member via TEAMS(c) video chat, a link to complete an online consent form, and other information and/or links related to the study. A friendly reminder email will also be sent out the morning of your online visit.

After meeting online, an ESDL team member will describe the activities your child(ren) will complete and answer any questions you and/or your child(ren) may have. Children will then be asked if they want to complete the activities. Children can choose to not take part or stop at any time and will still receive a gift card. Most of our online activities can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

Parents may choose to stay in the room with their child during the activities, although we ask that they sit behind the child, out of sight, and do not influence their children's responses during the online session. Parents may also choose to not remain in the room, although we ask that parents stay accessible in case any technical issues arise that their children may need help with.

As a small thank you for taking part, children will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card and families are entered in a draw to win a larger prize. 

Taking Part In Person

If you choose to take part in activities completed at the Early Social Development Lab in person, you will be asked to choose a day and time that is convenient for you to visit. In general, we’re available 7 days a week in the morning, afternoon and evening. We do our very best to accommodate families' busy schedules!


Once a date is chosen, an ESDL team member will send you a confirmation email along with an e-copy of the consent form for your review and to keep for you records. The consent form outlines the details of study, what you and your child will be asked to do and how we keep your information safe! 

Most of our in person activities involve one, 30-45 minute visit to the lab. After arriving, children are invited to play and explore in our playroom and get use the space and our team members. During this time an ESDL team member will review the details of the study with you and answer any questions you may have. You will then be asked to read and sign a consent form that outlines the study. 

Your child will then be invited to take part in a fun game or activity with the researcher (click here to see our current studies). Parents may choose to stay in the play/waiting room, which is adjacent to the room children complete the activities in, or they may choose to accompany their child(ren) while they complete the activities with an ESDL team member. 

After completing the activities with one of our team members, your child will be given a certificate for their hard work. and  given the opportunity to choose a small toy from our prize bag that they can take home.

How to Find Us
The ESDL is located in the Life Sciences Centre on the Dalhousie Campus. You can find directions to our lab here. We have free reserved parking for participating families right outside the lab.
Thank You!

We’re extremely grateful to all the parents who bring their children in to take part in our studies. The success of our work depends on the help of local families like yours and we really appreciate your time and effort! 

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