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Substitution at Prolific

Taking part in studies on Prolific is designed to be flexible to fit around you. This includes being able to choose to appoint someone else to complete a study for you.

How does it work?

At any point after you’ve accepted a study but before you’ve begun your submission, you can choose to appoint someone else (a substitute) to complete the submission for that study on your behalf, using your account, provided they meet the conditions below.

Who can I appoint as a substitute?

The person you choose as your substitute can be anyone you like, but they must meet the requirements (or eligibility criteria) for that study. This means you need to ensure the responses they would give to the demographic profile questions that you have answered in the ‘About You’ section of your participant account are the same as your own. (You can log in to your account and click on ‘About You’ at any time to check your own responses.) You will also need to check the following information about your substitute:

  • they are over eighteen (18) years old;
  • they have not had their account on Prolific suspended or deactivated;
  • they will abide by our stand against discrimination or abuse towards our employees or contractors.

Your responsibility for your substitute

Please remember that you are responsible for your substitute, which includes ensuring they comply with the requirements around using Prolific and conducting studies as set out in our Participant Terms. You can always send them a link to our Participant Help Centre where they can find lots of information about being a participant.

How do I appoint a substitute?

If you’d like to appoint a substitute for a particular study, you’ll need to have accepted to take part in the study and the study must not have timed out. You will then need to check that the proposed substitute for the study meets the criteria outlined above under Who can I appoint as a substitute? (including comparing the information you have provided in any responses to the questions on the About You section of your account with your substitute). If they meet the relevant criteria, you can then get in touch with our Support team to let us know you’d like to appoint a substitute for the study in one of the following ways:

  • by submitting a request here;
  • via our chatbot; or
  • by emailing with the subject heading ‘Right of Substitution’.

Please provide a few details including the email address associated with your account and the study name you want to appoint a substitute for.

Once our Support team have confirmed there are no issues, your substitute can use your account to take part in the study and complete the submission.

Anything else I need to know?

Substitution is on a per study basis - so you’ll need to get in touch with us as described above for each study you want to appoint a substitute for.

There are also a handful of studies for which substitution is not permitted - but we’ll let you know if that’s the case if you reach out to us to ask about using a substitute.

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