Prolific Surveys claims you can get paid to take part in engaging research.
Let me just reveal right away that it is a survey site that is a bit different from many other paid survey sites.
But is Prolific legit and really worth joining, or a site to stay away from?
In this Prolific Surveys review, I will give you all the details, tell you how it is different from other sites, what the opportunities are, and give you an inside look, so you can see exactly what to expect and decide for yourself if it will be worth your time.
- What is Prolific Surveys and what does the site offer?
- How do you get paid?
- How much money can you make on Prolific?
- Can you use it on mobile devices?
- Who can join?
- Can you get support and give feedback?
- Final verdict
What is Prolific Surveys and what does the site offer?
Prolific was founded in 2014.
At first, it was actually called Prolific Academic, and many people still seem to call it this name. But because the name was a bit long and clumsy, it was changed to just be called “Prolific” which is now the official name of the platform.
So if you hear or read the name Prolific Academic, it is the same platform as Prolific – it is just people that are not aware that it has changed its name (even though it was changed already in 2015).
As I mentioned earlier, Prolific.co is a bit different than many other survey sites. So let’s start by going over how it is different and then how you can earn as a member.
How Prolific is different
The story behind Prolific is what first of all makes it different from many other survey sites.
It was founded because two PhD students found it difficult to recruit participants for their research.
They, therefore, decided to start a platform on their own that would make it easy for researchers to recruit panel participants from all over the world and a way for participants to get paid for contributing easily.
Prolific is therefore now a crowdsourcing platform for both researchers and for people that want to give feedback, help research, and get paid at the same time.
So that is all very nice, but how are the actual opportunities there, and are Prolific surveys even worth participating in?
Let’s look into the opportunities for both participants and researchers to give you a better idea.
Opportunity 1 – Earn money on Prolific:
Prolific makes it possible for anyone to sign up and earn money by answering surveys or participate in studies.
As it is a platform that is meant to help researchers get answers and feedback, it is dependent on researchers to make surveys available.
That also means that there will not be as many available surveys as on many other survey sites but this will depend a lot on the country you live in – in some countries you will be invited quite often and on other you might almost never get invited.
However, the surveys that are here are all quite interesting, in my opinion.
They are all academic studies, but that does not mean that you have to have an academic degree to participate. It just means that the answers are used for research at for example universities. I have for example myself participated in a study from the University of Düsseldorf.
All you need to do is to give your opinion and feedback in the surveys like on any other survey site. So no matter your background, you can sign up and get access to surveys.
As many of the surveys are very specialized and about a very specific topic, they sometimes require you to have a certain demographic profile to be able to participate. It can for example be where you live, what you do for a living, how many children you have etc.
So Prolific has some very interesting surveys to participate in, and it is definitely a legit site that is working with reputable researchers from all over the world.
So your answers will have a direct effect on the newest research, which I think is pretty cool. But because the platform is so targeted, it also means that you will not have access to daily surveys, and maybe not even weekly surveys depending on your profile.
Whenever there is an available study, you will receive an email. If you wish to participate, it is a good idea not to wait too long to take the survey, as some studies fill up very quickly.
A way to make sure you get notified is also to download the Prolifi Chrome extension called “Prolific Assistant”.
It will notify you whenever there are new surveys available and can help you get to them before they fill up.
Opportunity 2 – For researchers:
As mentioned, Prolific is a crowdsourcing platform that is also very much focused on giving researchers easy access to recruiting participants for surveys and research panels.
So if you need participants for your next study, it might be worth considering Prolific. You can decide the prescreening for your study yourself, and for example filter participants by age, sex, nationality, language, and more.
If you have a study that is hosted in another system like for example Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey, you can just insert the URL and still recruit participants on Prolific.
It is free to sign up on Prolific. But as a researcher, you of course have to pay the rewards to the participants + an administrative fee to Prolific.
The exact reward you give participants is more or less up to you, but Prolific encourages to reward with at least $6.5 per hour.
And with higher rewards, it will probably also be easier to recruit participants – that is my experience after having participated in thousands of paid surveys and getting feedback from many other participants through PaidFromSurveys.com.
Below I have created a quick video review of Prolific, so you can get an inside look and see for yourself what it has to offer. Below the video you can find further details:
How do you get paid?
As a participant, you can get paid through PayPal.
Personally, I love survey sites that pay through PayPal, as it is such an easy way to get your rewards, and you get them in cash. But if that is not your preferred method, it is not the best site.
You can request a payout already when you have earned £5/$7. There will however be a small fee for this. If you wait until you have earned £20/$28, you can get your rewards for a lower fee.
After your 4th cashout, you will automatically be moved to instant cash outs which means that your money will go into your PayPal account as soon as you request a payout.
When you have taken a survey, your answers have to be approved by the researcher that made the survey. So it will take some days before you can see your reward in your Prolific account.
In addition to choosing to get the rewards in cash, you can also sometimes choose to donate to charities.
As a default, the reward will go into your Prolific account, but after a survey you are also asked, if you want to donate.
So if you like any of the charities that Prolific are supporting, you might want to consider this option once in a while.
When you first join Prolific, you can only cash out on Tuesdays and Fridays.
But as mentioned earlier, after you have had four cash outs, you can get paid via instant PayPal, once you reach the payout threshold, and then get your earnings right away.
How much money can you make on Prolific?
Prolific can be a nice way to earn a bit of extra cash. But if your main goal is to make as much money as possible on surveys, Prolific might not be the right site for you.
In my experience, all the surveys are interesting and relevant, and you can make a difference by participating, and that should also be a part of your motivation if you want to take Prolific surveys.
Because it is a crowdsourcing platform, it does not offer surveys very often. You might not even get one a month. But this depends a lot on the country you live in and your profile.
Some might get quite regular surveys.
Overall, it can be a way to earn a bit extra, but you might also have to wait a long time to be offered enough surveys to reach the $28 that will allow you to get paid with a lower administrative fee.
Personally, I like being a member of Prolific. First of all, because it helps researchers get answers. So it is more of an extra platform for me, and then I am a member of many other survey sites, where I am offered daily surveys and can make more money.
Can you use it on mobile devices?
Being able to take surveys on a mobile device can be very convenient, as you can do it whenever it fits into your schedule without having to be in front of a computer.
It is especially convenient on Prolific, as some surveys have limited spaces, so it is good being able to take the surveys fairly quickly.
And it is luckily possible to use Prolific on mobile devices. The platform does not have an app, which is a bit strange since they often refer to themselves as the Prolific app when they post on social media and on their website.
However, it has a mobile-friendly website, so you can just open it in your internet browser on your phone or click the link in the invitation email, you will receive.
I have taken surveys on my mobile, and it was easy to see the options and take the surveys, so this option works well if you would like the option to take surveys on the go.
Who can join?
Prolific surveys are open to around 33 countries. It is planning to open up to the whole world at some point, so if you want to join, it can be worth going there to see, if it is available in your country.
The countries it is available in as of updating this review are: AT, AU, BE, CA, CH, CL, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IL, IS, IT, JP, KR, LU, LV, MX, NL, NO, NZ, PL, PT, SE, SI, and US.
To be able to participate you have to verify your email + either your phone number or your Facebook account.
The verification is necessary to make sure that it is only real people that are participating, and it is understandable that they want to make sure of this.
The phone verification is very easy and is what I did, when I first joined. I only give my phone number to survey sites, when I am sure it is a legit site.
I could fairly quickly see that Prolific is not a scam, and therefore I did not mind using my phone to verify my account. You just give your phone number, and a few seconds later you receive a text message with a code you need to use. In total, it took me less than 1 minute.
You have to be over 18 years old to join Prolific.
Can you get support and give feedback?
If you need support on Prolific, there is a contact form once you are logged in. You first have to insist that it is something you do not get an answer for in the FAQ section, before you can send the form.
I have not had the need to contact the support myself, so I am not sure how quickly they will get back to you.
Prolific also has a Facebook page, where you can see news and updates. You can also choose to comment here if you have any feedback.
However, from what I can see, they are really slow at getting back to people that comment on their posts. That is a shame, as quick responses should always be a priority when people need support.
There is however also another way to give feedback on Prolific, which is a bit unusual.
When you have taken a survey, you will see an image where you have to say if the survey was working or not. It is a quick way to give feedback, and I appreciate they have this option.
As a researcher you also have a way to give feedback to participants. You can choose to give a star to participants that have provided extra useful insights for you.
You can maximum give stars to 5% of the participants. It can lead to the participant being chosen as the participant of the month and win a small price.
As you can see, Prolific is a legit survey site. Whether it is worth joining or not depends a lot on your reasons to join and expectations.
So let’s finish this review by summing up the pros and cons to give you a better overview.
- Interesting surveys that make a difference
- Pays out through PayPal
- Good way for researchers to get participants for studies
- Fairly good rewards
- Not very many surveys (depending on your country)
- Sometimes you have to wait for many days to have your surveys approved
If you want to make as much money as possible on paid surveys, you should probably consider joining sites that have daily opportunities instead.
It can take patience to make money on Prolific as a participant depending on the country you live in and your profile, as you will not always be offered surveys very often.
But if you like contributing to the newest research, Prolific is a great site. So, in my opinion, you should mainly join, if you want to take part in interesting surveys and do not mind that it might take a long time to get a payout.
Or join it as an extra site in addition to survey sites that have more opportunities, and then just use Prolific as a way to provide valuable insights and get a little extra cash once in a while.
So Prolific can be a good site to join, but just make sure you do it with the right expectations.
If you have any comments, questions, or have any experiences with Prolific surveys yourself, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.