Checklist for new research projects

This guideline for research procedures in COBE Lab is developed as a help for you and your research assistants. There are many practical issues to think of when running experiments. Therefore we have streamlined a lot of procedures to help you through all stages of your research project from early planning until the completed stage.

Please spend a little time to become acquainted with our procedures and inform your research partners and assistants about this helpful website. In this way we avoid missing or late payments to participants, data breaches and other aggravating situations.

At any one time, your research project at COBE Lab will be categorised in one of three stages: 

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Completed

A research project begins in the planning stage, which comprises you submitting a couple of forms and ethics checklist. When these forms are submitted to cobelab@au.dk and you have received an approval from our Human Subjects Committee, your project will be categorised as in the active stage. It is only during the active stage you are allowed to collect data with participants. Your project is marked as completed, when your data collection has ended and you are finished using COBE Lab's resources. 

A guide showing different steps in research procedures for researchers Register project with jurists at AU if you collect personal data Image Map
A guide showing different steps in research procedures for researchers Register project with jurists at AU if you collect personal data Image Map

The pre-study form documents the practicalities of your study (e.g., what resources, no. of participants, etc.) and help lab management coordinate projects in COBE Lab. Download the PSF here. Mail a completed PSF to cobelab@au.dk. Lab management will then review it and provide comments via email.

If it is the first time you are doing research in COBE Lab, we recommend that you arrange a meeting with lab management. We will show you the lab rooms and equipment, give advice on your research design regarding to practicalities, recruiting and planning and answer any questions you may have.   

Research activities including personal information must be registered internally at Aarhus University. You must fill out and submit a notification form found under "1. Do you process personal data?" here

There are two forms to choose from, one if you are the data controller and one if you are the data processor. You can read more about each kind on TTO's website, but under normal circumstances you will need to fill out the data controller form for projects in COBE Lab.  

Send your research ethics checklist and consent form to cobelab@au.dk. The ethics checklist is developed to support you to carefully think about ethical issues and will be evaluated by our Human Subjects Committee. They will support you with advice on research ethical issues in your project and grant you access to COBE Lab. Download the research ethics checklist here and consent form template here.   

The project account information form details where your finances are coming from and who is in charge of the payments. It helps us settle queries concering payments. Sheet 1 details project account information and must be send to cobelab@au.dk (only if you pay by bank transfer). Sheet 2 is for entering participants payment information and must be send to your local secretary continually during data collection. The form can be downloaded here. Read more about payment to participants here.   

Ethics certificates are a requirement when performing research with human participants in COBE Lab. Researchers and research assistants involved in data collection with participants need to take an ethics course. Read more and take the course here.   

Always pilot your experiment and make sure everything is working trouble-free. If you make any changes to your research design in this process, please make sure to inform Human Subjects Committee about these changes by sending an email to cobelab@au.dk.  

Once you are ready to start your data collection, you need to book the resources you need in our booking system. Lab management provides you with access to the system. In our booking system you see all our available equipment and lab rooms. Please adjust your bookings continuously. Find our guide to the booking system here.   

Our participant pool is managed by a system called Sona. Lab managers grant you access to the Sona webpage with a researcher account. Here you may create your project with a catching description, manage timeslots and cancellations and send emails to participants. Please check out our Sona guide for researchers for more information on how it works.   

It is crucial that you pay participants as fast as possible! The beginning and middle of each month there is a payment deadline. Before the deadline you must send your excel spreadsheet with participant payments to the secretary in charge of your payments. This must be done continually as the participants expect their payments within six weeks. Check out our payment procedure guide for more information on the payment process.  

During the data collection with participants you collect a pile of both signed consent forms and payment information forms. These must be kept safe and without access for unauthorised people. Do not leave them in the lab rooms. If you need a safe place, you may ask lab management to get access to the lockers in our copy room.   

Your data must be anonymised as soon as possible. Please delete any personal identifiers when it is no longer needed. 

All papers or excel spread sheets with names and CPR-numbers must be destroyed or deleted as soon as the payments are processed. Feel free to use our shredder in our copy room. 


Send a notification to cobelab@au.dk that your project has ended. Your project will be marked as completed and you are no longer able to collect data with participants on this project.

If you have sent a data notification form to the jurists at Aarhus University, you need to inform them when the data is anonymised/deleted/archived. Simply send a notification to legal@au.dk.   

Signed consent forms must be stored safely after the project is complete. It is usual practice to keep consent forms a couple of years after the project has ended for documentation purposes. 

Planning stage

This stage involves a bit of paper work. You must submit the mentioned forms below to cobelab@au.dk in order to create your project in COBE Lab. Please take your time to fill in and check all boxes with accurate information about your project. This will ease the workload for both you and us and make the evaluation process a lot faster.

  • Submit a pre-study form / Meeting with lab managers
    This documents the practicalities of your study (e.g., what resources, no. of participants, etc.) and help lab management coordinate projects in COBE Lab. Download the PSF here. Mail a completed PSF to cobelab@au.dk. Lab management will then review it and provide comments via email.

    If it is the first time you are doing research in COBE Lab, we recommend that you arrange a meeting with lab management. We will show you the lab rooms and equipment, give advice on your research design regarding to practicalities, recruiting and planning and answer any questions you may have.   
  • Register your project with jurists at AU, if you collect personal data
    Research activities including personal information must be registered internally at Aarhus University. You must fill out and submit a notification form found under "1. Do you process personal data?" here.

    There are two forms to choose from, one if you are the data controller and one if you are the data processor. You can read more about each kind on TTO's website, but under normal circumstances you will need to fill out the data controller form for projects in COBE Lab.  
  • Submit research ethics checklist and consent form
    Send your research ethics checklist and consent form to cobelab@au.dk. The ethics checklist is developed to support you to carefully think about ethical issues and will be evaluated by our Human Subjects Committee. They will support you with advice on research ethical issues in your project and grant you access to COBE Lab. Download the research ethics checklist here and consent form template here.  
  • Submit project account information form
    The project account information form details where your finances are coming from and who is in charge of the payments. It helps us settle queries concering payments. Sheet 1 details project account information and must be send to cobelab@au.dk (only if you pay by bank transfer). Sheet 2 is for entering participants payment information and must be send to your local secretary continually during data collection. The form can be downloaded here. Read more about payment to participants here. 
  • Submit ethics certificate for all researchers and research assistants
    Ethics certificates are a requirement when performing research with human participants in COBE Lab. Researchers and research assistants involved in data collection with participants need to take an ethics course. Read more and take the course here. 

Active stage

Once you have submitted all forms and received a letter from Human Subjects Committee with granted access to COBE Lab resources, you may start collecting data with participants. Your project is now in the active stage. 

  • Run a pilot
    Always pilot your experiment and make sure everything is working trouble-free. If you make any changes to your research design in this process, please make sure to inform Human Subjects Committee about these changes.
  • Book resources
    Once you are ready to start your data collection, you need to book the resources you need in our booking system. Lab management provides you with access to the system. In our booking system you see all our available equipment and lab rooms. Please adjust your bookings continuously.
  • Recruit participants
    Our participant pool is managed by a system called Sona. Lab managers grant you access to the Sona webpage with a researcher account. Here you may create your project with a catching description, manage timeslots and cancellations and send emails to participants. Please check out our Sona guide for researchers for more information on how it works. 
  • Pay participants continually
    It is crucial that you pay participants as fast as possible! The beginning and middle of each month there is a payment deadline. Before the deadline you must send your excel spreadsheet with participant payments to the secretary in charge of your payments. This must be done continually as the participants expect their payments within six weeks. Check out our payment procedure guide for more information on the payment process. 
  • Safely store consent forms and payment information
    During the data collection with participants you collect a pile of both signed consent forms and payment information forms. These must be kept safe and without access for unauthorised people. Do not leave them in the lab rooms. If you need a safe place, you may ask lab management to get access to the lockers in our copy room. 

Completed stage

Your project is complete when you finished collecting data with participants for your project. Once your project is marked as completed in COBE Lab, it is not possible to collect more data. If you wish to do so, you must resubmit your project.

  • Anonymise data
    Your data must be anonymised as soon as possible. Please delete any personal identifiers when it is no longer needed. 
  • Destroy payment information 
    All papers or excel spread sheets with names and CPR-numbers must be destroyed or deleted as soon as the payments are processed. Feel free to use our shredder in our copy room. 
  • Inform lab management
    Send a notification to the lab management that your project has ended. Your project will be marked as completed and you are no longer able to collect data with participants on this project. 
  • Inform TTO
    If you have sent a data notification form to the jurists at Aarhus University, you need to inform them when the data is anonymised and/or when your project has ended. 
  • Store consent forms
    Signed consent forms must be stored safely after the project is complete. It is usual practice to keep consent forms a couple of years after the project has ended.