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Graduate develops website to connect researchers with participants

A new website developed by a University of Canterbury graduate is designed to connect New Zealand university postgraduate students with participants for their research.

The creator of the website Subjects Wanted, Sam Jarman, hopes the website will increase the number of participants involved in research projects, leading to more reliable and statistically sound results.

As well as visiting the website, prospective participants can view current research listings on the Subjects Wanted Facebook page. Jarman says the website helps to inform people of the research taking place on university campuses across New Zealand. By listing research experiments on the website, the researcher's discipline is promoted, as well as postgraduate study. 

By improving the quality of research, Subjects Wanted aims to help improve the global rankings of New Zealand universities.

"Researchers don't get the participants they need and therefore don't end up getting published,” says Jarman. “This website will create better research and it will promote and enhance postgraduate study. Hopefully Subjects Wanted changes the face of research in New Zealand.”

"There are experiments ranging from rock climbing, to eating kiwifruit for a week, to having tubes up your nose. Subjects Wanted helps undergrads learn about what postgrads do," he says.

University of Canterbury researchers are currently investigating more than 800 PhD research projects, creating a huge demand for participants.

Jarman completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Science at the University of Canterbury last year. He says he was inspired to build the website after his friend was unable to find a sufficient number of participants for his research.

Each research listing has unique conditions to fit the researcher's criteria - such as age and gender restrictions. Anyone that fits the criteria can participate - not just university students. 

The website has had 39 listings and over 12,000 views so far. In the near future Jarman hopes to add a booking system as well as enabling researchers to have more control over their own listings.

Jarman works as a mobile software developer for Carnival Mobile in Wellington. He also has a YouTube channel called Nested which features computer science tutorials for high school students.