FAQs for research participants
Everything you need to know about TSR Insight and taking part in our research.
Who are TSR Insight?
A market research agency that specialises in youth insights
TSR Insight is part of The Student Room Group.
Our team carries out market research on behalf of The Student Room and specific external clients.
The types of market research we conduct vary, for example, it could be a survey, focus group, bulletin board, workshop, or interview - either online or offline.
Find the answers to commonly asked questions below:
TSR Insight contacts people who might be interested in taking part in market research.
You may receive an invitation to take part in an online survey, or an expression of interest form to opt in to taking part in research such as focus groups, bulletin boards or depth interviews.
For more information about the specific research project you’ve been contacted about, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We really value your views and time. However, participation in market research is always optional - you don’t have to take part if you don’t want to.
After you have completed a survey, you may be able to enter a prize draw as a thank you for your time.
If you would like to enter the prize draw, we will ask you to enter your email address at the end of the survey.
Your email address will be only used for running the prize draw and will not be used for any marketing or research purposes.
When you enter the prize draw, you will be shown a link to the prize draw terms and conditions and shown the date prizes will be drawn and winners will be notified.
Once the prize draw is closed, the winner(s) will be drawn at random and notified via email.
Winners will have fourteen days to respond to the initial contact to confirm their email address and claim their prize.
If you do not claim your prize within fourteen days, an alternative winner will be drawn.
If you do not win the prize draw, your email address will be deleted as soon as soon as all prizes have been claimed.
The email addresses of prize winners will be held securely for seven years.
Prize winners are chosen at random.
As a thank you for taking part in some research projects, for example a focus group or bulletin board, you may receive an incentive such as a gift voucher.
We will always tell you the amount and type of incentive before you sign up to the research.
We always try to send the incentive as soon as possible after the research is conducted, but sometimes it can take a couple of weeks.
You will be told at the time you take part in the research when you can expect to receive your incentive by.
Keep an eye out in your inbox and also check your junk folder, just in case. If you haven’t received your incentive when you would expect to, please email email@example.com with details of the project you took part in, and someone will be able to assist you.
There are three main reasons why you may not be able to complete a survey/expression of interest form:
- The survey or expression of interest form is closed. TSR Insight surveys are open for a limited time only, so if you want to take part in a research project, it is best to complete a survey as soon as possible after you receive it. If you receive a survey via email and it is closing within three days, we will always try to let you know.
- The survey or expression of interest form has specific recruitment criteria. Sometimes TSR Insight surveys/expression of interest forms are only open to those fitting specific criteria, for example, people based in a particular geographical area or applying to certain universities. In some cases, we may also close the survey to specific groups if we already have enough people who meet their criteria. Although we try to target the survey so this doesn’t happen, you may be screened out of the survey in these cases. However, you’ll usually still be able to enter the prize draw if there is one.
- You are aged 15 or under TSR Insight surveys are open to those aged 16 or over only. If you are aged 15 or under, you will be screened out of the survey. Please note, for legal reasons, our prize draws are only open to those aged 16 or over.
First of all, thank you for offering to participate in our research. All our research projects are different but here’s a general outline of what may happen next:
If you’ve been contacted initially by one of our clients (e.g. a university) and given your consent for your details to be securely shared with us, we will contact you using the contact information you provided to let you know what we need you to do and when.
If you’ve signed up through an online expression of interest form we’ll get in touch to let you know if you have been selected to participate.
- For some projects we have a lot of people interested in taking part and we can’t always include everyone, even though we’d love to.
- We’ll use the contact details you provided on the expression of interest form to contact you about the research, this may be via email, phone or text message
- If you don’t hear back from us, it may mean that we already have enough people to take part in the research this time. Please don’t feel disheartened, we do a lot of research and there will be other opportunities to take part. Please keep an eye on your emails, or for announcements on The Student Room community for upcoming opportunities.
There are lots of different ways we select people to take part, sometimes we/our clients may be looking for specific types of people to take part in the research, for example, those from different regions, those interested in studying specific subjects or considering particular universities for the project.
Each project is different, and there are lots of opportunities to take part in market research with us, so always answer survey and expression of interest questions honestly so we can match you with research that will be fun, interesting, and relevant for you to participate in.
A focus group is a type of qualitative market research where a group of around 6-8 people get together at the same time to discuss a specific topic in depth.
Focus groups usually last for 60 or 90 minutes and in that time a professional market researcher from our team (called a moderator) would ask the focus group participants questions from a pre-defined topic guide. Focus groups allow us to have a conversation about the topic and there are no right or wrong answers. Everyone gets the opportunity to express their opinions and to discuss the different opinions around the group, they can be fun and informative for those taking part.
Sometimes we may tell you in advance what the topic is and we may ask you to do some short tasks in advance, such as background reading. Other times we’ll reveal the detail of the topic during the focus group discussion. We’ll always provide you with the specific details of what you need to do and how long the focus group will last before you sign up.
At the moment we are conducting focus groups online over Zoom, Microsoft Teams or similar software, but there is no obligation to have your camera on for these conversations.
In the future we may run focus groups face-to-face in venues such as hotels or university classrooms, or in specialist market research venues called viewing facilities.
We will often provide participants with a gift voucher as a thank you for taking part in focus groups.
A depth interview is a type of qualitative market research where participants speak to a market research professional on their own (or occasionally with a friend).
The length of depth interviews varies, but usually last 30-60 minutes; we’d always tell you in advance how long we expect it to take. Because there are just one or two people in the interview they can be arranged at a time that suits you best.
Like a focus group, the moderator would ask participants questions from a pre-defined topic guide and there are no right or wrong answers, we’re interested in what you have to say.
Sometimes we may tell you in advance what the topic is and we may ask you to do some short tasks in advance such as background reading, other times we’ll reveal the detail of the topic during the discussion. We’ll always provide you with the specific details of what you need to do before you sign up.
At the moment, we are conducting depth interviews over the phone or online over Zoom, Microsoft Teams or similar software, but there is no obligation to have your camera on for these conversations.
In the future, these may take place face-to-face in venues such as hotels or university classrooms or in specialist facilities for market research called viewing facilities.
We will often provide participants with a gift voucher as a thank you for taking part in depth interviews.
An online bulletin board is a type of qualitative market research which runs over a set period of time, for example 5 days. We would invite a number of participants to join and log in whenever it suits them over the course of that time to answer questions and complete short daily tasks online using the specialist bulletin board software. During the research period, we usually ask participants to spend around 10-15 minutes a day completing the tasks on the bulletin board.
Bulletin boards are fun to participate in, everyone gets the opportunity to express their opinions, sometimes individually and sometimes participants can see and comment on others’ posts. The moderators are regularly online and may ask follow-up questions too.
Sometimes we may tell you in advance what the topic is and we may ask you to do some short tasks in advance such as background reading, at other times we’ll reveal the detail of the topic during the bulletin board. We’ll always provide you with the specific details of what you need to do and the time commitment before you sign up.
We will often provide participants with a gift voucher as a thank you for taking part in bulletin boards, the amount may vary depending on the number of tasks/topics completed by the participant.
We research all sorts of topics, mainly around education and other pathways after school or college. Some examples include: talking about new courses that universities are considering, what applicants know about different universities, and how applicants are making decisions about their education. We may also ask questions about more general topics such as mobile phones, the brands you like to shop with, or how you use social media.
If we are going to be discussing any topics of a sensitive nature e.g. the impact of coronavirus or online harms, we will always let you know in advance and provide links to relevant support services. In some research, we may also collect and process special categories of personal data, such as your ethnicity, political opinions or religious views. It will always be optional for you to share special categories of personal data. More information can be found in our Privacy Notice, which is linked at the start of our surveys and expression of interest forms.
If at any point you decide you no longer want to participate in a research study, that’s absolutely fine. However, if you have already agreed to take part, we’d really appreciate it if you could let us know so someone else can take your place.
TSR Insight is part of The Student Room Group.
We are professional market researchers and TSR Insight is a MRS Company Partner.
This means it is recognised as a professional market research agency that follows the Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct and commitment to research quality.
You can verify TSR Insight is an MRS Company Partner by calling the MRS freephone verification service on 0800 975 9596* or by searching the online register: https://www.mrs.org.uk/standards/online-register
*Calling 0800 numbers from outside the UK is possible but will incur charges. The international rates will vary depending on where the caller is phoning from.
These are some of the ways we may have accessed your contact details.
1) Contact via The Student Room community
TSR Insight sometimes recruits to market research by inviting The Student Room community members to take part.
If you have been contacted by email, this is because you are eligible to receive market research invites as set out in the TSR Privacy Notice and have been selected from The Student Room Group Databases. You can unsubscribe from emails if you don’t want to receive them.
We also put adverts, announcements or threads on The Student Room to invite community members to take part.
2) Contact via Client Databases
You may receive an invitation to take part in TSR Insight market research from our clients. For example, they may send you an email with a link to take part in a survey or an expression of interest form.
In some cases, if you have consented to your data being shared by the client for market research purposes, TSR Insight may contact you directly.
3) Contact via Third Party Recruiters and / or Lists
Sometimes, we use third party recruiters to contact you on our behalf. We may also free-find contact details and get in touch with you directly.
As detailed in our Privacy Notice (linked at the start of all our surveys and expression of interest forms), personal data collected for market research will be kept and used by TSR Insight for up to 12 months, after which it will be deleted.
The personal data of prize draw winners will be retained for seven years. Details of all other prize draw entrants will be deleted as soon as all prizes are claimed. The personal data of people who receive incentives for taking part in research will also be kept for seven years before being deleted. This includes details of the incentives they receive. During this time, any data will be password protected and only accessible to the TSR Insight project team.
There are two exceptions to these rules:
1) You request the deletion of all your personal data (where we may delete your personal data or ensure it is sufficiently anonymised to no longer be classed as personal data)
2) There is another legal basis for keeping any of the data for longer, for example, the establishment or defence of a legal claim.
Personal data collected in market research may also be anonymised or aggregated in reports. This ensures data in reports cannot be linked back to you.
These reports, and sometimes the anonymised data, will be shared with The Student Room Group or the specific external client, depending on the purpose of the research. The reports will advise The Student Room Group or the client on future actions. They could occasionally lead to press releases or the publication of research. No identifiable personal data would ever be published. However, we may use anonymised quotes to illustrate the research findings in our reports, press releases and publications.
As personal data used in reports will be aggregated or fully anonymised, reports are no longer classed as personal data, and so will be kept indefinitely.
This section outlines how we deal with any complaint you may have.
If you have a complaint, please contact a member of staff using the details below. Your complaint will be taken seriously, and we will make every effort to resolve the problem straight away.
Postal address: TSR Insight, The Student Room Group, International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE
Telephone: 0749 361 9035
To help us deal with the complaint as speedily as possible, it would be helpful if you could provide us with details of the research project and the identity of the researcher you spoke to. This information can be found in the thank you leaflet you were given at the interview, or in the email invitation you received before the research. For telephone or online research, your telephone number or email address respectively should be enough to allow us to find the relevant project.
Occasionally we may ask you to outline your complaint in writing to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the facts.
What happens if we cannot resolve your complaint straight away?
There may be occasions where we need more time to carry out investigations and therefore we will not be able to resolve your complaint straight away. If this is the case, we commit to the following timetable:
- Within 5 business days from the date of your complaint we will try to provide you with a full reply. If this is not possible, we will confirm in writing that we are looking into your complaint and who will be handling it on your behalf.
- Within 2 weeks from the date of your complaint your complaint will have been investigated and we will write to you with our response. If we are still not in a position to resolve your complaint then we will inform you of the reasons and when we will make contact again.
- Within 4 weeks from the date of your complaint. In the unlikely event that your complaint has not been resolved at an earlier stage, we will write to you with our final response.
If at any time you are dissatisfied
If at any time you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our complaints process, you may write to Barbara Bradshaw, Senior Market Research Consultant, at: The Student Room Group, International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are still dissatisfied
If you wish to pursue your complaint you have the right, within three months of our final response, to ask The Market Research Society (MRS) to review your case.
You can find out more about MRS by contacting:
MRS, 15 Northburgh Street, London EC1V 0JR Telephone: 0207490 4911 Email: email@example.com Website: www.mrs.org.uk