SSEL Services

SSEL offers a variety of services to support experimental research

Physical Lab

SSEL has two experimental labs (Lab A and Lab B), each with 24 shielded desktop machines. The labs are divided by a movable wall and they can be combined into one large lab. The applications hosted are zTree and iMotion.

Virtual Lab

For online experiments, SSEL servers host oTree and zTree Unleashed. NYU community also has free access to Qualtrics. Furthermore, we offer assistance with other online experiments softwares upon request.

Portable Devices

SSEL has portable devices (tablets and laptops) which can be used for lab-in-the-field experiments. We currently have 5 laptops and 10 tablets.

Subject Pool

The lab's subject pool continues to expand. SSEL uses ORSEE to manage human subject recruitment, however we can also offer support with connecting experimenters to other crowdsourcing platforms such as MTurk, Prolific etc.


Using SSEL Services

Please make sure you are informed about all the steps before running an experiment. Even though we offer a quick checklist below, you must consult SSEL's Official Rules and Procedures before using SSEL services.

Read SSEL's Official Rules and Procedures

Quick Checklist

All experimenters who want to conduct experiments using the SSEL services must submit an approval form.

This form must be approved by the director of the lab.

If you intend to borrow portable devices to run an experiment, make sure your experiment has been approved by the SSEL Director.

Complete your CITI training for Social and Behavioral Research (if you haven’t already).

Here are some helpful steps:

  1. Register on the CITI Program website.
  2. Select 'New York University Abu Dhabi' as your organizational affiliation.
  3. Complete Steps 1 - 6, and when you get to Step 7 select the course you wish to enrol (Investigators conducting Exempt Research/ Social & Behavioral Course). You can select 'not at this time' for all other courses.

If you don’t have the CITI certificate at the time of the approval form submission, kindly send the certificate to the SSEL Technical and Operational Coordinator if your application has been approved.

NYUAD IRB has granted blanket approval for lab experiments carried out in the SSEL laboratory. If your experiment doesn’t meet this criteria, but it has been approved, you are responsible for applying for IRB approval to the NYUAD Human Subjects Committee.

All experiments using SSEL IRB must satisfy the following protocol:

  1. Subjects must make one or more decisions. If more than one decision is made, the exact number of decisions must be known, or if it is not known, then the stopping rule/end condition must be known.
  2. Subjects are told if their payments are dependent on their own decisions or if the outcome also depends on the decisions of others. If it depends on the decisions of others, then the way in which subjects are grouped is also explained to them.
  3. Subjects are told what information is commonly known and what is private. That is, if a subject receives a piece of experimental information in private, all subjects know that others may have such private information.
  4. If subjects make decisions in a practice round, those decisions do not affect their final payoffs, and all subjects know this.

SSEL currently supports zTree, oTree, zTree Unleashed, Qualtrics, ORSEE and iMotion. In case you use software that is not provided by SSEL or your institution, you are responsible for acquiring your own licence. Please consult with the SSEL Technical and Operational Coordinator in case you need a software that is currently not supported by SSEL to be installed by the lab. This also requires the approval of the Director.

All experimenters are expected to secure their own financial support for subject payments. Due to government restrictions of cash payments, experimenters using SSEL services are expected to pay participants either electronically or with vouchers. To pay human subjects please purchase the vouchers (or complete the electronic payments) and submit the receipts as a reimbursement claim in Concur. For YouGotaGift vouchers, please contact nyuad.procurement@nyu.edu for assistance with the purchase. Once the invoice is received, please coordinate with NYUAD Finance for payment.

The current options are:

  1. Electronic payments (e.g. PayPal)
  2. YouGotaGift vouchers
  3. Amazon Gift Cards

If you are using the physical lab or the virtual lab (SSEL servers) to run your experiments, kindly book your experimental slot via ORSEE. If you do not wish to use SSEL’s ORSEE subject pool, but still run experiments using SSEL servers, kindly email the SSEL Technical and Operational Coordinator.

SSEL uses ORSEE to manage human subject recruitment, however we can also offer support with connecting experimenters to other crowdsourcing platforms such as MTurk, Prolific etc. If you use ORSEE, you will be given an experimenter account after which you will be responsible for recruitment. Before recruiting via ORSEE, the laboratories must be booked. Contact the SSEL Human Subject Research Manager for assistance with recruitment.

All experimenters are responsible for programming their own experiments. If assistance is needed they can contact the SSEL Technical and Operational Coordinator. Kindly note that, in some cases, software testing is required in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of your experiment. Schedule software testing with the SSEL Technical and Operational Coordinator.

Research conducted using SSEL facilities and services should be acknowledged, e.g, "The authors are grateful for support from the Social Science Experimental Laboratory (SSEL) at New York University in Abu Dhabi.".

Due to COVID-19 regulations experimenters and subjects must:

  1. Wear CDC approved masks at all times
  2. Adhere to the social distancing rules of minimum 1-meter apart
  3. Contact our lab as soon as possible in case they develop any of the COVID-19 symptoms within 2 weeks (14 days) after the participation in the study and upon positive COVID-19 test result