LEGIT Prolific Academic Review: Earn Cash for Participating in Research - Legit or Scam?


Jun 14, 2018
Prolific Academic Review Earn Cash for Participating in Research.jpg

For the longest time, I thought paid survey sites were just a way for retailers and commercial companies to get consumer feedback about their products and services. I never really saw it as a potential platform for the academe. But looking back, it makes perfect sense - paid research for academic studies - why ever not? It’s still all about opinions and getting paid to voice it, right?

It’s definitely different from the kind of GPT and paid survey sites we’ve come to know through the years - and admittedly, it sounds a bit intimidating, at least to me. However, the more I think about the possibilities of participating in real studies, the more intrigued I became. So today, I will take a closer look at what Prolific Academic can offer to us, and if they’re a legit survey site or a scam.

First things first - what is it?

Prolific (as they seem to like calling themselves now, having discovered that “Prolific Academic” sounds a bit clunky), is kind of like a survey site, but with special emphasis on academic research participation. So basically, you’re going to be answering questions on someone’s studies, experiments, and papers, instead of, say, how you find so-and-so product’s new flavor or packaging. You will need to answer a few screening questions prior to qualifying for a study, but it’s all very basic stuff.

Incidentally, Prolific likes calling their surveys “studies”, which makes sense (and also makes me feel just a little bit smarter!). Oh, and it’s also a platform that’s supported and utilized by such esteemed academic institutions as the University of Oxford, Harvard University, Stanford, Yale, University of Cambridge, and the Cancer Research UK!

How long has it been around?

Founded on April 10, 2014, in the UK, Prolific Academic is a relatively new “research” site that allows participants to take part in studies and earn rewards in the process. There are already positive testimonies about the site both from researchers (including above-mentioned institutions) and participants (including research professionals), though.

Does it pay well?

You will get paid in £ (pounds), with the initial payment threshold amounting to £5 - but this is subject to PayPal or Circle fees depending on your country. Prolific encourages participants to hold off from withdrawing until they reach £20 in their accounts, thereby minimizing cashing out fees.

Studies can pay somewhere between £1 - £5, but I think timing has plenty to do with getting the higher-paying ones.

I read somewhere that Prolific is potentially the highest paying survey site in existence but cannot vouch for that due to lack of sufficient payment proofs to compare and contrast. I can see why this claim is possible, though. Combined with the kind of money you can make from participating in research studies, Prolific also gives a generous referral bonus every time someone you referred registers (5% when they use your referral code, and another 5% of the value of their first completed study), which looks to be very generous extra income, indeed.

Is registration free?

Creating an account with Prolific Academic is free, and as they describe it in their homepage: “with no strings attached!” You’re also allowed to register from almost anywhere in the world, as long as you have a working PayPal account and email address.

Update: there is currently a temporary country restriction on registration and participation, which sucks. But the site did say they intend to open up globally again in the future. At the moment, participants in the following countries are allowed to register: 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, TR, and US.

What’s the best option of earning as a member of Prolific Academic?

I would normally recommend the referral system as the best way to earn on paid survey and GPT sites, but given the unique circumstances at Prolific Academy, I would say the easiest way is to answer the studies available to you. This is because some of the most positive feedback I’ve read about the site is how you would almost always qualify for a study! Unlike most paid survey sites that seem to be focused strictly on certain demographics and geographic locations (mostly US and UK), over here, there seems to be a bigger chance to qualify, earn, and cash out wherever you may reside in the world.

Of course, there’s always demographic and geographical issues to deal with even with academic studies. So to be sure, there’s a demographics page in the Prolific website where you can see at a glance if you have the best chances of answering studies. The site does promise new studies are to be posted regularly.

However, since I really am a big fan of referrals, and Prolific has a referral system in place, I would still recommend getting a referral URL to take part in the studies, then use your unique code to invite others to participate in turn. You will get 10% of the first cashout of every participant you referred to. There is a catch, though. There's a maximum reward of £250 per researcher referral and a maximum of £5 per participant referral. (Still not bad, as far as passive incomes go.)

The verdict?

Prolific Academic is definitely legit. Not only do revered academic institutions use this platform, but the pay rate is decent for participants, as well. I think the biggest issue right now would be the temporary country restriction, which the site promises to remedy soon, anyway. However, I see a big potential for this academic-based survey site, as studies are often more inclusive than surveys, and the chances for getting screened out of a study is smaller here compared to others.

Prolific Academic Screenshots

Click to Zoom
Prolific 1.jpgProlific 2.jpgProlific 3.jpg

Your turn!

Are you currently a participant at Prolific Academic, and do you have positive or negative experiences with it? Please tell us all about it, along with your proof of payment, and if you would recommend being a participant of academic research as a way to earn some extra cash.

Link: https://www.prolific.ac/



Aug 1, 2018
I am a member of Prolific and have gotten paid twice now from them. I had received an email from the to try out their new site I believe. I am glad I did. Their studies are quite easy and they are not very long. The pay is decent for the studies as well. Much better than some other survey sites that only pay you peanuts. My only complaint is that some of the researchers take quite a long time to accept your finished study. I have a couple of them that are still pending review that were done almost two weeks ago. The site itself pays rather quickly though. They claim to take 5 days but it is typically sooner. This last payment took maybe 2 days to receive it. I like that they email you when they have studies available since they are not available all the time, so I don't have to check the site all the time looking for studies. I wish they had them all the time. I definitely recommend this survey site above most others.

Prolific Academic Ltd. has sent you £5.32 GBP​

NOTE FROM Prolific Academic Ltd.:​

Hi Sherry, Thanks for being a participant on Prolific. Hope you find something nice to do with your rewards :)

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Sep 9, 2018
"Prolific" required more information than I send online. I trust Oxford (daughter went there for a semester), but didn't feel comfortable giving my SSN, DL# and full legal name -- and perhaps passport information. I ended before that, but passport had been mentioned.

I'd spent at least an hour before getting to that part, so I wanted to let others know, in case they would have similar concerns.


Rookie Wordsmith
Jun 6, 2018
I have heard this from some members but then I haven't tried it out. Before I check it out I'd love to know about its availability first.


Jun 14, 2018
I have heard this from some members but then I haven't tried it out. Before I check it out I'd love to know about its availability first.
Copied and pasted this from the review, hope it helps!

"Update: there is currently a temporary country restriction on registration and participation, which sucks. But the site did say they intend to open up globally again in the future. At the moment, participants in the following countries are allowed to register: 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, TR, and US. "


Rookie Wordsmith
Jun 14, 2018
One of my favourite sites and I have probably cashed out more here than on any other site. I wish they sent out more reminders for studies as I often miss them because I forget to have a look.


Jun 20, 2018
I am a member of the site and I have received several payments from them, it is one of my favorite sites and besides I don't have studies every day I easily reach the minimum. As I trust the site I usually let my money build there before request my payment.


Jun 11, 2018
I absolutely love Prolific Academic and if I were to add anything to your review I’d say that you left out the minimum pay part. Prolific has something they call Ethical Rewards where survey participants makes at least $6.50 an hour, note this is not per survey but rather if you spend 1 hour filing out surveys with them you will make this amount at a minimum, which I guess is sorta like their minimum wage.

Also, Prolific is one of the few survey sites I know of that has a SAAS for researchers and institutions where you can easily setup surveys and I think this is why they have so many exclusive surveys to offer.

So from one Prolific Academic user to another I can definitely vouch for them and say that they are legit.
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Sep 28, 2018
Hi Guys just a heads up I saw this about Prolific Academy on reddit :

basically a reddit user claims that he was just banned from Prolific without any explanation. Then it also seems like they don't reply to him and just ignore the issue. My best guess is that he has done something that would justify a ban ( ie try to defraud them somehow since I never heard of prolific just banning people for no reason

anyways just a heads up. Anybody else experienced this before?


Nov 13, 2018
Prolific Academy is legit and one of the good ones. I've been using them for a while and always got paid. From time to time they will disqualify you but thats pretty normal if you ask me.

@floydmc I saw the prolific academy reddit posts and I think they just got banned because they somehow tried to cheat them ( or maybe they used a VPN which is against their terms ) ?! I am 90% sure that the reason that guy got banned was because he did something he wasn't supposed to do because I know a lot of people who use Prolific and I never heard anything bad about them.

All in all I like Prolific and the amount of surveys is good. As long as you don't cheat you can make some decent money with Prolific. I don't have many bad things to say about them and when I am out of surveys I just look at the other sites where I fill out surveys from time to time. I would say that they are in my top 5.


Rookie Wordsmith
May 16, 2018
I’ve never been booted out of Prolific Academy (or any other survey or rewards site, for that matter). And I’m with you guys on the opinion that the person who got banned probably used like a VPN or tried to find other ways to cheat their way to higher earnings. Frankly, the person was kind of dumb to have tried that – now that he got booted out, he pretty much wasted all the time and effort he put into the site (although if he’s a cheater, chances are he didn’t spend too much time actually doing tasks). Plus, what does ranting accomplish? He (or she) pretty much marked themselves as cheaters.

I remember some dude was complaining here on the ETB forums about getting kicked out of a rewards site – I think it was GrabPoints ? It was discovered that that guy was also cheating. And get this, he was still unrepentant. I have strong feelings about people who cheat. They ruin things for all of us honesty survey-takers. And for what? A couple of bucks, at most? I don’t think these cheaters are paying for fancy sports cars or vacations with the money they’re getting.

Okay. Rant over. Cheaters bad. Prolific Academy legit!
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