The following is a protocol for running in-person experiments in the BESC laboratory during the COVID-19 ‘Return to Work’ period.

The Behavioural and Economic Science Cluster (BESC) Laboratory is located on level 2 of the Colin Clark building (#39), room 209. Normally, the lab contains 48 computers plus an instructor machine. The desks contain dividers, which can be used to separate participants during the running of an experiment.

Booking

  • Please allow at least 30 minutes of extra time before and after a session when making your booking. This is to facilitate safe entry/exit by participants as well as cleaning of equipment.

Seating

  • The maximum number of participants in the room is 24. Alternate chairs have been removed such that there should always be one empty cubicle between participants.

Queueing

  • Queues of all forms should be avoided to minimise close contact between participants. Queues in lab experiments may form at the start, when participants enter the lab, or at the very end, when participants wait to be paid. All queues must enforce social distancing.
  • To minimise queuing of participants at arrival, the experimenter will allow participants to enter the laboratory, and sit on their designated cubicles, as early as 15 minutes before the time the experiment is scheduled to start.
  • The researcher should open the door and apply the doorstop at the beginning and end of the session to allow participants to enter without having to touch the handle or queue outside. The doorstop needs to be removed at the end of the session once all participants have vacated for security reasons.
  • To minimise queuing of students when they leave the lab, the experimenter will ask subjects to remain seated until prompted (by the experimenter) to approach the front desk to provide their payment details. The experimenter will provide sufficient distance between calling each subject to approach the front desk, to ensure that sufficient distance is maintained.
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  • There will be hand wipes and sanitiser available at the front of the room (for replacement, please contact the laboratory administration officer or the office on Level 6).
  • The researcher should ask participants to take a hand wipe on entering the room to allow them to wipe down their computer, keyboard and mouse as they set up. The dispensers are large and will allow for people to quickly grab a wipe as they walk-in.
  • Cleaning of the desk and chair surfaces, door handles and communal pens/clipboards for consent and/or payment forms should be conducted by the researcher before and after each session. Cleaning of the computer devices should be conducted by the researcher after each session. Do not spray onto the computers directly (including keyboards and mice), but instead wipe over them.

Payment

  • Students must be given the option of a cashless payment. This can be made electronically, such as via PayPal, bank transfer or WeChat. It is up to the researcher to organise the payments; for example, you may ask students to provide details for one of the above options as the final item in the computerised post-experiment questionnaire. Alternatively, you can ask subjects to write their details on paper at the end of the session. All payments should be made by close-of-business on the same day, and this should be communicated to your subjects in the session.
  • If a student does not want to provide electronic details for cashless payment, payment can be made in cash after taking sensible sanitation precautions.
  • You can provide your electronic activity statements as receipts to Finance. If you choose a method whereby the student’s receipt is not identifiable on the statement, Finance may ask you to match the details (e.g., email address) from your questionnaire data or paper records to your statement.