College of Education and Human Development

Institute of Child Development

Join the ICD participant pool!

Help us make discoveries that make a difference

For more than 90 years, the Institute of Child Development (ICD) has been at the forefront of child development research. Our researchers have used what they’ve learned to make positive changes in public policy, education, and parenting practices. But none of these achievements would be possible without help from local families.

How it works

The ICD Participant Pool is a central database for research labs in ICD. Researchers use the database to contact local families about taking part in studies.

Agreeing to be in the participant pool only means that researchers may call or email your family. It doesn’t mean that you're agreeing to participate in any study.

After you register your child, we’ll put his or her name on a large list of children whose families expressed interest in participating in studies. When a new study begins, a researcher will ask for a list of children of a particular age. If your child falls into that age group, we’ll give the researcher your phone number and email address, so they can contact you. The researcher will contact you, describe the study in greater detail, and ask you if you’re interested in participating. You can request to be removed from the pool at any time by contacting or 612-301-6639.

Each study is different. Some studies are phone, online, or mail surveys that you can do from home. Other studies send researchers to schools or homes. It's most common for researchers to ask families to visit the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. Compensation depends on the particular study. Researchers will discuss compensation when they contact you.

Learn more about our research

Teacher with students at an event

What parents are saying

Quote from Parent of a 5-year-old

My son and I had a great time participating in research at the ICD. He loved playing all the games, and I was surprised to see how he answered some of the questions. It was fun for both of us.

Parent of a 5-year-old

How to register

    Registering online

    All information remains confidential. Information is only released to a researcher when a child matches a study’s criteria. Researchers also keep all information confidential. It's never given out to anyone else.

    You can request to be removed from the database at any time by contacting or 612-301-6639.

    Registering by mail

    If you recently had a baby, you may have received a card from the participant pool in the mail. If you fill out that card and mail it back, your child will be registered.

    Birth data (addresses and names) are public records in Minnesota. Each month, we receive a list of newborns, and their mothers' names and addresses from the Minnesota Department of Health. We use that list to send parents information about the participant pool. We don’t send anything else, unless a parent expresses interest in participating.