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OSMR Lab Studies

The Office of Survey Methods Research (OSMR) invites individuals to participate in research studies that help us evaluate and improve BLS surveys and products. 

Research studies occur periodically throughout the year. If you are interested in participating in one of our research activities — focus groups, interviews, usability tests — please contact Stella Godbolt, (202) 691-7524.

Lab Study Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can participate in OSMR lab studies?

We look for a wide variety of people to participate in our studies and each study is different.  We will ask you some questions to determine your eligibility for specific studies.

What will I do as a participant?

It depends on the study you participate in. Most of our studies are conducted in our research lab in Washington, DC. Most of our studies are conducted in our research lab in Washington, DC. Below are descriptions of the three most common types of studies we do.

  • Question Development Research: Participants are asked a set of questions and then asked to provide feedback about those questions.
  • Website Usability Testing: Participants are asked to complete a series of tasks on the website and provide their feedback.
  • Focus Groups: As part of a group, participants are asked to discuss topics presented to them by a moderator.

The sessions are not an evaluation of your ability — in other words, there are no “wrong answers.”

Will my answers be kept confidential?

All information collected during the study will be kept confidential in accordance with federal regulations and will only be used to evaluate and improve BLS products. Participation in our research studies is always voluntary and participants may withdrawal at any time.

How long will it take to participate?

Test sessions typically last between 45 minutes to an hour.

Will I get paid?

Participants in our studies will receive $40 as a token of appreciation for their time and assistance.

Where are the sessions held?

Most lab studies are conducted at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lab in Washington, DC. The BLS labs are located in the Postal Square Building, across the street from the Union Station metro. The address is:

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Office of Survey Methods Research, Room 1950
2 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20212

To reach the OSMR research laboratory, see our directions and map.

How do I sign up?

Please contact Stella Godbolt, (202) 691-7524.



Last Modified Date: March 2, 2020