Project EQUIP

Welcome to Project EQUIP!

Are you someone who…

  • currently resides in Texas?
  • is between the ages of 18-24?

You may be eligible to earn $50 by participating in a study on health and risk behaviors, including alcohol and marijuana use, among young adults!


Study information

What is Project EQUIP?

Project EQUIP is a confidential research study. The purpose Project EQUIP is to explore motivations for use or non-use of protective behavioral strategies for risk behaviors, including alcohol and drug use, among young adults ages 18-24. We are recruiting young adults, ages 18-24 (who use alcohol and marijuana) and are willing to take a short screening survey, and if eligible, participate in a one-time online focus group via Zoom Video Communications to provide feedback on potential online and text message materials for future substance use programming. Eligible participants will have the option to participate in (1) an online focus group via Zoom Video Communications with other participants of their assigned sex, which will take approximately 60 minutes to complete or (2) or a one-on-one online cognitive interview via Zoom Video Communications, which will also take approximately 60 minutes to complete. The information you provide for this study may help our research team better understand motivation for use or non-use of protective behavioral strategies among young adults.

What would I do as a participant?

You will be asked to complete demographic questions (e.g., age, birth sex, race, ethnicity, pregnancy status [i.e., if female, you cannot enroll in the research study if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant]), as well as questions about your alcohol and marijuana use or non-use (e.g., On average, over the past month, how often have you consumed alcohol?; On average, during the past month, how often have you used marijuana?) to see if you fit our study needs. We also ask for your contact information and whether you would like to be contacted for future research studies. This information will be confidential. If the study is right for you, you will be asked to schedule a one-time online focus group or cognitive interview via Zoom Video Communications. The one-time online session will last 60 minutes and you will be compensated $50 on a Greenphire Mastercard for your participation.

How will my participation in this study make a difference?

Project EQUIP depends on our participants and the information you share with us helps us create a program aimed to enhance the quality of use and motivations for protective behavioral strategies for alcohol and marijuana users. We sincerely appreciate the time and effort it takes to be a Project EQUIP research participant and we value the thoughts and comments from everyone who participates. Your willingness to report your responses as accurately and honestly as you can is what makes our project a success.

How much will I get paid?

If you are eligible and choose to participate, you can earn a $50 Greenphire Mastercard.

Can my friend participate?

All individuals ages 18-24 who are willing to participate in a one-time online session via Zoom have the opportunity to complete the screening survey in order to participate in our study.

Are there risks to participating?

The risks associated with participation in this short online survey and the focus group/cognitive interview are primarily related to the sensitivity of some of the questions, including alcohol and drug use, and the possibility of hacking during the online focus group/cognitive interview. These questions may make you feel uncomfortable or may seem intrusive, or you may become concerned about your drinking, marijuana use, or other health behaviors as you answer the questions. You are asked to report on illegal behaviors, such as using controlled substances. Answers to these questions could pose a risk if the information were known and linked to identifiable individuals. It is possible that you will feel uncomfortable while taking the survey, or feel as if you should share information that you don’t want to share. Lastly, due to the online nature of the focus groups/cognitive interviews, there exists a probability that the sessions could be hacked, which would result in loss of confidentiality

You may feel uncomfortable participating in the focus group/cognitive interview or feel as if you should share opinions you may not want to share. For focus groups, while we ask group participants to respect each other’s confidentiality, we cannot guarantee that what is said in the group will remain confidential. While potential study risks include discomfort, potential loss of confidentiality, and not benefitting from the focus group/cognitive interview, researchers have implemented safety measures to minimize these risks (described below). We are obligated by law to report any suspicions of child abuse, neglect, or imminent harm to others.

Will I benefit from this research?

Few direct benefits to participants are anticipated, although the process of assessment and focus groups are often illuminating for participants. While there may be no direct benefit to you for participating in this research, benefits to society include the opportunity to evaluate the program and provide suggestions for future development of programs like this that aim to reduce health and behavioral problems among young adults.

How are you protecting my privacy?

Your participation is completely confidential. To ensure that online focus groups and cognitive interviews are not hacked, online connection to the sessions via Zoom will be encrypted. Additionally, through the use of waiting rooms on Zoom, the focus group facilitator will have the ability to only let into the online session the correct participants and not any unwanted guests. This will minimize the potential for loss of confidentiality if an attempt to hack the online training session was made. All of your data will be kept confidential and data will be identified only by a PIN (personalized identification number) randomly generated for research purposes, and will not be directly identified by your name. The PIN is always embedded in the survey link, meaning the link is specific to you and your survey data. Thus, you will not ever need to enter your PIN to complete the study survey.

You will not be identified in any research reports or presentations of this research. Data identified only by the PIN may be shared with other researchers doing similar work on other campuses, and/or be combined with data from other campuses in some research reports. Your name and contact information will be accessible only to research staff for the purposes of contacting you to complete the study, and will be stored separately from your data on computers with password protection and in locked file cabinets. If you DO NOT choose to get contacted for other research studies, we will retain your name and contact information until the end of the by which date all names and other identifying information will be destroyed, thereby removing any link between participants and their data. If you DO choose to get contacted for other research studies, we will retain your name and contact information indefinitely.

What are my rights as a participant?

Participating in this study is voluntary. You may refuse to answer any question and still submit your survey without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. You are free to withdraw at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. To withdraw from the study at any time, please contact the researchers using the phone number 817-735-2371 or by emailing


Contact us

Study Contact Information

E-Mail Phone Number 817-735-2371

Staff Contact Information


Contact Position E-Mail 
Dr. Melissa Lewis Principal Investigator
Dr. Dana Litt Co-Investigator
Dr. Anne Fairlie Co-Investigator
Dr. Jason Kilmer Co-Investigator
Emma Kannard Research Assistant
Allison Cross Graduate Student Research Assistant
Folasade Fashina Graduate Student Research Assistant