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 up to $176 by participating in a study on health and risk behaviors, including alcohol and cannabis use, among young adults!

All social networking site notifications from researchers to participants about study related items will be through private/direct messages (nothing will be directly posted to anyone’s profile). If you have questions or concerns, feel free to email us at or call us at 682-703-0750 (available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. CST).

Study Information

What is Project EQUIP?

Project EQUIP is an online confidential research study conducted through the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The purpose of 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 cannabis, and are willing to take a short screening survey. This is a Texas study conducted online including one online training session via Zoom Video Communications, a 30-minute online baseline survey, daily surveys 3 times a week over the course of 8 weeks, and a 30-minute online follow up survey. You may also be asked to complete an interactive online alcohol and cannabis protective behavioral strategy use program and receive personalized content related to the program via text message 3 times a week over the course of 8 weeks.

Who can participate?

All young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who currently reside in Texas and are willing to participate in a one-time online training session via Zoom Video Communications are invited to participate. We are interested in recruiting individuals who currently use both alcohol and cannabis.

Do I get paid?

All participants who are eligible for the study and choose to participate can earn up to $176 over the 8-week study. The breakdown is as follows: $20 for the 30-minute online training session, $20 for the online baseline survey, and $4 per daily survey (see details below). You will also receive a bonus of $10 for completing 90% or more of the daily surveys. 2 months after your online training session, you will be asked to complete one web-based 30-minute survey for which you will be paid $30. You will be mailed a Greenphire Mastercard after you complete the baseline survey, on which all of your payments will be loaded onto.

What would I do as a participant?

The first step involves completing a confidential 5-minute online survey to see if the study is right for you. 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 cannabis 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 cannabis?) 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 opportunities. This information will be confidential. You must provide consent to participate in the online screening survey and main study in order to participate.

If you are deemed a good fit, the next step is to complete a brief, 30-minute online training session over Zoom Video Communications, for which you would be compensated $20. During this online training session, a staff member will explain the details of the study, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and to consent to participating in the study. If you confirm your interest in participating in the study, you will be invited to complete an online baseline survey, which will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, and you would be compensated $20. Following completion of the online baseline survey, you will be mailed a Greenphire Mastercard and you will be asked to contact us via email or phone once you receive the card so we can load the card with your first payment of $40 for the online training session and baseline survey.

The next phase of the study includes daily surveys sent to you via text message and/or email. You will be asked to complete surveys for eight weeks; each week will consist of three 9-10 minute surveys, to be sent to you on Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and a random day morning. Thus, there will be a total of 24 surveys over the eight-week period. You may also be asked to complete and provide feedback on a brief interactive online program focusing on alcohol and cannabis protective behavioral strategy use. You may then receive personalized self-selected content from the online program via text message for eight weeks.

Daily surveys will occur anytime between 6AM and 3PM CST at a time chosen by you. You will be paid $4 per daily survey, which will be loaded onto your Greenphire Mastercard at the end of the eight-week period of daily assessments. You may receive a bonus of $10 if you complete 90% or more of the daily assessments.

You will also be asked to complete one web-based 30-minute survey at the end of the eight-week period of daily surveys, two months following the completion of the initial 30-minute survey. You will receive $30 loaded onto your Greenphire Mastercard for completing this survey.

In total, you can earn up to $176 loaded onto your Greenphire Mastercard over the course of the eight-week study.  

Frequently Asked Questions

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 understand motivations for alcohol and cannabis protective behavioral strategy use and non-use, as well as explore the effects of an online and text message program. 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 up to $176 loaded onto a Greenphire Mastercard.

Can my friend participate?

All individuals ages 18-24 who are willing to participate have the opportunity to complete the screening survey in order to participate in our study.

Are there risks to participating?

There is a certain amount of risk that is involved with participating in a research study.  Every precaution will be taken by the research team to minimize these risks and ensure your safety. Please remember that if you feel uncomfortable about any of these risks, discuss your concerns with the research team. You do not have to enroll in this study. If you decide to enroll in this study, you are free to withdraw from the study at any time.

This study involves informational risks (such as breach of confidentiality). The risks associated with participation in this short online survey and the main study are primarily related to the possibility of hacking during the online training session and the sensitivity of some of the questions, including alcohol and drug use. These questions may make you feel uncomfortable or may seem intrusive, or you may become concerned about your drinking 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. Additionally, there is a risk of loss of confidentiality, which means that the information we collect about you could possibly be accessed by someone who is not authorized to see it. However, we have taken steps to protect you from this risk (described below).

Will I benefit from this research?

There may be no direct benefit to you from your participation in the study. However, you may benefit from the online program in that preliminary data suggest that programs such as these can reduce alcohol and cannabis use, or limit unwanted consequences related to use. In addition, benefits to society include the potential that this research has for reducing the serious public health problem of high-risk drinking and cannabis use in young adults. Given the high rates of hazardous alcohol and cannabis use, risk for future use, and consequences in this population, development and dissemination of efficacious brief prevention strategies has the potential for significant societal benefits.

How are you protecting my privacy?

Your participation is completely confidential. 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.

This research is covered by a Certificate of Confidentiality from the National Institutes of Health. With this Certificate, the researchers cannot be forced to disclose or use information that may identify you, even by court subpoena, in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings. The researchers will use the Certificate to resist any demands for information that would identify you, except as explained below. The Certificate cannot be used to resist a demand for information from personnel of the United States Government that is used for auditing or evaluation of federally funded projects or for information that must be disclosed in order to meet the requirements of federal agencies. A Certificate of Confidentiality does not prevent you from voluntarily releasing information about yourself or your involvement in this research. If an insurer, employer or other person obtains your written consent to receive research information, then the researchers may not use the Certificate to withhold that information. The protection offered by the Certificate does not stop us from voluntarily reporting information about suspected or known sexual, physical, or other abuse of a child or older person, or a subject’s threat of violence to self or others. If any member of the research team is given such information, he or she will make a report to the appropriate authorities, and will do so without disclosing your participation in this study. Please note that information collected from this study will not be reported to authorities, unless a situation arises in which research staff is legally required to report (i.e., suspected/known child abuse or neglect, or threat of harm to self or others). The Certificate of Confidentiality will not be used to prevent disclosure for any purpose you have consented to in this informed consent document.

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 If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, you can call the North Texas Regional Institutional Review Board at 817-735-0409.


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
Dr. Scott Graupensperger Co-Investigator
Dr. Zhengyang Zhou Co-Investigator
Haleigh Hicks Research Assistant
Allison Cross Graduate Student Research Assistant
Kat Vrotsos Graduate Student Research Assistant