Recruiting a niche sample with custom screening requirements

Attention researchers:

We have a new custom prescreening method to obtain participants for your study, where eligibility criteria is not captured by our existing prescreening filters.

You can read about this in our article “Custom Prescreening with Typeform Studies"

The methods outlined in this article are for researchers who have designed their study based on previous guidance. Please note that this article will be deleted from the Help Centre on 1st May

If you need to recruit a niche sample, or cannot obtain the specific population you require using our existing Prescreening filters, it is not permitted to screen participants within your survey or study description. You can read more about why this is not allowed here.

Instead, you can run two separate studies on Prolific: a short one to filter participants of interest, and a longer one to actually collect the data. See below for a more detailed breakdown:

The First Study

This should be a short screening survey, where participants answer your intended 'screening' questions and provide their Prolific ID. You can already pre-screen the sample to some extent using our existing options - e.g. for any demographic requirements you may have.

You may need to survey quite a large number of participants in order to achieve your desired sample size for the main study. However, because this first study is very short, you can reward a small amount and therefore test more participants.

Importantly, you should approve every complete submission to this study, as it wouldn't be appropriate to reject people who do not meet your criteria.

After the first survey, you will have a list of participant IDs who meet your criteria. You must use the participant ID's from the study export or query string. ID's which are manually entered by participants in your study may contain errors. 

The Second Study 

This study should direct participants to your main survey.

You can use the "Custom Whitelist" option to only allow participants who met your criteria from the first study to take part in this one. In essence, you are running a longitudinal study.

This will ensure that you only pay for full submissions from participants who meet your screening requirements.

If you require any assistance with setting this up, or would like some more information about the process with respect to your specific requirements, please don't hesitate to contact us via


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