Want to learn more about the MARCS BabyLab, our research techniques and methods?

Here's a convenient list of frequently asked questions.

What is MARCS BabyLab?

MARCS BabyLab is the foremost infant research laboratory in Australia, and on par with the best internationally in terms of our facilities, resources, equipment and the number of participating infants. Each year more than 1000 parents and their infants volunteer for our studies.

Are you looking for babies monolingual or multilingual backgrounds?

We register all babies on our database. Some of our research focuses on babies who only hear Australian accents, but we also conduct research which may require babies with exposure to other particular languages or accents. Please specify all second language or accent exposure when registering your baby.

What happens after I register my baby? How is my baby chosen?

With every study, we search for babies registered in our database who are the right age. If your child is eligible, we will invite you to participate in that study.

How old does my baby have to be?

We have various studies in progress at any one time. Each individual study has specific age requirements, so we generally recruit babies from 0-2 years old to be placed in our database.

Where can I park?

We have reserved spots for MARCS BabyLab visitors. We send you a parking permit when booking your appointment, so you will not need to pay parking fees.

How long does it take to participate?

Studies generally take 5-10mins to complete. An entire visit lasts approximately half an hour, allowing time for information and consent forms. You may participate in a single study or a number of studies.

Can I bring my other children when we participate?

Yes, we have toys in our welcome lounge and BabyLab staff members are happy to supervise other children. If you let our researcher know at time of booking, we can arrange for another staff member to look after siblings.

Is there any risk of harm to my baby?

Not at all! Every experiment at MARCS BabyLab is harmless and non-invasive, and is a fun and enjoyable experience. MARCS BabyLab research is conducted by behavioural observation where you will be with your baby at all times. Most of the experiments require your baby to be sitting on your lap.

What do we recieve for participation?

On each visit to MARCS BabyLab, your baby will receive a BabyLab Scientist degree. For instance, on the 1st visit, your baby will receive a Bachelors Degree, 2nd visit an Honours Degree, 3rd a Masters Degree, 4th a PhD etc. Additionally, your baby will receive a different gift on each visit, and you will receive a travel reimbursement of $30. Most participants who attend our studies return several times, not simply for what they receive, but because it is rewarding to contribute to scientific discovery. Many parents also recommend us to their friends and family.

If I participate, what can you tell me about me child?

Our studies do not evaluate or assess individual children, so we can't provide you with any feedback on your child's development. However, research gathered from your baby is pooled with data from other babies to enable us to conclude general developmental processes. Your baby's personal details are kept strictly confidential and not linked to any published findings. We do not forward your details to any other organisation.

I have friends with babies. Could they also participate in one of your studies?

Of course! Many of our registrations and consequent participation come by word-of-mouth.

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