FAQs about Services

  1. What services do the PRL offer for my research?   


  • Consultation on sampling strategies, data collection methods, interviewing procedures, data management and analytical techniques
  • Total survey design
  • Project management
  • Primary data collection
  • CATI interviewing, internet surveys, mail-out surveys, face-to-face interviewing, census enumeration, focus groups
  • Mixed mode of data collection and strategies to contact various populations
  • Demographic studies of population structures and transitions

               (For a detailed description of each service see our ‘PRL Services’ link)

  2.  What analysis or report writing does the PRL offer?

  • Analysis of primary or secondary data using basic descriptive statistics or complex multivariate techniques
  • Consultation on report writing, or production of the entire report (including literature review and/or policy recommendations if required)
  • Presentations which are customized to match the requirements of clients, research partners, boards and stakeholders

  3.   How can the PRL make my research the best it can be?

  • We have extensive experience in conducting social science research (established in 1966)
  • We have a strong reputation for meeting tight deadlines
  • We follow rigid research standards of the professional and academic research organizations such as the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations [AASRO]

  4.   How does the PRL ensure protocols, procedures and outcomes adhere to
        standardized  guidelines for ethical conduct?

  • We follow the measures outlined in Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) Act
  • We fulfill the requirements for conduct of ethical research with humans as set out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

  5.   Which research methodology is the best to use for my research?

  • Subject matter, sample size, timing, and access to your population of interest help drive mode
  • Implementation of multi-modes may be required to satisfy the diverse nature of complex populations and available contact databases (e.g. telephone interviewing and online survey)

  6.   What kind of sampling design should I use to achieve the highest quality results?

  • We collaborate with the individual or organization to determine the most appropriate sampling design (e.g., Random-digit dialling, client-provided sample, specialized populations such as seniors, minority groups, patients, health care professionals)
  • We customize strategies for each research project

  7.   How many people or households do I need for my sample?

  • A minimum sample of 400 which is based on the assumption of sampling at random from a population of greater than 15,000 for a margin of error + or – 5% at 95% confidence 
  • A larger sample size may be required to analyze multiple subgroups and variables 

  8.   Do I need a survey instrument or questionnaire in order for the PRL to help me?

  • We offer complete instrument development
  • If you have an instrument we can work with you to refine it to meet your research needs

  9.   How much will my research cost?

  • We meet deadlines and provide high quality results within a competitive price framework
  • Written cost estimates are prepared upon request (See the ‘Cost Estimate Checklist’ link)
  • Through the Alberta Survey we offer cost sharing alternatives if you have a specific scope of interest and limited funding
  • Note that we are a cost recovery unit at the university with indirect costs

  10. What should I bring to a meeting with the PRL?

  • If you have a developed questionnaire or ideas in draft form, please bring it or send it to us before the meeting (See ‘Contact Info’ link)

For more details on project items to consider see ‘Cost Estimate Checklist’ link  


  11. Can the PRL help me with my grant proposal which often demands extensive
         details and time sensitive deadlines?    

  • Our cost estimates with scheduled activities are fairly detailed so we require advance notice to assist you with your application 
  • Please contact Donna Fong, PRL Research Administrator, with your inquiries