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Sample Consent Forms

Consent form templates.

These consent form templates have been posted for your reference.  When completing and IRB submission in IRBIS, please fill in the application and use the consent form builder specific to your project.  For more information, please find instructions here .

Summary of Changes to the Regulations for Informed Consent:  Revised Common Rule Changes to Informed Consent and Waiver Requirements

Summary of Changes to Consent Documents:

  • Informed Consent Documents – Version 2.0 Summary of Changes
  • Informed Consent Documents – Version 2.1 Summary of Changes
  • Informed Consent Documents – 10/26/2020 Summary of Changes
  • Informed Consent Documents – 4/10/2023 Summary of Changes

Concise Summary examples can be found here .

Guidance on the use of plain language in consent forms:

  • Clinical Research Glossary
  • Webinar: The Promise of Plain Language: Launching a Glossary to Support Participant Understanding of Clinical Research – Recording & Slides

There are a few additional forms that are not provided online and may be accessed below.  As needed, these should be completed and uploaded to your IRB application.

Foreign Language Consent Forms

COVID-19 Related Forms:

  • Spanish-IRB-COVID Information Sheet
  • Spanish COVID Consent Letter v2
  • Spanish COVID Informational Sheet Translation Certificate

Informed Consent Short Form (for a single subject who may be illiterate, or otherwise unable to read the consent form — used when full consent form has to be read or translated for subject).

  • Informed Consent Short Form Guidance
  • Simplified Chinese

HIPAA Templates

  • Sample HIPAA Authorization Template
  • Sample HIPAA Authorization Template in Spanish ( Certification )

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IRB Consent Form Templates

A collection of informed consent, assent, and debriefing templates that can be used for your human participant research study.

General Consent Form Templates

Social and Behavioral Research Projects (last updated 03/16/2023)

Biomedical Research Projects (last updated 07/18/2022)

Consent Form Templates for Specific Biomedical Procedures

MRI and fMRI

Blood Collection by Finger Stick

Blood Collection by Venipuncture

Oral Consent Template

Guidance for Protocols Involving Oral Consent

Debriefing Template

Guidance and Template for Debriefing Participants

Studies Involving Children (Assent/Permission Forms)

Parent-Guardian Permission for Studies Involving Children

Sample Parental Notification Form

Sample Child Assent Form

Performance Release for Minors

Performance Releases

Performance Release for Adults

Sample consent and permission forms

General consent form to participate in research (DOC)

Two stage project consent form (DOC)

Parent permission form for research with child (DOC)

Child assent form (DOC)

Multiple consent form including audio-recording and quotations (DOC)

Photo and video consent form (DOC)

Video-recording consent form (DOC)

Re-contact agreement form (DOC)

Post-debriefing consent form (DOC)

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Home » Informed Consent in Research – Types, Templates and Examples

Informed Consent in Research – Types, Templates and Examples

Table of Contents

Informed Consent in Research

Informed Consent in Research

Informed consent is a process of communication between a researcher and a potential participant in which the researcher provides adequate information about the study, its risks and benefits, and the participant voluntarily agrees to participate. It is a cornerstone of ethical research involving human subjects and is intended to protect the rights and welfare of participants.

Types of Informed Consent in Research

There are different types of informed consent in research , which may vary depending on the nature of the study, the type of participants, and the context. Some of the common types of informed consent in research include:

Written Consent

This is the most common type of informed consent, where participants are provided with a written document that explains the study and its requirements. The document typically includes information about the purpose of the study, procedures involved, risks and benefits, confidentiality, and participant rights. Participants are asked to sign the document as an indication of their willingness to participate.

Oral Consent

In some cases, oral consent may be used when a written document is not practical or feasible. Oral consent involves explaining the study and its requirements to participants verbally and obtaining their consent. This method may be used for studies with illiterate or visually impaired participants or when conducting research remotely.

Implied Consent

Implied consent is used in studies where participants’ actions are taken as an indication of their willingness to participate. For example, a participant may be considered to have given implied consent if they show up for a scheduled appointment for the study.

Opt-out Consent

This method is used when participants are given the opportunity to decline participation in a study. Participants are provided with information about the study and are given the option to opt-out if they do not wish to participate. This method is commonly used in population-based studies or surveys.

Assent is used in studies involving minors or participants who are unable to provide informed consent due to cognitive impairment or disability. Assent involves obtaining the agreement of the participant to participate in the study, along with the consent of a legally authorized representative.

Informed Consent Format in Research

Here’s a basic format for informed consent that can be customized for specific research studies:

  • Introduction : Begin by introducing yourself and the purpose of the study. Clearly state that participation is voluntary and that participants can withdraw at any time without penalty.
  • Study Overview : Provide a brief overview of the study, including its purpose, methods, and expected outcomes.
  • Procedures : Describe the procedures involved in the study in clear, concise language. Include information about the types of data that will be collected, how they will be collected, and how long the study will take.
  • Risks and Benefits : Outline the potential risks and benefits of participating in the study. Be honest and upfront about any discomfort, inconvenience, or potential harm that may be involved, as well as any potential benefits.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy : Explain how participant data will be collected, stored, and used, and what measures will be taken to ensure confidentiality and privacy.
  • Voluntary Participation: Emphasize that participation is voluntary and that participants can withdraw at any time without penalty. Explain how to withdraw from the study and who to contact if participants have questions or concerns.
  • Compensation and Incentives: If applicable, explain any compensation or incentives that will be offered to participants for their participation.
  • Contact Information: Provide contact information for the researcher or a representative from the research team who can answer questions and address concerns.
  • Signature : Ask participants to sign and date the consent form to indicate their voluntary agreement to participate in the study.

Informed Consent Templates in Research

Here is an example of an informed consent template that can be used in research studies:


You are being invited to participate in a research study. Before you decide whether or not to participate, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done, what your participation will involve, and what risks and benefits may be associated with your participation.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is [insert purpose of study].

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to [insert procedures involved in the study].

Risks and Benefits

There are several potential risks and benefits associated with participation in this study. Some of the risks include [insert potential risks of participation]. Some of the benefits include [insert potential benefits of participation].


Your participation in this study will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law. All data collected during the study will be stored in a secure location and only accessed by authorized personnel. Your name and other identifying information will not be included in any reports or publications resulting from this study.

Voluntary Participation

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. If you choose not to participate or if you withdraw from the study, there will be no negative consequences.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns about the study, you can contact the investigator(s) at [insert contact information]. If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact [insert name of institutional review board and contact information].

Statement of Consent

By signing below, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the information provided in this consent form and that you freely and voluntarily consent to participate in this study.

Participant Signature: _____________________________________ Date: _____________

Investigator Signature: ____________________________________ Date: _____________

Examples of Informed Consent in Research

Here’s an example of informed consent in research:

Title : The Effects of Yoga on Stress and anxiety levels in college students

Introduction :

We are conducting a research study to investigate the effects of yoga on stress and anxiety levels in college students. We are inviting you to participate in this study.

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to attend four yoga classes per week for six weeks. Before and after the six-week period, you will be asked to complete surveys about your stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, we will measure your heart rate variability at the beginning and end of the six-week period.

Risks and Benefits:

There are no known risks associated with participating in this study. However, the benefits of practicing yoga may include decreased stress and anxiety levels, increased flexibility and strength, and improved overall well-being.


All information collected during this study will be kept strictly confidential. Your name will not be used in any reports or publications resulting from this study.

Voluntary Participation:

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You are free to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions or concerns about this study, you may contact the principal investigator at (phone number/email address).

By signing this form, I acknowledge that I have read and understood the above information and agree to participate in this study.

Participant Signature: ___________________________

Date: ___________________________

Researcher Signature: ___________________________

Importance of Informed Consent in Research

Here are some reasons why informed consent is important in research:

  • Protection of participants’ rights : Informed consent ensures that participants understand the nature and purpose of the research, the risks and benefits of participating, and their rights as participants. It empowers them to make an informed decision about whether to participate or not.
  • Ethical responsibility : Researchers have an ethical responsibility to respect the autonomy of participants and to protect them from harm. Informed consent is a crucial way to uphold these principles.
  • Legality : Informed consent is a legal requirement in most countries. It is necessary to protect researchers from legal liability and to ensure that research is conducted in accordance with ethical standards.
  • Trust : Informed consent helps build trust between researchers and participants. When participants understand the research process and their role in it, they are more likely to trust the researchers and the study.
  • Quality of research : Informed consent ensures that participants are fully informed about the research and its purpose, which can lead to more accurate and reliable data. This, in turn, can improve the quality of research outcomes.

Purpose of Informed Consent in Research

Informed consent is a critical component of research ethics, and it serves several important purposes, including:

  • Respect for autonomy: Informed consent respects an individual’s right to make decisions about their own health and well-being. It recognizes that individuals have the right to choose whether or not to participate in research, based on their own values, beliefs, and preferences.
  • Protection of participants : Informed consent helps protect research participants from potential harm or risks that may arise from their involvement in a study. By providing participants with information about the study, its risks and benefits, and their rights, they are able to make an informed decision about whether to participate.
  • Transparency: Informed consent promotes transparency in the research process. It ensures that participants are fully informed about the research, including its purpose, methods, and potential outcomes, which helps to build trust between researchers and participants.
  • Legal and ethical requirements: Informed consent is a legal and ethical requirement in most research studies. It ensures that researchers obtain voluntary and informed agreement from participants to participate in the study, which helps to protect the rights and welfare of research participants.

Advantages of Informed Consent in Research

The advantages of informed consent in research are numerous, and some of the most significant benefits include:

  • Protecting participants’ autonomy: Informed consent allows participants to exercise their right to self-determination and make decisions about whether to participate in a study or not. It also ensures that participants are fully informed about the risks, benefits, and implications of participating in the study.
  • Promoting transparency and trust: Informed consent helps build trust between researchers and participants by providing clear and accurate information about the study’s purpose, procedures, and potential outcomes. This transparency promotes open communication and a positive research experience for all parties involved.
  • Reducing the risk of harm: Informed consent ensures that participants are fully aware of any potential risks or side effects associated with the study. This knowledge enables them to make informed decisions about their participation and reduces the likelihood of harm or negative consequences.
  • Ensuring ethical standards are met : Informed consent is a fundamental ethical requirement for conducting research involving human participants. By obtaining informed consent, researchers demonstrate their commitment to upholding ethical principles and standards in their research practices.
  • Facilitating future research : Informed consent enables researchers to collect high-quality data that can be used for future research purposes. It also allows participants to make an informed decision about whether they are willing to participate in future studies.

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Sample Consent Forms

These consent forms were used in various NIH-funded research projects and have been approved by the relevant local IRBs. These completed forms are meant to complement the sample language found in the other sections. They are not provided as guidance or templates promoted by NHGRI, but as references to inform investigators and IRBs considering these issues. Consent forms should be tailored to each individual study.

Additional Resources

  • The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health maintains sample consent clauses relevant to genomics research projects that may be helpful when developing consent forms.  
  • The NIH Office of Human Subjects Research Protections has created a useful list of consent templates for NIH Intramural Researchers . These include consent templates that have been updated to comply with the Revised Common Rule, as well as older forms that might be useful in crafting consent language.   Note: these templates are not specifically for genomics projects .

Related Content

​Required Elements of the Consent Form | NHGRI

Last updated: March 16, 2022

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Informed Consent Guidelines & Templates

U-m hrpp informed consent information.

See the HRPP Operations Manual, Part 3, Section III, 6 e .

The human subjects in your project must participate willingly , having been adequately informed about the research.  

  • If the human subjects are part of a vulnerable population (e.g., prisoners, cognitively impaired individuals, or children), special protections are required.
  • If the human subjects are children , in most cases you must first obtain the permission of parents in addition to the consent of the children.

Contact the IRB Office for more information .

See the Waiver Guidelines  for information about, and policies regarding, waivers for informed consent or informed consent documentation. 

Now Available!

See the updated  Basic Informed Consent Elements document  for a list of 2018 Common Rule basic and additional elements. 

Informed Consent Process

Informed consent is the process of telling potential research participants about the key elements of a research study and what their participation will involve.  The informed consent process is one of the central components of the ethical conduct of research with human subjects.  The consent process typically includes providing a written consent document containing the required information (i.e., elements of informed consent) and the presentation of that information to prospective participants.  

In most cases, investigators are expected to obtain a signature from the participant on a written informed consent document (i.e., to document the consent to participate) unless the IRB has waived the consent requirement or documentation (signature) requirement .

  • Projects which collect biospecimens for genetic analysis must obtain documented (signed) informed consent.
  • It is an ethical best practice to include an informed consent process for most exempt research .   IRB-HSBS reviews, as applicable, the IRB application for exempt research, but not the informed consent document itself.  A suggested consent template for exempt research can be found below under the References and Resources section.  A companion protocol template for exempt research may be found in the feature box, Related Information (top right).

Blue info icon

Informed consent documents

An  informed consent document  is typically used to provide subjects with the information they need to make a decision to volunteer for a research study.  Federal regulations ( 45 CFR 46.116 ) provide the framework for the type of information (i.e., the "elements") that must be included as part of the consent process.  New with the revised 2018 Common Rule is the requirement that the consent document begin with a "concise and focused" presentation of key information  that will help potential participants understand why they might or might not want to be a part of a research study.  

Key Information Elements

The image below displays the  five elements identified in the preamble to the revised Final Rule  as suggested key information.  

Key Information are: research with voluntary participation, summary of the research, risks, benefits, and alternatives

Note: Element number 5 (alternative procedures) applies primarily to clinical research.

General Information & Tips for Preparing a Consent Document

Reading level.

Informed consent documents should be written in plain language at a level appropriate to the subject population, generally at an 8th grade reading level .  A best practice is to have a colleague or friend read  the  informed consent document for comprehension before submission with the IRB application.  Always:

For guidance on using plain language, examples, and more, visit: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/

  • Tailor the document to the subject population.
  • Avoid technical jargon or overly complex terms.
  • Use  straightforward  language that is understandable.

Writing tips

The informed consent document should succinctly describe the research as it has been presented in the IRB application.

  • Use the second (you) or third person (he/she) to present the study details.  Avoid use of the first person (I).  
  • Include a statement of agreement at the conclusion of the informed consent document. 
  • The consent doucment must be consistent with what is described in the IRB application.

Document Formating for Uploading into eResearch

  • Remove "track changes" or inserted comments from the consent documentation prior to uploading the document into the IRB application (Section 10-1) for review.
  • Use a consistent, clearly identified file naming convention for multiple consent/assent documents.

Informed Consent Templates

IRB-HSBS strongly recommends that investigators use one of the informed consent templates developed to include the required consent elements (per  45 CFR 46.116 ), as well as other required regulatory and institutional language.  The templates listed below include the new consent elements outlined in the 2018 Common Rule.

References and Resources

Informed consent guidance.

PDF.  Lists the basic and additional elements required for inclusion or to be included, as appropriate to the research, in the informed consent documentation, along with the citiation number [e.g., _0116(b)(1)] within the revised Common Rule.  New elements associated with the 2018 Common Rule are indicated in bold text.

Informed Consent Templates (2018 Common Rule)

Strongly recommended for studies that involve the collection of biospecimens and/or genetic or genomic analysis, particularly  federally sponsored clinical trials that are required to post a consent document on a public website.  Last updated:  04/10/2024.

(Word) Blank template with 2018 revised Common Rule key information and other required informed consent elements represented as section headers; includes instructions and recommended language.  It is strongly advised that you modify this template to draft a project-specific informed consent document for your study for IRB review and approval.  Last updated: 04/10/2024

Other Templates

Informed Consent documents are not reviewed by the IRB for Exempt projects.  However, researchers are ethically bound to conduct a consent process with subjects.  This template is suggested for use with Exempt projects. Last updated 4/17/24

(Word) General outline to create and post a flyer seeking participation in a human subjects study.  Includes instructions.

(Word) Two sample letters for site approval cooperation between U-M and other institutions, organizations, etc.  Letters of cooperation must be on U-M letterhead and signed by an appropriate official.  These letters are uploaded into the Performance Site section of the eResearch IRB application.

For use by U-M Dearborn faculty, staff, and students conducting non-exempt human subjects research using subject pools. Last updated 4/10/24

For use by U-M Dearborn faculty, staff, and students conducting exempt human subjects research using subject pools

Researchers who will conduct data collection that is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must use this template in tandem with a general consent for participation template/document.

  • Brief protocol for exempt research including data management and security questionnaire

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  • Advice on writing an information sheet and consent form


Writing a Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form

Recruitment documents help people make informed choices about whether to participate in a research study. Find out how to write a Participant Information Sheet, example forms and further guidance.

Writing a Participant Information Sheet

Participant Information Sheets must be designed to assist participants to make informed choices. Potential recruits must be given sufficient information to allow them to decide whether or not they want to take part. The process of obtaining consent and the accompanying documentation must be approved by a research ethics committee and, where only verbal consent to research is contemplated include consideration of an appropriate process for witnessing the consent.

Researchers must take the steps necessary to ensure that all participants in the research understand the process in which they are to be engaged, including why their participation is necessary, how it will be used, and how and to whom it will be reported so that the prospective participant can make an informed decision about whether they really do want to take part.

It is highly recommended that the information provided is presented on headed paper and is accurate, clear and simple so that someone with a reading age of 8 would understand the contents (use short words, sentences and paragraphs). The information should be specific to the proposed research and appropriate for the social and cultural context in which is it being given. It is important to avoid technical terms, jargon and abbreviations, bias, coercion or any inappropriate inducements.

What should the Participant Information Sheet include:

  • A friendly invitation to participate.
  • A brief and simple explanation of the purposes of the research and a statement explaining how the participant was chosen and how many other participants will be involved in the study.
  • A statement that participation is voluntary; refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which the participant is otherwise entitled; and the participant may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits.
  • A thorough explanation of the expected duration of participation in the research and the procedures to be followed.
  • A description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts and any benefits to the participant. For research involving more than minimal risk, an explanation as to whether any compensation or any medical treatments are available if injury occurs and, if so, what they consist of, or where further information may be obtained.
  • A statement describing the extent, if any, to which confidentiality of records identifying the participant will be maintained.
  • It is considered good practice for researchers to debrief participants at the conclusion of the research and to provide them with copies of any reports or other publications arising from their participation.
  • If appropriate, a statement indicating that the data might be used for additional or subsequent research.
  • An explanation of who to contact for answers to pertinent questions about the research and the rights of the participant and who to contact in the event of a research-related injury to the participant.
  • If applicable, a statement declaring that each researcher who may have access to children (aged under 18) or vulnerable adults has undergone a satisfactory criminal records check.
  • Remember to thank your participant for considering taking part in the study and include a statement indicating that the research study has been approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee.

Language and layout

It is highly recommended that the information provided is presented on headed paper and is accurate, clear, and simple. The information should be specific to the proposed research and appropriate for the social and cultural context in which is it being given. It is important to avoid technical terms, jargon, and abbreviations, bias, coercion, or any inappropriate inducements.

The following points should be considered when writing an information sheet:

  • Use clear, non-technical language. We recommend that you refer to the  Plain English Campaign
  • Use appropriate language for the target audience. For example, consider the different ways needed to communicate with primary school children as opposed to their teachers, or people with expertise in the area of study as opposed to people with no such knowledge
  • Divide the text into paragraphs for ease of reading
  • Consider using sub-headings for clarity, such as questions and answers
  • Make sure the font and font size are legible.

Ask someone else to review your information sheet before it is circulated.

  • Template Participant Information Sheet  (Word)
  • Template Consent Form  (Word)
  • Guidance on obtaining consent from research participants online (for online and in-person study designs)

Authors: Dr Pippa Lally, Behavioural Science and Health, and Jack Hindley, Information Services Division, UCL

  • Recording & Obtaining Consent

UCL Research Ethics Committee Guidance Note 2: Extract from Nuffield Council on Bioethics website

Page last updated: April 2023

Human Subjects Division

Consent Examples

About this page.

To assist UW researchers with designing subject-focused consent, the UW IRB provides example consent forms. Many of these examples are actual UW IRB approved consent forms designed by UW researchers. Some of the examples were created using one of our consent templates . The use of our template is not required and some of the examples deviate significantly from our templates.

We encourages researchers to use the Designing the Consent Process guidance and the examples below to create consent forms and processes that: (1) are written from the perspective of the subject population being enrolled, emphasizing the Key Information that is mostly likely to assist those subjects with deciding whether to enroll; and (2) are designed and presented in a way that facilitates comprehension and understanding.

  • Exempt Research Example Consents
  • Expedited and Full Board Research Example Consents
  • Key Information Examples

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  • → Market research: What it is, how to u...

Market research: What it is, how to use it, + examples

Market research allows you to categorize your target audience to better understand your consumers. Learn more about how to do market research here.

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Latest posts on Tips

Typeform    |    05.2024

Typeform    |    04.2024

So, you’ve got the next billion-dollar idea that’ll blow the top off your profit margins. You just know you’re onto a winner! Time to throw a huge budget (or your life savings) at this idea, right? 

Not so fast! You're not likely to get very far in the marketplace if you only rely on your gut instincts.

How can you know if your idea even has a chance of surviving in the cutthroat marketplace? 

The answer: market research. A realistic prediction, based on data , of your chances of success. Basically, it’s a way to find out the market viability of your idea.

If you’re new to market research, don’t be intimidated. This guide will take you from basic concepts through to advanced techniques. Plus, our in-house experts will walk you through real-life examples of how we do it here at Typeform.

What is market research and why does it matter?

Building wall with words "us" and the letter holding hands.

Market research is the process of collecting information about your target market and customers so you can:

Learn who your customers are

Find out what they want and/or need

Gauge potential market size

Discover trends in your industry

Get wise about what your competitors are up to

Determine how you can stand out

This way, you’ll better understand how to serve your customers, prioritize, and get higher returns on your own marketing and product development efforts. Market research is an essential part of any business’s strategy, whatever the size of your company.

There are many ways to approach market research, and at Typeform, we’ve developed our own spin on it, thanks to continuous testing and the insights we get from being a market research tool ourselves ( forms and surveys).

Uncertainty is an inevitable part of business—however, it’s still possible to reduce some of the uncertainty.

This is where market research is your best ally. Nothing is guaranteed, but making an informed decision based on comprehensive research beats a stab in the dark. Market research helps reduce the thickness of that fog to see what your options are and which direction you might want to take.

Convinced you shouldn’t be sleeping on market research? Great—let’s dive deeper.

Types of market research

A person looking at their phone reviewing types of market research.

Finding what works best for you is a must for useful and actionable market research. We don’t believe in a cut-and-paste approach for all businesses and markets, nor in one definitive “right” way to do things. However, there are some basic principles that apply across the board. Here are a few types of market research.

Secondary and primary research 

Secondary market research delves into information that you don’t create yourself. It’s data that’s already out there, which you can buy or access for free, and is great for benchmarking. 

Examples of secondary research:

Industry reports

Census data

Research paper

Articles in journals or newspapers

Primary market research involves collecting information yourself—this may be more expensive and time-consuming than secondary research, but it’s a better investment in the long run. Focus on your own target audience and gather information directly relevant to your goals. 

Examples of primary research:

Interviews (face-to-face or over the phone)

Focus groups

User testing

Quantitative and Qualitative

Ahh, the classic quantitative vs. qualitative dichotomy.

Quantitative market research gathers data that's numerical, descriptive, and structured. You can draw statistics from quantitative research. It involves more of the “what” questions and can be done at scale.

This type of market research is usually carried out through surveys and questionnaires and can be internal or external. Internal quantitative research examines your current customers, while external can help you identify new customers and see the actual distribution of the whole market. External is more likely to be objective, as your own customers already know you and will have formed opinions.

Examples of quantitative questions:

“Where do you live?”

“How much do you spend on electricity per month, on average?”

“Do you use this product?”

“How often do you go to the gym?”

“On a scale of 1–10, how satisfied are you with our service?”

Qualitative market research involves more of the “how” and “why” questions. It’s done at a much smaller scale, is less structured and more exploratory, aiming for insight rather than certainty. It helps you find out how customers feel about your product, their opinions and preferences—in other words, things that can't be quantified.

Examples of qualitative questions:

“Why did you choose product A over product B?”

“How does this image make you feel?”

“What do you feel is missing from this service?

“Describe the last time you purchased something online.”

“What are your favorite brands for dog grooming products?”

Usually, this type of market research is done through surveys with open-ended questions or interviews. A small number of interviews are conducted, which are then projected to apply to a larger population. 

Quantitative and qualitative research don’t need to be seen as opposite or distinct techniques. It can be an “and” instead of an “either-or.”

Market research for product development and marketing efforts

Market research tends to inform two main areas in a business: product development and marketing efforts. Whether it’s creating a new product or a new set of features, at Typeform, we always start from the end. 

Who’s going to use this? 

Who will buy it? 

How do I justify engineers spending time on this? 

Market research is one of the most important tools to answer these questions. Nobody wants to invest time, money, and effort into making something that no one wants or needs. Market research allows you to assess the market size, its opportunities, and your competitors. This is also where user research and market research inform one another.

Segmenting the market is one of the main activities in market research, as it gives you your target audience(s). How else will you know who is buying from you already, who to market to, and which marketing messages work best?

Competitor analysis , another cornerstone of market research, helps you craft your positioning. In simple terms: How you're different from your competitors and why should buyers pick you?

How to conduct market research

A geometric, abstract design.

So you can probably see by now how varied market research is. The way we do our own market research here at Typeform has evolved over the years through testing and experimentation. After much trial and error, we finally landed on the approach that works best for us.

Set your goals

Before we even think about launching market research of any scale, we make sure to have a clear objective in mind. 

Are you trying to enhance a particular metric (such as customer numbers or customer satisfaction level), gauge potential market size, or something else?

Define your objective(s) first, then move on to the next step.

Define your audience 

Whatever your approach, the next thing you should always have at the front of your mind is your customer.

Still, focusing on the customer can mean different things to different people.

Focus on jobs, not personas

Brace yourself, because we’re about to say something controversial: don’t focus on buyer personas.

This flies in the face of what most other market research guides will tell you: Research your audience to create buyer personas and frame your offering around them.

Not that buyer personas aren't important—they are. And at Typeform, we definitely use them, but we also follow the “Jobs To Be Done (JTBD)” model. This is the backbone for how we conceptualize everything, from our marketing messaging to our product development. It informs how we see our customers and how we segment them.

How many people in your business speak directly to customers? The bigger your organization, the smaller this number is likely to be, and the further removed the customer becomes from the decision-making. The job creates a consistent framework for everyone to work with and remains close to the customer’s needs.

As you identify needs that intersect, you can begin to find unique differentiators for your product. 

At the end of the day, your customers don’t care about you or your product or its features. They care about the job or jobs they are trying to get done, and if you provide the best solution, they'll pay you for it. If you don’t, they'll move on to your competition faster than you can say, “job to be done.”

 So how does this all relate to market research?

Rather than framing your market research efforts on creating buyer personas and targeting them, frame them around jobs your customers are trying to get done. There'll be some natural overlap with personas, but you need not be wed to them.

Market segmentation

A blue geometric, abstract design.

Market segmentation is the act of dividing a target market into groups (or segments). This lets you tailor your efforts to each segment, whether that be your marketing strategy or deciding on features for your product.

The four most common methods: 

Demographics: age, gender, ethnicity, income, industry, job

Psychographic: lifestyle, values, personality traits, interests

Geographic: country, region, city, town

Behavioral: spending habits, internet browsing habits

Depending on your situation, any of these might be useful focus points, and all of them no doubt provide valuable insight.

The benefits of segmentation include:

A better experience for customers: A better understanding of your customers can only really be a win-win. You’ll be able to tailor each part of your customer experience, from marketing message to product experience, based on their segment.

More targeted marketing: In other words, this means better use of your marketing resources. Rather than casting the net wide and crossing your fingers that you haven’t just thrown a lot of time and money away, your segments let you focus your efforts where they’re likely to have the most return.

Improved product development: Knowing the real demands of your target audience will allow for product development that they'll actually appreciate (read: pay for).

Developing a market research strategy

A blue and purple abstract design.

Now that you’re convinced of the importance of market research and how it can help your business, you’re probably pumped to get started. Having even a basic plan can be the difference between a piece of research that has a real and lasting impact on your business and gathering some interesting insights that are forgotten in two weeks. 

Always start with the question: Why? What’s the purpose of the research? 

Your objective shouldn’t be “to do some research,” nor should you select a method first, whether that be a JTBD-based questionnaire, customer interviews, etc. 

Make sure you’re always starting with a question you want to answer and adapt the method to the question.

Examples of questions to think about:

“How can we increase conversions?”

“Why are people churning after two months?”

“What is the appetite for this product?”

“Which product features are most useful to our customers?”

“In which region(s) should we focus our next marketing campaign?"

Let this always be front and center as you go about planning and executing your research.

Market research tips 

Do preliminary research: Have a basic understanding of the industry and the landscape you’ll be investigating. It doesn't have to be extremely in-depth, but it’s important to have a foundation. This ensures you ask the right questions, know what to assess, and can get a more accurate vision of the market.

Align with potential stakeholders: There may be others in your organization who could benefit from the data you're about to gather. It may be worthwhile checking around to see how you could maximize your research efforts. Even just one extra question on your survey might provide essential data for someone else.

Use the right tools for your market research purposes: Make sure that whichever tools you use are fit for purpose. As technology develops, market research automation becomes more important. Using the right tools won't only save you lots of time and energy; it's also essential for correct and high-quality data.

Market research questions

The questions you ask depend on your objectives. You should write market research questions that are purposeful and will help strengthen your relationship with your customers.

You should also consider running a test first, depending on the scale of your research. Sending your survey to a smaller population and analyzing the first few responses will let you check that you’re getting useful responses that are answering your research questions.

Sometimes, until we start getting results, we’re unaware that a question is ineffective. This may be because the question uses terminology not understood by the target audience. 

For example, you may ask, “What SaaS tools do you currently use?” If you get responses like “iPhone 11” and “desktop computer,” then you know you need to adapt your questions better to your audience! 

Here at Typeform, we sometimes send out test emails to smaller populations (around 10% of the target audience) for this purpose and adjust our surveys if necessary.

How many responses to collect for market research

400 is the magic number.

Well, no, in fact, there is no magic number, sorry.

Generally speaking, 400 is the standard recommended sample size—this just means the number of people who responded to your market research survey. 

But this number can vary greatly depending on your total population (i.e., all the people that this research will apply to) and the way you segment them. 

But there’s a mathematical explanation for the popularity of 400: With 400 responses, your margin of error is 5%. 

For example, say you got 400 customer responses to your market research survey. 80% of your respondents answered “yes” to the question, “Would you buy from us again?” That means there’s a 95% chance that in your total population of customers, around 80% would buy from you again.

Don’t forget that to reach your target sample size, you'll need to reach out to many more people! If sending out surveys by email, open rates tend to hover around 15-25% . The percentage of people who then go on to complete a survey will be even lower. 

To increase your chances of survey opens and completions, offering an incentive is never a bad idea. Prize draws or discounts on your product have worked well for us. And, of course, the experience of answering a market research survey is paramount for completions—make sure your form is user-friendly with a smooth and beautiful interface. 

Try to aim for a sample that'll be a good approximation of your overall population. There’s a risk of bias , depending on the channel through which your research survey is shared. For example, if you share it on social media, you might get a younger average age of respondents, which may not be accurately representative of your total population of customers.

Sample market research template

A blue and green abstract design.

Below is a sample market research template for planning a piece of primary market data.

A brief summary of why this research was started:

What led to this research being done/requested? 

What needs to be validated or explored?

What's been done prior to this research? E.g., competitive analysis, brainstorming, previous research

What insights will this research generate? 

How will these insights be used?

Business/product objectives

We can't emphasize enough the importance of having a clear goal in mind. What metric(s) are you trying to enhance? E.g., more conversions, less churn. This helps people understand the bigger picture of this research.

State what decisions are going to be made or impacted based on the research. As a general rule, if you’re not prepared to make changes, don’t run the research.

Research objectives 

State the high-level objectives for this research. Try to keep it specific, actionable, and two to three points max. 

Research questions 

Provide a list of market research questions you plan to answer during this research (these questions are not the interview questions). 

Participant criteria 

List the primary characteristics of the people you'll recruit for the research, like:

Job(s) to be done

Also decide on the minimum and maximum number of participants you'll need for your study.

Taking action on market research insights

Remember, data isn't reality—however, market research can give you a pretty decent view of reality.

Data can also be unpredictable. Missing a small detail can skew ‌results significantly, so try to be as methodical and meticulous as you can.

Put our market research survey template to the test with customizable questions and design. Take your questionnaire to the next level with over 1 million photos, videos, and icons, or upload your own. Build your ultimate market research survey today with the help of Typeform.

Useful tools for market research

Demographic survey questionnaire template

User persona survey template

Competitor research tool for the SaaS industry

Margin of error calculator for sample size

Google Sheets

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  1. PDF Sample Informed Consent Form

    Sample Informed Consent Form - ©NCPI. The following is a sample consent form for a research project. It is a research project on faculty life on campus, carried out by the principle investigator (PI) of this project from the fake-named Century University. The interviewer (the investigator) should have the interviewee read this form carefully ...

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    The UW IRB provides the UW research community with a variety of consent templates that align with regulatory and policy requirements and best practices as described in our main Consent guidance and guidance on Designing the Consent Process. The first two templates, marked with an asterisk, are the templates most non-exempt studies will choose from.

  14. PDF informed Model Consent Form

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    The following templates and samples are provided for investigators who are designing consent, assent, or permission forms for research with human participants. Theses forms are not intended as boilerplate text. Revise bracketed and example-specific text in the forms as appropriate to your project, keeping in mind best practices for informed ...

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  17. PDF Informed Consent Form

    Whenever you are proposing research with human participants you must provide a form, known as an Informed Consent Form (ICF), with each proposal to indicate that the research participant has decided to take part in the research of her/his own free will. If the research involves more than one group of individuals, for example healthcare users ...

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    The forms should be provided to participants in addition to the main study consent form. The language in these forms can also be adapted and added to consent forms for studies in which COVID-19 screening and testing procedures are being done for study purposes, i.e., the results of the screening and/or testing will be used as study data. To do ...

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    The consent signature requirements from the mother and father are summarised in table 3. Once the informed consent is obtained, the pregnant women will be included into any phase of the study unless the research project will be compromised or the patient's health (mother and/or fetus) will be in danger.

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    Participant Consent Form This template is designed primarily for those doing qualitative interviews with adults from non-vulnerable populations and dealing with non-sensitive topics. The form would be different in the case of focus groups or quantitative research. If conducting research with vulnerable populations and / or sensitive topics please

  24. Market research: What it is, how to use it, + examples

    Market research is one of the most important tools to answer these questions. Nobody wants to invest time, money, and effort into making something that no one wants or needs. Market research allows you to assess the market size, its opportunities, and your competitors. This is also where user research and market research inform one another.