Information for Participants

If your household has been chosen for an interview with the American Voices Project, you will have received a letter in the mail from Stanford University. To learn more about the project, please read our frequently asked questions below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE AMERICAN VOICES PROJECT?
The American Voices Project is a comprehensive effort to listen to people across the country to find out how they’re doing. It’s not a standard survey, but a commitment to listen. The goal is to learn about what’s going well, what needs to be improved, and how we might make our neighborhoods and country work better. A typical interview covers:

  • Defining events that have shaped your life

  • What your typical day is like

  • What’s going well for you and what’s not going so well

  • How we might build communities – and a larger society – that works better

Every community in the United States is unique and faces its own set of challenges and triumphs. The American Voices Project is a way to speak with people living in all types of communities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

WILL I BE COMPENSATED FOR MY TIME?
Yes. As a token of our appreciation, we will provide $60 to those who are interviewed.

HOW IS THE INTERVIEW SCHEDULED?
Two professional interviewers from Stanford University will come to your home to schedule an interview with you. The interviewers will have an American Voices Project name badge and can discuss the project in more detail. We will work around your schedule and make an appointment at a time that works for you. This interview can take place at your home or wherever is convenient for you.

CAN I SET UP AN INTERVIEW NOW?
Yes, you don’t have to wait for us to visit to schedule an interview. If you’d like, just call us at 650-724-6912 to schedule it. We’ll find a time and place for the interview that’s good for you.

WHO ARE THE AMERICAN VOICES PROJECT RESEARCH FELLOWS?
Research fellows are professional interviewers who are working in communities across the United States to learn how people are faring. They engage in immersive discussions with individuals about their lives, relationships, jobs, health, and well-being.

IS THIS A GOVERNMENT SURVEY? 
No. The American Voices Project is a joint initiative of Stanford University and Princeton University.

HOW WAS I CHOSEN?
We do not know the names of anyone who lives at your address. Rather, your household was randomly selected to be part of this study. We cannot talk to the millions of people in this country – that would cost too much and take too long. Instead, we randomly select a small number of households and talk to whoever lives at each address. This technique ensures that we hear from a cross-section of the entire population.

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?
By participating, you’ll ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. You’ll help us find out what’s happening in your community and in the country.

WILL MY ANSWERS BE KEPT PRIVATE?
Yes. All members of our research team are legally required to keep all information provided by participants confidential and secure. We will never identify you as having participated in the study.

DO I HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS?
No. Your help with the study is completely voluntary. Most people find the interview very enjoyable. Some of the questions may be sensitive for some people. You may choose not to answer any question for any reason and may stop the interview at any time.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Interviews take about two hours. Some interviews take a little less or a little more time.

WHERE DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Study information:
650-723-3789
americanvoicesproject@stanford.edu

Information about your rights and privacy:
650-723-2480
https://researchcompliance.stanford.edu/panels/hs/forms/for-participants

Schedule an interview:
Dallas Regional Office (TX, OK, FL, PR): 650-464-5847

New York Regional Office (NY, NJ, CT, ME, MA, NH, VT, RI, PA, DE, OH): 650-722-8367

Atlanta Regional Office (AL, GA, TN, LA, MS, KY, AL, VA, AR, MO, NC, WV, SC, NC): 650-465-4092

Chicago Regional Office (IL, IN, WI, KS, MO, MI, MN, NE, SD, IA, ND, CO, MT, WY, ID, UT, OH, IN, WA, OR): 650-785-5070

Los Angeles Regional Office (CA, NV, AZ, TX, NM,HI): 650-785-5068