Frequently Asked Questions

Were you invited to participate in the RAND American Life Panel and need more information about the project ? If so, see our list of frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that is not included on the list, please contact the RAND research team by calling us toll free at 866-591-2909 or emailing us at


  • I received a letter about joining the American Life Panel. How was my household selected for this survey?

    We randomly selected your address from a list of all addresses in the United States.

  • Who is RAND?

    We are a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and healthier. For over 75 years, we have remained a trusted, independent source of research and analysis for policy makers. We are not affiliated with any political party, political cause, or special interest group.

  • What is the purpose of the American Life Panel?

    The American Life Panel is designed to regularly survey a diverse sample of Americans over the internet on the important issues facing the country like the economy, politics, health, education, and public safety. The results are used to help policy makers and community leaders make decisions. Surveys collected for use by researchers at RAND, universities, and other not- for- profit organizations. Our surveys are for public policy, non-profit research purposes only—we do NOT conduct market research.

  • How can I be sure the survey invitation is not a scam?

    You may call our toll-free number 866-591-2909 or email us at Additionally, you can also review details about our organization and work at

  • Will my name be used or appear anywhere?

    No, we never use names to report findings from our surveys. We will not link your survey responses with your name in any data sets, publications, or presentations of results.

  • How do I take one of the surveys?

    All of our surveys are hosted online, and you will receive an invitation via email or text message. Just a couple of clicks and you are off and running. You can take a survey on any computer, tablet, or phone.

  • If I sign up, do I have to take the surveys?

    Taking part in the American Life Panel is voluntary. You can also fill out one survey and skip the next one. You can send us a note and opt out altogether if you want. You may stop the survey at any time after you start. However, you must fully complete a survey to receive payment, even if you skip some questions within that survey. And to join the panel, you need to provide some basic information about yourself, such as demographic background and other basic details about you and your attitudes.

  • What do I get for participating?

    In return for participating in and completing our surveys, you will receive between $10 and $20. The amount will depend on the length of the survey. Each survey invitation (sent by email and text) will note the amount that you will receive for completing the survey.

  • Are there risks in participating?

    We may ask you questions about sensitive or hot-button issues. However, there should be minimal to no risk or discomfort from your participation in this research project. You may skip a question or stop the survey at any time after you start.

  • Will my information be kept private?

    Yes! We safeguard the information you provide and keep it private and secure. The information you provide is kept confidential, and we take great care to protect your privacy and your data with state-of-the-art security. RAND will not share your name or contact information with anyone outside our research team without your permission.

    When the results of the research are published or discussed in conferences, no information will be included that would reveal your identity. Any identifying information that is obtained in connection with this study will remain confidential. All aspects of this project will be reviewed and monitored by RAND’s Human Subjects Protection Committee, which evaluates research studies to protect the rights and welfare of research participants.

    To further help us protect your privacy, we have obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This certificate allows us to legally refuse to disclose information that may identify you in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings (for example, if there is a court subpoena).

  • How will I know when a new survey is ready?

    You will receive a survey invitation from or a text message when a new survey is ready for you.

  • Is there technical assistance available?

    Yes, the American Life Panel has a dedicated Help Desk available to assist you with any technical difficulties you may have with any of your surveys. You can contact the American Life Panel Help Desk toll-free at 866-591-2909 or email