Institute for Language Sciences Labs


Caller: Making a Phone Call in the Babylab

Last updated on 8 July 2015 by W.J. Doedens

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This page is always under construction. If you find mistakes or have things to add, please send them to Labman.


This page aims to give you a description of what to say and do when calling participants from the Babylab database. All calling and scheduling will be done through the Babylab online reservation system. For a step-by-step guide on how to work with the online reservation system and to find out how to schedule appointments in the system, read the manual for ‘callers’ (Dutch only) here.


If you have any questions or comments after reading this how-to, please contact our babylab manager Desiree Capel.


—-  Are you new to the Babylab? Read this Introduction before doing anything else! —–

Step-by-step guide to making a phone call in the Babylab

Support and opening hours

  • Study the ‘Online Babylab Reservation System Manual – Caller‘ (Dutch only) carefully.
  • Access to the Babylab online reservation system is restricted. Register for a caller account here.
  • For details on opening hours of the labs, see this page.
  • There are two phones that are specifically for Babylab callers. You can find the phones and computers in K.o4.

Before calling a participant, make sure you know what the experiment you are scheduling for is about. Read the information letter for the experiment in the shared folder (babylabondersteuning folder). If you’ve read the information letter and still have questions about the experiment, please contact the researcher or the babylab manager. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What is the experiment about?
  • What kind of paradigm is used?
  • What is expected of the parent? During testing and before coming to the lab (for example, filling out a questionnaire?)
  • What is expected of the child?
  • How long will the actual testing take?
  • How long will the visit take?
  • Are there any questionnaires to be filled in/discussed afterwards?

Also make sure you can answer more practical questions such as:

  • What do the parent and child get out of participating?
    The child receives a small gift at the end of the experiment. If the parent is interested in the results of the experiment, they can read about the results in the Babylab newsletter. The newsletter is sent out once a year.
  • What is the address of the lab?
    The lab is located at Janskerkhof 13. Directions to the lab can be found here (in Dutch). 
  • Can the parent bring a brother/sister to the lab?
    We always ask parents not to bring a brother or sister to the lab, unless the researcher has indicated otherwise, or an arrangement has been made for someone to come and watch the older brother/sister during testing. Always discuss this with the researcher before discussing this as an option with the parent.
  • Are travel costs reimbursed?
    Yes, we reimburse travel costs for parking at Janskerkhof and bus-fares. [often to a maximum of 5 euros; check with the researcher]

When calling possible participants, follow these guidelines:

  • Call the mobile phone number before you call the home number. If you are calling from the phones in the babylab, always press a 0 first.
  • Introduce yourself:
    • Goedemorgen/middag, u spreekt met XXX van het Babylab van de Universiteit Utrecht.
  • Ask if this is a convenient time to talk:
    • Bel ik gelegen?
  • Refer, in a friendly manner, to the fact that they have signed-up for participation:
    • Enige tijd geleden heeft u uw zoon/dochter opgegeven om mee te doen met onderzoek bij het Babylab. 
  • Explain the reason for the call:
    • We hebben een nieuw experiment waar uw zoon/dochter XXX aan mee kan doen. Ik kan u hier wat meer over vertellen en dan kunt u beslissen of u mee wilt doen.
      NB: saying “zoon/dochter” here is a subtle way to check the child’s gender if there is any uncertainty about it, for example because of the name. If this is incorrect in the system, change it (instructions on how to do this are in the manual).
  • Briefly explain the purpose of the experiment, the duration of the lab visit and any additional tasks, such as filling out of questionnaires.
  • Mention that the child will receive a small gift afterwards and that travel costs will be reimbursed (often to a maximum of 5 euros; check with the researcher).
  • Ask the parent if they are interested in participating:
    • Klinkt dat als iets waar u aan mee zou willen doen?

Before you schedule an appointment, always make sure you double-check a number of things in the Babylab online reservation system. Depending on the inclusion/exclusion criteria of your experiment, there are some additional things you’ll want to check with the parent:

  • Date of birth of the child
  • Email address of the parent
  • If there is doubt about the gender, ask about this (in a subtle way)
  • Bilingualism
  • At-risk of dyslexia

If the information is correct and you can schedule an appointment, use the online reservation system to make the appointment (how you can do this is described in the manual for callers).