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Frequently Asked Questions

To become a Respondent with us first you will have to register as a User on our site.
Once you have verified the email address you supply you will be presented with a questionnaire to complete. Unless you verify your User account using the link in the email you will not be able to complete the questionnaire so follow the instructions you are given very carefully.

To register as a Respondent you will be asked to complete the following steps:
1. Click on 'Register as a Respondent' on the left of the screen.
2. Enter your email address, Username and Password on the form.
3. Go to your email account and find the validation email sent to you.
4. Validate your email address by clicking on the link in the email.
5. Complete the short Respondent Questionnaire which will be presented to you when you follow the link.


Your details will be checked before being added to our database. Your privacy and anonymity will be respected at all times.

Registering commits you to nothing, except receiving occasional invitations (usually by email or telephone) to take part in events near you. We will always explain exactly what is involved and what the reimbursement is. We do not pass on any of your personal contact information (even to the research clients involved). And we NEVER use your information for direct marketing of any kind – registering with Sparrow Research Limited will NOT result in spam or junk mail, only our genuine research invitations.

A Focus Group is where a group of respondents gather together in the same room. The group normally consists of pre-screened people who are relevant to the specific target market being researched and the group is managed by a moderator.

Focus groups are used by businesses and organisations to hear first-hand what their customers, staff, suppliers or other parties think, using a range of methods to encourage conversation and debate.

A focus group may comprise of between 6 to 10 people but this is not fixed. Respondents (as they are known) are invited to take part on the basis that they meet certain critiera - eg fit a particular demographic, buy certain products, hold certain attitudes etc.

Respondents are interviewed by a professional qualitative research moderator who records the conversation and then analyses the feedback, and the results are presented to their client in a powerpoint presentation and/or written report form.

A normal focus group usually lasts up to an hour and a half. Longer sessions (known as 'extended focus groups') can adopt a creative workshop style making full use of more formal teamwork techniques.

Most respondents don't attend groups for the money but rather because they can be good fun, create better products and services and can be informative.

Incentives are paid at rates varying from £30 to £45 for a session which will normally last between 1 and 3 hours.

Research companies pay a tax free incentive to those that attend a focus group to cover the cost of transport and the respondent's time. This does not have to be declared for tax purposes.

No. We recruit people to take part in focus groups which are meetings where our clients, who are usually manufactures and service providers, canvas the opinions of their customers.

Occasionally we will conduct online surveys or assist with individual interviews which may be conducted by telephone.

Of course we can!

Market Research is a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target market, competition, and/or environment. It always incorporates some form of data collection whether it is secondary research (often referred to as desk research) or primary market research, which is collected direct from a respondent.

The purpose of any market research project is to achieve an increased understanding of the subject matter. With markets throughout the world becoming increasingly more competitive, market research is now on the agenda of many organisations, whether they are large or small.

Market Research is either quantitative, qualitative, or a combination of both. Qualitative and quantitative market research methods each provide different insights into customer behaviour. Normally, research results are more useful when the two methods are combined.

Qualitative research provides an understanding of how or why things are as they are. For example, a Market Researcher may stop a consumer who has purchased a particular type of bread and ask him or her why that type of bread was chosen. Unlike quantitative research there are no fixed set of questions but, instead, a topic guide (or discussion guide) is used to explore various issues in-depth. The discussion between the interviewer (or moderator) and the respondent is largely determined by the respondents' own thoughts and feelings.

There are various types of qualitative market research methodologies. Research of this sort is mostly done face-to-face. One of the best-known techniques is the market research group discussion (or focus group).

We never 'cold call' members of the public randomly or unnanounced or send unsolicited emails.

We only call respondents who have registered with us, and only then to invite them to take part in a focus group or to ask further questions to confirm their relevance to a group being arranged.

We will occasionally send bulk emails to our registered respondents to invite them to review the information held on our database or to recruit respondents for a group where we do not have enough information to decide on criteria matches.

Sparrow Research Limited are registered with the Market Research Society (MRS) and comply with the MRS Code of Conduct.

For more information on the MRS visit

Sparrow Research Limited is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner, registered number PZ190858X.

There is no charge to be added to our database as a Respondent.

There are a number of recruiters who charge respondents a fee for joining their databases for qualitative group research projects. This is against the principles of the Market Research Society and we encourage potential respondents and clients not to deal with these recruiters.

Focus groups may take place in a variety of places although Sparrow Research Limited normally use one of the following:

Purpose Viewing Facility

These are specifically designed for group discussions. Rooms contain one-way mirrors so that clients can observe the discussion. Respondents cannot see out but researchers and clients can see in. In addition, viewing facilities normally give the option of using a video recorder so that others can view the meeting at a later date. Transcripts and/or summaries can also be produced from the audio/video tape.

Hotel Venue

Suitable rooms are also used within hotels. Researchers normally opt for a ‘relaxed’ layout (i.e. no barriers) as opposed to a formal business layout.

Recruiters Home

Recruiters sometimes offer their own homes for the groups to take place in. This is perhaps the best value option and the most personal i.e. non-business like. Most focus groups organised by us are hosted in our owner's home.


Groups may also take place at a clients workplace.

This shouldn't be too much of an issue.

If you have forgotten your password simply click on the 'Request new password' link which you will find immediately below the User Login box on the site home page. This will take you to the 'Request new password' form. Then simply type the username you entered when you first registered, or the email address you used. Our system will then send a temporary password to your registered email address. You can then use this to log in to your account using your username (or email address) and password combination. Once logged in you will see your username displayed on your account page.

If you cannot remember any of your details, try entering possible email addresses you may have used. If it is registered on our system a new password will be sent to that email account. If you cannot remember any details at all, please email us with your name and date of birth (for verification). We will then reply with the email address you originally used which will then allow you to reset your password by following the above instructions.

The on-line questionnaire is made up of several sections containing sets of questions with each section leading on to the next. At the end of the questionnaire there is a 'Save' button located at the bottom of the page. The completed questionnaire needs to be saved to our system by clicking 'Save'. You will then be returned to the front page of our site.

If a questionnaire does not save against your profile you will receive a reminder to complete one every time you log in.

Occasionally a questionnaire will not save properly. There can be many reasons for this but the most common one is that your browser refreshed or lost contact with our site at the time 'Save' was selected. If this happens just try completing and saving the questionnaire again. We usually find it will work second time around.

If you still have problems after a number of attempts please contact us so we can try and resolve this for you.

If you are not receiving email from us, first confirm you have specified the correct contact email address on your User Profile.

After you have confirmed the email is being sent to the correct email address, check the spam folder in your email account. Occasionally, spam filters incorrectly classify valid emails as spam.

To ensure you receive email from, please add to your email safe list.

Alternatively enter as a safe domain in your email client 'safe list' or 'white list'.

Sometimes it may take a while before we contact you as you may not fit the selection criteria asked for by our clients.

If you have any concerns or having followed the above advice you are still not receiving emails from us please feel free to contact us so we can check that your account is operating correctly.

If you want to delete your account with Sparrow Research Limited which will remove all the personal data we hold for you:

1) Log in to your account then use the 'My account' link on the left of the page to go to your account page.

2) Click on the 'Delete Account' button at the bottom of the page. This will delete your account and Respondent Profile from our systems. Please note this cannot be undone!