Research on student mental health


Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about your participation in the WARN-D project. For questions not listed here, please contact us via email ( WARN-D study participants can also reach us via text/WhatsApp at +31 (0) 62-831-9154.

Before we get to the FAQ, we list the most important resources for you. Note that there are sometimes different resources depending on when you started the study with us. Group 1 started October 2021, Group 2 started March 2022, Group 3 starts October 2022.

  1. The information materials that you received and signed when starting your participation in the study.
  2. A graph that shows your data journey.
  3. Our WARN-D calendar provides an overview of when the 3 stages of the project happen.
  4. The letter you can show to post office staff in case there are problems returning your smartwatch for free.
  5. If you are feeling stressed, the WARN-D project cannot help you directly. However, we have put together a list of hotlines and service providers that you can reach out to.

Table of contents

General information

I will graduate soon, can I still participate?

Yes! As long as you meet the criteria for participation at the time of registration, you are very welcome to join the study. You can find more information on this in section 3 “Who can participate?” of the information materials and informed consent sheet you received before signing up for the study. We are interested in following the daily lives of students, which very much includes students after they finish their studies. All questionnaires will be filled out remotely.

What is the timeline of the project? 

Participating in WARN-D has 3 stages: Stage 1 that features one longer survey on research data, and two very short surveys on personal data and setting up two apps on your smartphone; Stage 2 in which you will wear a smartwatch and answer questions on your smartphone, for 3 months; and Stage 3, where we send you brief questionnaires every 3 months, for a total follow-up duration of 24 months. You can also look at the WARN-D calendar that gives an overview of the stages. Participation lasts two years in total.

Why was I not invited for the study?

Scientific studies are in most cases not suitable for everyone, and there are many considerations regarding who is suitable and who is not. These include scientific considerations (what is the study population of interest), practical considerations (such as shipping expenses), ethical considerations, and others. This is also the case for the WARN-D study. WARN-D is not suitable for everybody, and we cannot give personal feedback as to why you were not included in the study. However, we will be recruiting again, and you can re-apply as long as you still meet the inclusion criteria. Keep an eye on our Instagram or our Facebook to see when we will recruit next!

Who is funding this project?

The WARN-D project is funded by a grant for Dr Eiko Fried from the European Research Council (ERC). This ERC Starting Grant is part of the EU’s Research and Innovation program, called Horizon 2020 (Grant agreement No. 949059). 


Who will have access to my data?

See section 7 “Confidentiality, usage, and storage of your data” of the information materials and informed consent sheet you received before signing up for the study. We also made an extra graphic that shows your data journey. Generally, we use methods approved by the University of Leiden’s IT Security and the European Research Council, and apply strict organizational measures regarding access rights, encryption and security. All data is stored and processed in accordance with all rules and guidelines of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in a well-secured manner.

How do my personal data remain private?

See section 7.4 “General information about data use and storage” of the information materials and informed consent sheet you received before signing up for the study.

Why do I need to provide some personal data?

We ask for your name and address in order to send you the smartwatch; your bank account in order to reimburse you for your time and effort; and your contact details in order to send you surveys and contact you in case of technical issues. This data remains strictly confidential and is stored separately from your research data. You can find more information on this in section 7 “Confidentiality, usage, and storage of your data” of the information materials and informed consent sheet you received before signing up for the study. 


How much do I get for my participation?

Depending on how many questionnaires you complete, you can earn up to 90€. This is explained in more detail in section 4 “Advantages and disadvantages from participating” of the information materials and informed consent sheet you received before signing up for the study.

When do I get reimbursed?

We will reimburse you at three points: after 3 months, after 1 year, and after 2 years. On these 3 occasions, we will calculate how many questionnaires you answered and reimburse you accordingly. This will take some time, given that all calculations will be thoroughly checked by several different departments at Leiden University. Once we have established how much to reimburse you, Leiden University will transfer the money to the bank account you provided us with.

How much have I earned so far? 

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you how much money you earned; there are too many participants in the study. However, you can be sure that we will reimburse you for every completed questionnaire. 

Do I have to pay taxes? 

Most students will not end up paying taxes on the money they receive for participating in this study. Whether you will need to pay taxes depends on different factors, such as your other income. However, in line with taxation regulations in the Netherlands, receiving money for participating in a research study constitutes ‘income from other activities’ and should be included in the income tax return.

Mental health support 

I am not feeling well.

Reaching out for help is an important first step toward getting better. We have compiled a list of options for mental health support for you. 

Screener and baseline questionnaires

What do I need to do?

Stage 1 is made up of three tasks: a research data questionnaire (~75 minutes), a personal data questionnaire (~5 minutes), and a questionnaire containing instructions on how to download the smartphone apps you need to participate in WARN-D (~10 minutes). Complete all three tasks to continue on to the next stages of WARN-D. 

The slider in a question seems broken. 

Sometimes when you go back in a survey, the slider will show empty. This is just a visual problem, your answer has been recorded properly.  

Smartphone questions

What if I miss a questionnaire?

It is important that you fill out as many questionnaires as you can. This way, we can learn more about your daily life; you can get more financial reimbursement for your participation; and we can provide you with a more detailed, personalized report after the end of Stage 2. However, it is equally important that you keep up your normal daily routines, and do not cancel your daily appointments because of our questionnaires. It is absolutely ok to occasionally miss a questionnaire. 

I am getting a new phone.

Please contact us via email or text/WhatsApp. We will help you to set up the apps that you need on your new phone. Please keep in mind that you need to own a smartphone with either Android operating system (version 7 or higher) or iOS operating system (version 13 or higher) for your participation in our study.

I forgot my login details for Ethica.

Please contact us via email or text/WhatsApp. 

I am not getting Ethica notifications (iOS).

1. From the iPhone select ‘Settings’
2. Select ‘Notifications’
3. From the top of the screen make sure ‘Show Previews’ is set to ‘Always’ or ‘When Unlocked’. This setting is required by Apple to display notification on a Bluetooth paired device. 
4. Scroll down to ‘Notification Style’, select ‘Ethica’
4a. ‘Allow Notifications’ should toggled on 
4b. ‘Notification delivery’ should be set to ‘Immediate Delivery’ (iOS 14 or higher)
4c. Under ‘Alerts’, make sure there is a checkmark under ‘Lock Screen’, Notification Center’, and ‘Banner’. Set ‘Banner Style’ to ‘persistent’. Enable ‘Sounds and Badges’
4d. At the bottom, under ‘Options’ or ‘Lock Screen Appearance’, turn ‘Notification Grouping’ off. 
5. Make sure your phone is not in ‘Silent Mode’ or ‘Do Not Disturb’ / ‘Focus Mode’, and that you have ‘Vibrate on Silent’ turned on 

Make sure you’re using the latest version of the Ethica app on the app store, and log back into the WARN-D study in Ethica (study number 2385); you have received your login and password from us per email at the beginning of Stage 2.

For further tips please see section 8 “Ethica instructions” and section 9 “Tip: Do not disturb” of the instructions for connecting and wearing the Garmin smartwatch.

I am not getting Ethica notifications (Android).

1. Open ‘Settings’ on your phone 
2. Scroll down and select ‘Notifications & Status Bar’
3. Select ‘Manage Notifications’
4. Scroll down and select the ‘Ethica’ app 
5. Make sure to ‘Allow Notifications’, and then you can personalize the type of notification. We recommend to turn on ‘System Default Channel’, ‘Survey Related Notifications’, and ‘Study-Related Notifications’

If this does not work, update your Ethica app on the google play store, and log back into the WARN-D study in Ethica (study number 2385); you have received your login and password from us per email at the beginning of Stage 2.

Note that you can also get your Ethica notifications directly on your Garmin smartwatch, this will help you not miss them.
1. Make sure that Ethica is able to send notifications to your phone (see above)
2. Open the Garmin Connect app on your phone 
3. Select the menu bars on the top left
4. Select ‘Settings’ 
5. Select ‘Notifications’  
6. Select ‘App Notifications’  
7. From here, toggle to enable ‘Ethica’ 

For further tips please see section 8 “Ethica instructions” and section 9 “Tip: Do not disturb” of the instructions for connecting and wearing the Garmin smartwatch.

Smartwatch questions

How do I measure my wrist size?

The VivoSmart 4 smartwatch is offered in two sizes: small and large. To determine which size fits best you will need to measure your wrist circumference: 

  • The small band will fit wrist sizes 127 – 172mm.
  • The large band will fit wrist sizes 155 – 221mm.

The easiest way to determine your wrist size is by following the instructions provided by Garmin.

When am I expected to wear the watch? 

We want to get an insight into students’ lives and activities, and smartwatches are a great tool to do so. Therefore, please wear the watch all the time, unless it is charging. So please wear the watch even when you are showering or sleeping. If you forgot to wear the watch for several days, please let us know so we know why data is missing. You can find more information on this in section 5 “Wearing the watch during WARN-D” of the instructions for connecting and wearing the Garmin smartwatch.

When and how often should I charge the watch?

Your watch needs to be charged approximately once a week. The best time to do this is when you’re being inactive (e.g., when you are studying, watching TV, or just relaxing on the couch). Avoid charging the watch overnight, if possible. More information on how to charge your watch can be found in section 1 “Charge your watch” of the instructions for connecting and wearing the Garmin smartwatch.

Can I shower/work out with the watch? 

Yes, the smartwatch is fully waterproof, even when you dive, up to 50 meters. So please wear the watch when you are working out, showering, taking a bath, or going for a swim. 

Will I get rashes with this watch?

Silicone allergies are rare, and rashes from Garmin smartwatches are also rare. They usually arise when the skin under the watch is wet. So make sure to dry the spot under the watch carefully (e.g., after the swimming pool or shower). If you do develop a rash during the study, please send us an email or text/WhatsApp and we will find a solution for you. You obviously do not need to continue wearing the watch if it causes you discomfort.

I lost/damaged the smartwatch.

Please contact us directly via email or text/WhatsApp instead of reaching out to Garmin. We will see if we can trace the watch, using the internal serial number. If the watch is gone, we will try to find you a quick replacement watch so you can continue to participate in our study. 

How do I sync the watch?

You need to sync the watch at least once a week. All you need to do is to open the Garmin Connect app and wait a minute or two. Whenever you check your activities (or sleep, etc.), it will also automatically sync. Please keep in mind that for syncing, Bluetooth needs to be activated.

Can I keep the smartwatch?

No, we need the smartwatch for our future research. We can only reimburse you for your participation after you have returned your smartwatch. If you enjoy the watch and would like to purchase one yourself, please reach out to us: as a large research team, we have a number of discount codes.

How will I return the smartwatch?

To make returning the smartwatch as easy as possible, we will include a labeled envelope in the package we send you. Using this envelope, sending back the smartwatch from the Netherlands (or EU countries) will be free of charge – all you have to do is to bring the envelope to a PostNL service point (or other post office in the country you’re in). If you are outside of the EU, please get in touch with us.

I cannot download/install the Garmin Connect App.

First of all, please make sure that you have enough storage space on your phone and that there are no issues with your internet connection. If you get a specific error that you cannot install the app from the Google Play Store, this video might help you further. For the same error, you can also try to clear your cache (by going to Settings > Applications > All > Google Play Store > Clear cache), or accessing the Google Play store from your phone’s browser. These solutions usually fix the problem. If they do not work, please send us an email or text/WhatsApp.

I already have a (non-Garmin) smartwatch.

You can participate in WARN-D by simply wearing the Garmin device on your other arm. The Vivosmart 4 is very small, some of our team members have been wearing two watches for a few months, and this turned out to work quite well.

I already have a Garmin smartwatch.

To protect your privacy, you cannot use your own Garmin smartwatch or your private Garmin account for our study. The good news is that our smartwatch only needs to be synced with your smartphone once per week (e.g., every Sunday). So if you would like, you can keep wearing your own Garmin smartwatch (e.g., on your right arm), and keep your private account active in the Garmin Connect app. You wear our Garmin smartwatch on the other arm, and then once a week (e.g., every Sunday), you simply log out of your account in Garmin Connect (system/options > log out), log into our research account, and sync with our smartwatch to upload the weekly data. You do this by simply opening the Garmin Connect app after you logged in with our account. You need to wait a few minutes until the sync is complete, and then you can switch back to your own private Garmin account again for a week.

I forgot my login details for Garmin.

Please contact us via email or text/WhatsApp. 

I can’t connect my smartwatch.

You need to sync the watch through the Garmin Connect app, not through your phone’s Bluetooth settings. See section 2 “Open Garmin Connect” and section 3 “Connect your watch” of the instructions for connecting and wearing the Garmin smartwatch. If problems continue, follow these steps: 

  1. Disconnect the VivoSmart4 in your phone’s Bluetooth settings 
  2. Open the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone 
  3. Select the 3 dots icon (…) or the icon below, and select Garmin devices > Add device 
  4. Press the display of the watch to see the menu; to activate the pairing mode, swipe down and select the phone icon, and then swipe down and press the arrows icon

My smartwatch is inaccurate.

The smartwatch needs time to adapt to the individual user. To get accurate results, enter height, weight, and age correctly, and wear your watch snugly, but not too tight. You can also enter typical sleeping times in Garmin Connect.  

My smartwatch has battery issues. 

Initial battery issues usually resolve themselves within 2-3 days. The charger is a little awkward and takes some time getting used to, make sure it is connected to the watch properly (the display shows whether the watch is charging). A full battery charge should last 4 to 5 days. This is explained in more detail in section 1 “Charge your watch” of the instructions for connecting and wearing the Garmin smartwatch.

My smartwatch screen stays dark except when charging. 

  1. Double tap the display; this usually turns it on. If this does not help: 
  2. Check whether you turned on any widgets in the GarminConnect app under “More > Garmin Devices > vivosmart 4 > Appearance > Widgets”.  
  3. Under “More > Garmin Devices > vivosmart 4 > Appearance > Display Options”, check whether you selected “On” under “Gesture”. This allows the smartwatch to turn on when you lift your arm.

I have more questions about how the smartwatch works.

Garmin may be able to help you with your question about the functionality of the watches (+31 (0) 35-799-4055, or local support wherever you are right now).