The University often conducts research projects that involves human participants. Payments, if authorized by the Institutional Review Board as part of the protocol review process, may be paid in the form of gift cards/certificates or check depending on the circumstances of the study and the dollar amounts involved. Verification of IRB approval for the payment or incentive amount and process can be provided by either the researcher or the IRB Administrator.

U.S. Tax and Immigration laws dictate that the University and its employees comply with certain rules and regulations pertaining to processing compensation for participants in research studies. To ensure compliance with these regulations, the procedures outlined in this policy must be followed. Failure to comply with these procedures may result in a violation of Federal Law.

Research data should not be attached to any human subject incentive payment for participation in the research activity. Studies can be set up to keep the research data confidential but provide a ‘voucher’ or ‘code number’ to the participant at the end of the activity that can be used to present for gift cards or other payments for participation. This allows all research data to remain confidential and separate from any payments but also provide necessary financial records to document individual incentive payments. While records may be requested for audit purposes, it would not constitute a breach of data confidentiality as long as the research data are retained separate from who participated and incentive payment records.

The process for gift cards for human subjects is to obtain a declining balance bank card. Please review the Declining Balance Bank Card policy and procedure for instructions. Please contact your Financial Research Administrator for additional information.