Human Subject Compensation

Human subject compensation can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including same-day cash, same-day gift cards, and future payments via a check from UMass. Regardless of the method you choose, all compensation to human subjects must be tracked and accounted for. Particular stringency must be applied when working off of a grant.

If you would like to pay your subjects with on-the-spot cash, in order to obtain the cash in the first place, the Principal Investigator (PI) must fill out a Disbursement Voucher (DV), an Invoice, and the “new” Controller’s Office Advance Request (dated 06/10/15), all available at the Controller’s website. You must also attach the IRB approval. The PI is then personally responsible for accounting for and/or returning the total amount of cash withdrawn in this manner.

At the time of the study, the investigator should have each subject complete a Human Subject Participant Advance Settlement Form acknowledging receipt of the payment. These forms should be turned into the Business Center promptly for processing, along with any leftover cash.

If you would like to compensate your subjects with on-the-spot gift cards, you may order the gift cards using any of the normal purchasing methods (most commonly done through Buyways, though this could also be done through a cash advance). When you distribute the gift cards, each subject should fill out a gift card tracking sheet, which essentially functions like a receipt. (See downloads.) These gift card tracking sheets, along with either a copy of the DV or the Purchase Order (PO) number, should then be turned into the Business Center for processing.

If you would like to pay your subjects after they participate in the study, at the time of their participation you will need to have them fill out a Human Subject Compensation Payment Request Form (see downloads) so that the University will know where to send the payment. Non-UMass subjects are required to fill out a UMW-9 form to be added as vendors into the system, but current employees and students need only provide their full name, a valid ID number, and a current, legal (non-PO Box), off-campus address.

The use of human subjects for studies is heavily regulated. For information on laws and policies regarding human subjects, including informed consent, CITI training, and other related issues, please visit the Office of Research and Engagement website.