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Research Participant Incentive Payments

Post Award Accounting

View policy pdf: Research Participant Incentive Payments Policy

The University often conducts research where there is a requirement to obtain participation of and/or responses from individuals. Researchers frequently find it necessary to offer incentives in order to obtain sufficient participation. These incentives may be in the form of cash, checks, gift cards, non-monetary items or expenses paid on behalf of the participant. All payments are subject to tax laws. The University is required by IRS regulations to submit 1099 forms for all participants paid $600 or more per calendar year and must also adhere to the uniform administrative requirements set forth in OMB Uniform Guidance.

The Research Participant Incentive Policy has been in practice since the 1980's. The original policy placed a $50 threshold on payments to human subject participants without requiring social security numbers for tax purposes; required payments to employees be processed as extra compensation (payroll); and required all payments to non-resident aliens, regardless of dollar amount, be processed by check request.

In order to meet the increasing needs of the research community, minimize the administrative burden, and comply with federal reporting requirements, the original policy was revised and the following guidelines provided:

        Expenses paid on behalf of the participant for group events


Responsible University Senior Administrator: Vice President for Finance & Administration

Responsible University Administrator: Associate Vice President for Finance Division

Policy Owner: Post Award Accounting

Policy Contact: Gail Chester

Phone Number: 706-542-9230

Date Issued:

Last Reviewed/Updated: