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Research Participants

Purchasing and Payment Processing

View Official Policy: Research Participants Policy

The University often conducts research where there is a requirement to obtain participation and/or collect information from participants. These participants may include any individual necessary for the research being conducted, i.e. external individuals, UGA employees, students, retirees, non-resident aliens, etc.  Researchers frequently find it necessary to offer incentives in order to obtain sufficient participation. These incentives may be in the form of cash, gift cards, checks, or non-monetary items and are subject to Internal Revenue tax laws. There are specific rules that must be followed in order for the university to remain in compliance.

Guidelines for choosing method of payment:

The researcher has several payment options available for incentive payments:

            Cash (includes cash and checks from a petty cash account)

            Gift Card

            Check (includes checks processed through Accounts Payable via payment request)

            Non-monetary items (T-shirts, books, etc.)

Depending on the amount and method of payment, the following conditions and requirements apply:

1.      Participant receiving an incentive payment of $100 or less.

A.    Cash or Gift Card payment:  No collection of the participant’s social security number is required unless the researcher anticipates that the participant will receive incentive payments, from all sources, totaling $600 or more during the calendar year.

B.     Check payment:  No collection of the participant’s social security number is required unless the researcher anticipates that the participant will receive incentive payments, from all sources, totaling $600 or more during the calendar year.

C.     Non-monetary items:  No collection of the participant’s social security number is required unless the researcher anticipates that the participant will receive incentive payments, from all sources, totaling $600 or more during the calendar year.

2.      Participant receiving an incentive payment over $100:

A. Cash or Gift Card payments:  The participant is required to provide his/her social security number except when participating in a study where the IRB has approved a waiver of a signed consent according to 45 CFR 46.117(c)(1) (i.e. that the consent form is the only record linking the subject to the research and the principal risk would be potential harm resulting from a breach of confidentiality). Refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm#46.117. Non-resident alien participants will be subject to 30% tax withholding except when participating in a study where the IRB has approved a waiver of a signed consent according to 45 CFR 46.117(c)(1) (i.e. that the consent form is the only record linking the subject to the research and the principal risk would be potential harm resulting from a breach of confidentiality). Refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm#46.117.

B. Check payment: The participant is required to provide his/her social security number except when participating in a study where the IRB has approved a waiver of signed consent according to 45 CFR 46.117(c)(1) (i.e. that the consent form is the only record linking the subject to the research and the principal risk would be potential harm resulting from a breach of confidentiality). Refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm#46.117. Non-resident alien participants will be subject to 30% tax withholding unless they are participating in a study with the IRB has approved a waiver of signed consent according to 45 CFR 46.117(c)(1) (i.e. that the consent form is the only record linking the subject to the research and the principal risk would be potential harm resulting from a breach of confidentiality). Refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm#46.117.

C. Non-monetary items: The participant is required to provide his/her social security number except when participating in a study where the IRB has approved a waiver of signed consent according to 45 CFR 46.117(c)(1) (i.e. that the consent form is the only record linking the subject to the research and the principal risk would be potential harm resulting from a breach of confidentiality). Refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm#46.1173. Incentive payments being paid from restricted (i.e., sponsored) accounts should be detailed in the sponsor approved budget. Contact the Sponsored Programs Post Award Accounting Division at 706-227-7222 for assistance.

Responsibilities

Responsible University Senior Administrator:  Vice President for Finance & Administration

Responsible University Administrator:  Associate Vice President for Finance Division

Policy Owner: Accounts Payable

Policy Contact: Sarah Garner

Phone Number: 706-542-2786

Date Issued:

Last Reviewed/Updated: