CommunityData:Research participant compensation
If you are doing an interview, survey, etc. study that involves human subjects compensation (e.g. you are paying participants to thank them for their time with X amount of money), there are a few things to keep in mind. This is some documentation with respect to the process.
Each university is different but you will generally always need to submit an IRB first if there is human subjects compensation. The nature of many of our studies is that they will be exempt, however, you should/must still submit for IRB review.
Northwestern University procedures
- There are different rules about compensating individuals from sponsored accounts (e.g. grants) and non-sponsored accounts (e.g. discretionary funds). In general, it seems that sponsored accounts have stricter procedures. You should first check if there is enough money allocated in the sponsored (or non-sponsored) account for human subjects compensation.
- Northwestern has some standardized fields to include in forms for participants to fill out to confirm they have received compensation. Given the online nature of a lot of our work, it has been possible previously to get the forms signed by participants digitally (via Qualtrics form), as long as the form has all the appropriate and necessary fields.
- Compensation can be done with setting up a meeting to use the p-card or getting a non-Travel cash advance. There are certain requirements and procedures around the advance.
- Compensating international participants can be pretty complicated. Part of this is because there is no virtual system in place that Northwestern officially uses/approves. So far, compensating individuals with Amazon gift cards has been straightforward. However, that Amazon gift cards (and gift cards in general) can only be used in the country that they were purchased in, which is generally the United States. As a result, compensating international participants requires more planning. One way you can manage virtual payments via Amazon gift cards is if you make an account on the Amazon international sites (for example, German Amazon site to pay someone in Germany).
University of Washington
UW uses Tango Card to compensate research study participants.