Research Subject Incentive Payments

DHHS regulations  under 45 CFR 46.102(f) define a human subject as a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual; or (2) identifiable private information.  Research Subject Incentives are payments made to human subjects to compensate them for their contribution to a  research project.  PSU permits reasonable cash payments or other types of incentives to be provided to subjects as a means of compensation for these contributions if payment arrangements are specifically approved in advance by PSU's Human Subjects Research Review Committee (HSRRC). The Internal Revenue Service classifies these payments as Other Income and requires that theybe reported on a 1099Misc form if the total payments to an individual are $600 or more in a calendar year.

PSU's Procedure for Research Subject Incentive Payments is under revision.  Contact a Grants & Agreements Team (GAT) in SPA for information on how to process incentive payments using existing processes.

The Distribution and Accounting for research subject payment must ensure the confidential or anonymous nature of the research subjects’ identity as approved by HSRRC review; provide timely and convenient compensation to the research subject that facilitates the study and supports the researchers work; provide sufficient financial documentation for the University’s records and for IRS reporting requirements; and ensure that appropriate internal controls and adequate safeguards exist for items of value used to compensate research subjects.

PSU Human Subjects Research Review Policy and Procedures