Payment of Research Subjects

The procedures listed below will be used by departments to make payments to human subjects for their participation in a research study funded by grant or non-grant funds. Human subjects are living individuals about whom an investigator (whether professional or UM student) is conducting research by obtaining either (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or (2) identifiable private information. Human subjects differ from participants in that personal data is collected from human subjects and human subject participation may be anonymous. 

Please submit paperwork to the appropriate Fund Accountant (e.g., Grants – Office of Research & Sponsored Programs or Non-Grant – Business Services). 



Responsible Party 

Procedure Step: 

University Campus Departments

Request for Human Subjects Payment - Submit a Human Subjects Payment Form to your Fund Accountant at either Business Services or ORSP.  If cash is requested, the form must be received at least 48 hours prior to when the cash is needed.  Checks will be issued if a subject will receive $600 or more in a calendar year.

Business Services/ORSP

Human Subjects Payment - Upon receipt of the Human Subjects Payment Form the following steps will be initiated.

  • Cash: An advance will be initiated at Treasury in the name of the Project Director.  These funds cannot be used for any purpose other than subject reimbursement.  Use of gift cards/coupons follows the same process as cash payment because such items cannot be paid via University procards; project director purchases with cash and is accountable.
  • Check: Human Subject Payment Form will be forwarded to Business Services’ Accounts Payable for payment.  If more than one check is requested, use Additional Check Payment Requests form.

University Campus Departments

Whether grant or non-grant, a Human Subjects Payment & Certification Form must be submitted to your Business Services or ORSP Fund Accountant monthly to reconcile a cash advance.  Remember, the Project Director is accountable for these funds.

University Campus Departments

Cash Human Subjects Payment – Cash payments are disbursed to the subjects by the Project Director.  The Project Director must keep a subject payment record which includes each subject’s signature, amount of payment, and the date of payment. This documentation can be in the form of a signature sheet or separate subject vouchers.  

It is the Project Director’s responsibility to maintain the following records and subject confidentiality:

University Campus Departments

Human Subjects Payment & Certification Form - This form is used to record your cash subject payment expense, replenish your advance account, or close the account.  On this form you will list:
  • Number of subjects and amount of payment to each
  • Total amount disbursed
  • Amount remaining in the fund
  • Record Expense, replenish fund, or close fund
  • Index to record expense 
  • If replenishing the fund, indicate:
    • Set amount fund (maintaining amount of original request in fund)
    • Revolving fund (varying the amount maintained in fund)
  • Closing Fund, amount returned - If cash was not fully utilized on a sponsored project and is being returned, review the ORSP Internal Processing of Checks or Cash.
  •  Department certification (This responsibility may not be delegated)
The Department Chair, Dean, or Director will review the human subjects payment records and certify the number of payments made by the Project Director.  The human subjects payment records remain with the Project Director.  The Human Subjects Payment & Certification Form is forwarded to your Fund Accountant at either Business Services or ORSP.  

The Department is responsible for monitoring proper controls and appropriate payments by the Project Director.


Business Services/ORSP

After receiving the Human Subjects Payment & Certification Form (monthly), a Fund Accountant at either Business Services or ORSP will process the necessary accounting entries to record expense, replenish the fund, or close the fund.  If a check payment was issued, the Human Subjects Payment & Certification Form is not necessary and no additional accounting entries need to be processed.