Payment of Survey and Research Participants

Who is allowed to participate in surveys or research projects?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

Eligible participants include the general public and students and staff of The Texas A&M University System. All participants are treated equally. If a participant is a foreign national, please review the foreign national Standard Administrative Procedure (SAP) 21.01.99.M0.01

How do I provide payments to survey and research participants?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

Payments can be made in the form of cash obtained via a working fund, gifts, or gift cards obtained via a working fund or payment card, or by a check processed through accounts payable.  A payment made through accounts payable must be paid from a departmental clearing account.  This is the only method that will protect participant confidentiality. An example of a gift provided includes electronic devices (tablet, iPod, etc.)

Please review the attached SAP for guidance: 21.01.99.M0.03

These procedures apply to all payments made to survey and research participants regardless of source of funds.

How do I obtain a temporary working fund?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

To obtain a temporary working fund, please follow directions from the FMO website: http://fmo.tamu.edu/accounts-payable/working-funds/docs/temporary-working-funds/

When a working fund is requested, what account number should be listed on the Temporary Working Fund Request?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

The FAMIS account number that will be expensed should be used. To make payments to research participants by check, the departmental clearing account should be used.

How do I set up a departmental clearing account?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

Use form FD860 to set up a departmental clearing account.
http://fmo.tamu.edu/media/66229/new-famis-account.pdf

NOTE: As a reminder, the departmental clearing account is only used to make payments to research participants by check.

How is a departmental clearing account replenished?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

An invoice should be processed in IPayment to bill the appropriate sponsored account or an IDT should be processed to transfer funds if nonsponsored funds are used, example: startup funds, PIIncentive Funds. The Human Subjects Payment Log will serve as the invoice to reimburse the departmental clearing account from Financial Management Operations (FMO) or Sponsored Research Services (SRS).

This voucher should be processed quickly to avoid project closeout deadlines. For sponsored research contracts, please seek guidance from SRS.

What form is required to process payment by check?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

The Research Participant Payment Request form is used to pay an individual via check through accounts payable. These payments must be made from a departmental clearing account. This form also serves as a substitute W-9 for tax reporting purposes.

When paying research participants via check using the departmental clearing account use code 1616-Cash Disbursmt Clrng-1099Reportable.

What forms are required to document distribution of gifts, gift card or cash payments?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

There are two (2) forms required:

1. The Payment Certification Form is used to certify a participant’s receipt of a gift, gift card or cash. These forms are maintained in the principal investigator’s confidential research file ONLY.

2. The Human Subject Payment Log serves as the required documentation for use of the working fund. It should contain Human Subject Identification Numbers from a collection of Payment Certification Forms, names of the participants should not be included on this form.

What documentation is required for cash, gift, or gift card payments to participants for a single study less than $100?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

The Payment Certification Form is the only document required. This form should be maintained in the principal investigator’s confidential files.

The Human Subject Payment Log form serves as the required documentation for use of the working fund. It should contain Human Subject Identification Numbers from a collection of Payment Certification Forms, names of the participants should not be included on this form.

What documentation is required for cash, gift, or gift card payments above $100?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

The Payment Certification Form is required, including the individual’s address and taxpayer identification number or social security number.

What documentation is required for cash, gift, or gift card payments of $600 or above?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

The Payment Certification Form is required, including the individual’s address and taxpayer identification number or social security number. Additionally, a Form W-9 is required.

If documentation is not processed in a timely manner and the project has been closed out, who is responsible for the expense? Expand ButtonCollapse Button

The department would be responsible for the expense.

How do I document cash provided in a mail survey?Expand ButtonCollapse Button

A list of mail survey participants, including addresses and amounts mailed, is required for the confidential principal investigator files. It is acceptable for cash up to $5 to be included in the mailed survey. For payments above $100 or cumulative payments in one calendar year, a taxpayer identification number or social security number is required.

Additional InformationExpand ButtonCollapse Button

For additional inquiries regarding paying research participants, you may contact the Division of Research Business Office at vpr-business@tamu.edu or telephone (979) 458-2275.