Participants may be paid for participating in a research study. The amount of payment, if any, should be reasonable and based on the complexities and inconveniences of the study. Note that payment is not considered a benefit of participation, but is instead compensation for time, effort and reasonable out of pocket expenses. The amount of payment should NOT be based on the risks of study participation.
All research participants should be paid the same unless otherwise justified in the submission. The amount, method and timing of payment must be described in the consent form. If some groups of subjects are either not paid or paid differently from other groups, differences in payment must also be explained in the consent form.
Any payment should accrue as the study progresses and not be contingent upon the participant completing the entire study. If a participant withdraws before the conclusion of the research study, payment must be pro-rated. Pro-rated payments or completion bonuses must be described in the consent form.
Incentive or bonus payments may, with the approval of COUHES, be appropriate under certain circumstances to encourage completion of experiments. Such payments may not be given for assuming increased risk and should not be so large as to unduly influence participants to remain in the study when they might otherwise voluntarily withdraw.
The informed consent document should mention the possibility of tax withholding, when appropriate.
Participants who are minors may be suitably rewarded (i.e., toys, prizes, etc.). Parents of minors are paid only incidental expenses and may not directly receive payment for the minor's participation
Research must not result in extra cost to participants. If out of pocket costs are expected as part of study participation, they should be clearly described in the COUHES application and consent form.
Payment can be made in the form of cash, check or gift card (no more than $100 total in gift cards per person per study). Gift cards can only be paid to US citizens (or green card holders). Non US citizens will have to be paid by check only (via the Human subject payment form sent to Accounts Payable) and will be subject to a 30% withholding.
MIT Accounts Payable policies and procedures has information about the Tax implications of Human Participant Payments. (Access requires MIT certificate)