Standards and Procedures

OPRS SOP 602: Payment for Participation in Research Studies

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The IRB reviews payment arrangements to research participants to ensure an equitable selection of subjects by only approving payment methods that are not coercive and do not present undue influence. The description of payment arrangements is also part of the consent process. Therefore, the IRB must review statements regarding payment arrangements in the consent document to prevent any statements that are misleading, inaccurate or otherwise violate the regulatory requirements of consent.

Payment to research participants for participation in studies is not considered a benefit. Payments for participation are provided to reimburse participants for their time, effort or other expenses. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IRB uses the term “compensation” for such payments to participants.

The IRB adheres to the compensation guidelines posted on the IRB website (see Research Guidance Document: Compensation of Research Subjects).


1. Investigators must provide the total amount of compensation and the schedule of payments to participants, if any. Such information must be provided in the application and in the consent document during initial review.

2. The IRB reviews both the amount of payment and the proposed method and timing of disbursement to ensure that compensation is appropriate. The IRB reviews the consent document to ensure that an accurate description of compensation is presented. Documentation is made in the IRB reviewer checklist.