Procedures for Paying Human Subjects
I. Federal regulations which deal with human subjects are applicable only to sponsored programs funded with federal monies, in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45 (Public Welfare), Part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). This federal regulation applies to all research involving human subjects conducted, supported or otherwise subject to regulation by any federal department or agency that takes appropriate administrative action to make the policy applicable to such research. Texas State has elected to apply this federal regulation to all sponsored programs so as to assure protection of human subjects in all sponsored programs.
II. Research activities in which the only involvement of human subjects will be in one or more of the following categories are exempt from the confidentiality aspects of this policy:
a. Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, involving normal educational practices, such as: 1) research on regular and special education instructional strategies, or 2) research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods.
b. Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public behavior, unless: 1) information obtained is recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects; and 2) any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, or reputation.
c. Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior that is not exempt under paragraph b. 2) of this section, if: 1) the human subjects are elected or appointed public officials or candidates for public office; or 2) federal statute requires without exception that the confidentiality of the personally identifiable information will be maintained throughout the research and thereafter.
d. Research involving the collection or study of existing data, documents, records, pathological specimens, or diagnostic specimens, if these sources are publicly available or if the information is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects.
e. Research and demonstration projects which are conducted by or subject to the approval of department or agency heads, and which are designed to study, evaluate, or otherwise examine: 1) public benefit or service programs; 2) procedures for obtaining benefits or services under those programs; 3) possible changes in or alternatives to those programs or procedures; or 4) possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs.
f. Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies: 1) if wholesome foods without additives are consumed or 2) if a food is consumed that contains a food ingredient at or below the level and for a use found to be safe, or agricultural chemical or environmental contaminant at or below the level found to be safe, by the Food and Drug Administration or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
III. Methods of Payments
The university may pay human subjects participating in any sponsored program by check, electronic deposit, gift certificate, or cash. When a department or school handles cash in providing payments to human subjects and participants, funds must be secured and handled in accordance with the principles established for cash custodians.
The university will maintain the names of human subjects in confidence unless exempted under section II of this policy. The only explanation that is required on the payment document is: "Details are on file and available for audit in the department." Attachments identifying the name or nature of the study should NOT accompany the payment document.
When subjects are university employees, payments for work as human subjects are made through the university's Payroll and Tax Compliance Office. Payments are included in the next regularly scheduled paycheck for the employee who has served as a human subject in a research project. All applicable taxes will be withheld at the time of payment in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations.
b. Non-Texas State Employees
1) Payment by gift cards Typically, gifts cards are purchased from a vendor using the cash received via the Research Advance Request form (AP-5). A direct deposit will be made to the PIs personal checking account. The PI may then purchase the gift cards and issue them to research subjects. A log of the payments and receipts must be kept.
2) Payment by cash Cash incentives may be paid directly to research subjects as well after the PI has received the research cash advance as described in part a. above.
3) Payments as Contractors Individuals who are not Texas State employees being paid as human subjects are regarded as independent contractors. To obtain payment by check or direct deposit to individual human subjects who are not employees of Texas State, follow the steps detailed below:
i) Complete a Vendor Maintenance form (Form FS-01) to set the individual up as a vendor in the system.
ii) Complete a Payment Request. [The form can be accessed via the web at http://www.txstate.edu/gao/ap/forms.html.]
IV. Prohibited Payments Certain payments are prohibited from being made for human subjects participating in a university-sponsored research program. These are:
a. A principal investigator (PI) or other university employee may not pay human subjects from personal or other funds and later request reimbursement.
b. University employees may not use P-cards to purchase gift cards or certificates
c. International Participants Payments cannot be made to research participants who are international visitors (such as F-1 or J-1 students) because these individuals cannot work as independent contractors in the United States. Also, many international visitors are prohibited from receiving compensation from any entity other than their sponsor.
d. Employees, graduate students, or undergraduate students who are funded by the research grant to which the cost of the human subject payments will be charged. The University cannot pay these employees as independent contractors because of the possible conflict of interest and internal control issues.
2) Externally Sponsored Programs The approved Research Advance Request form (AP-5) should be forwarded to the Office of Sponsored Programs for review to assure that the expenditure is being made in accordance with sponsor requirements.
3) Internally-Funded Programs (e.g., Research Enhancement Program (REP) grants, Research Development Fund, Recovered Indirect Cost Account, Student Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) The approved Research Advance Request (AP-5) should be forwarded to the assistant vice president for Research and Federal Relations for their review. The PI (or account manager) must assure that the expenditure to the human subjects is being made in accordance with provisions of the REP award.
4) The completed and approved Research Advance Request (AP-5) should be forwarded to Accounts Payable for processing of the payments. All payments will be mailed or sent via electronic means in accordance with standard university procedures. Allow 10 working days for processing.
The log of payments, signed receipts of payment, deposit slip for return funds and the completed and signed AP-6 form are all returned to the assistant vice president for Research and Federal Relations for review and approval.
The assistant vice president for Research and Federal Relations sends the entire reconciliation package to Accounts Payable for review and processing.
Principal Investigator Has the following responsibilities with regard to making payments to human subjects through Texas State:
a. Select participants in accordance with university policies.
c. Verify the employee or non-employee status of the participant via the receipting process.
d. Verify that the participant is a U.S. person via receipting process.
e. Ensure confidentiality and proper protocol procedures are followed, in accordance with federal and state regulations and university policies (Refer to UPPS No. 02.02.03, Protection of Human Research Subjects).
Unit Administrator (Chair, Director) Oversight
Document Preparer Ensure confidentiality and accuracy
Certified Approver Approve and review payment documents for confidentiality and accuracy
Assistant Vice President for Research
Review and approve all requests for research cash
advances, reconciliation forms, payment requests, and PCRs being processed to
compensate human subjects, to assure compliance with external and internal
funding source requirements.
b. Secure completed copy of IRS W-9, if appropriate
General Accounting Accounts Payable
a. Processing payments to human subjects participating in a research study.
1) Process research cash advances and advise departments or schools regarding standard University payment processes. Review the payment requests for completeness.
2) Process payments for human subject participants in lump sum to the PI, or when applicable, process individual payments to participants.