IRB Guidance on Compensation to Research Subjects:
Compensation to research participants is not a benefit. Truly, compensation is provided to make up for time or any inconvenience of participation, as well as to serve as a motivation to applicants. Federal regulations do not provide limits in participants’
Compensation that is excessive or unsuitable in relation to the research is problematic for many different reasons. Unnecessary and/or excessive compensation may encourage some individuals to lie or withhold information so they can participate when they do not meet the established criteria. This may skew the data and be reflected in the data integrity. Unsuitable compensation may also create conflict when given to third parties, such as children.
In the case of children, their parent/guardian should be able to make informed decisions about their child’s participation based on the true risks and benefits of the research, not on compensation.
The Form and Amount of Compensation:
Compensation may be given in monetary (cash, gifts cards, etc.) or non-monetary (extra credit, course credit, etc.). The protocol should clearly state the forms of compensation that will be provided to the participants in the study and the amount of compensation. For the non-monetary compensation, the approximate value should be provided.
Compensation may be provided in the form of a drawing. When a drawing or lottery is being considered, researchers should confirm that there is a fair method for selecting winners and that the value of the prize divided by the number of subjects is reasonable in relation to the procedures involved. Participants should also be informed of the odds of winning, number of prizes, how winners are chosen and notified.
Compensation can also be awarded by completing various steps and/or tasks involved in the research.
Study warrants a screening process to determine eligibility. Each potential participant would need to answer a 10-15 minute survey and will be compensated $1.00 to complete the screening process. But if the participant would be deemed ineligible, the participant would be thanked for their time and paid. If the participant passed the screening criteria and completed the entire project, they would receive the full compensation.
For student participants, compensation can be provided in the form of extra credit and/or course credit. The study design and compensation should account for student participants in other disciplines/colleges that may participate in your research but their college/professor will not grant extra credit and/or course credit.
Extra credit and/or course credit must be reasonable and in accordance with the tasks and time involved in the project. If extra credit and/or course credit is provided to those students that participate in research, students who opt not to participate in research should be provided with alternate non-research options to receive extra credit and/or course credit.
In addition to