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REUs, Participant Stipends and Human Subject Payments

Three Types of Stipends

  1. Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs)
  2. Participant Stipends
  3. Payment to Human Subjects

Applicable to All Stipends

  • If payee is foreign – all tax, immigration and other procedures apply
  • Primary benefit is to the individual receiving the payment
  • Documentation is required regardless of funding source
  • Uploads may be done if there are 10 or more transactions
    • May not include foreign payments
    • Require pre-approval by Accounts Payable

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs)

REUs are opportunities for students to participate in meaningful experiences, either with the involvement of research or simply for the experience itself. An important distinction of an REU is that the primary benefit is to the student.

  • Recipient must be registered in PaymentWorks
  • Account Code: 599132 (Stipends)
  • P2P Documentation: Participant Agreement
  • Uploads may be done for 10 or more stipends

Participant Stipend

A Participant Stipend is offered to individuals participating in an educational program. The stipend is a predetermined amount regardless of actual costs. It is designed to offset costs that may have made the experience prohibitive. It can include a stipend alone or a stipend and travel reimbursements.

  • Recipient must be registered in PaymentWorks
  • Account Code: 599132 (Stipends)
  • P2P Documentation: Participant Agreement
  • Uploads may be done for 10 or more stipends

Payment to Human Subjects


There are two methods to facilitate payment to human subjects when conducting research. These are Gift Card or Cash Advance. Gift Cards are the preferred method and should be used whenever possible. This type of stipend is typically a token amount. If you are offering a payment over $600, a payment for consultative services or a payment for participation on an Advisory Board, you will need to submit an IRS Classification request.

Gift Card

Purchase gift cards via P-Card whenever possible; if not possible, an Expense Reimbursement may be done if P-Card is not practical. The documentation required in either case is a receipt for purchase. Additional documentation comes from the Business Description. A distribution log is not required for P-Card reconciliation or for Expense Reimbursement; however, one must be maintained and kept on file for auditing purposes. The log should clearly tie back to the Business Description. For example, if the Business Description says “Research Stipends for TriMet Usage Survey,” then the log should be titled, “Research Stipends for TriMet Usage Survey.” If participants are anonymous, use the IRB Number for identification.

  • Least amount of work
  • Can be done with little to no advance notice
  • Considered more secure than Cash
  • Preferred by Boise State
  • May result in “leftover” gift cards

Cash Advance

Cash advances require two weeks’ notice and are prone to complications in Oracle due to automations within the system. Follow instructions on the Requesting a Cash Advance Job Aid. When reconciling the Cash Advance, a distribution log must be included.

  • Best for international research when a gift card may not be available
  • Only one Cash Advance can be done for an employee at a time
  • Requires advance planning
  • Less secure than gift cards

Additional Resources

Gift and Award Matrix, Program Incentives for Participation in Projects or Surveys
Policy 5050: Use of Human Subjects
Policy 6230: Section 7.1, Human Subject Payments
Request a Cash Advance Job Aid