Payments to Research Study Participants

Contact Officer: Associate Director, Research Accounting 


Purpose

Queen's University must comply with Canada Revenue Agency and Research Funding Agency guidelines when issuing cash, near-cash, or non-cash items to research study participants. This procedure outlines how to issue payments to research study participants.

Definitions

Direct Payment - payments made directly to research study participants by Accounts Payable (Strategic Procurement Services);

Advance Payment - payments issued by Financial Services to the Principal Investigator or delegate for future disbursement to research study participants;

Cash - includes currency, cheques and direct deposits;

Near-Cash - includes gift cards, gift certificates, coupons and vouchers;

Non-Cash - tangible items such as mugs, t-shirts, food items, etc. 

Procedure

The Principal Investigator (PI) or delegate* is responsible for the following in regards to payments to study participants:

  1. Ensuring all necessary ethics approvals are in place and that payments are eligible under the applicable funding agency guidelines;
  2. Approving payments (cash, near-cash, or non-cash) to study participants;
  3. Safeguarding cash, near-cash, or non-cash items until distributed to study participants;
  4. Issuing funds, near-cash, or non-cash items to study participants as required;
  5. Reconciling advanced funds as soon as possible, and within six (6) months of receiving a cash advance;
  6. Repaying any unused funds by way of cash or cheque to Financial Services who will credit the project from which the advance was issued;
  7. Maintaining appropriate supporting documentation of payments to participants in accordance with record retention requirements of CRA and funding agencies;
  8. Notifying Accounts Payable at accounts.payable@queensu.ca. if a PI becomes aware that a participant will accumulate $500 or more in study payments or other non-employment income.

*Delegation must be made through completion of the Signing Authority & Research Reports Access - Research Funds Form and submitted to finance.security@queensu.ca.

Financial Services (Research Accounting) is responsible for the following in regards to payments to study participants:

  1. Reviewing and approving reconciliations of spending of advanced funds;
  2. Clearing advances once accounted for;
  3. Ensuring any repayments of unused advanced funds are deposited to the original project.

Financial Services and Strategic Procurement Services (Accounts Payable) are responsible for the following in regards to study participants:

  1. Issuing approved direct payments to study participants;
  2. Issuing approved advance payments to PI or delegate;
  3. Issuing approved reimbursement payments to PI or delegate;
  4. Issuing T4As to recipients as required.

Payments to study participants can be made in one of three ways.

  1. Direct Payment to Study Participants (for individual payments greater than or equal to $100)

Direct payments will not be issued to study participants for less than $100.  Option 2 or 3 must be used.

Responsible Officer/Section Step Process
PI or Delegate

1.1

Submit approved Research Payment Form through the acQuire system:

1.1.1  For individual payments of $250 or more, the participant's name and home mailing address must be included on the form, and T4A must be indicated.  The participant’s Social Insurance Number should be supplied via the Secure Supplier Information Collection Form.  If the Supplier profile is not flagged as “T4A”, a Comment can be added to the Requisition indicating a T4A is required. 

1.1.2  For individual payments of $100 - $249.99, the study participant's SIN is not required.  Please indicate “One-time subject payment” in the Description field.

Financial Services

1.2

Review submitted Research Payment Form for completeness, accuracy, and eligibility

Financial Services

1.3 

Issue payment in accordance with posted service levels.

  1. Issuance of a cash advance to PI or delegate (for individual payments less than $250)

Responsible Officer/Section Step Process
PI or Delegate

2.1

Submit a cash advance request for approval through the Employee Reimbursement System (ERS):

See Cash Advances for Subject Payments

Financial Services

2.2

Review submitted cash advance request for completeness, accuracy, and eligibility.

Financial Services

2.3

Issue payment in accordance with posted service levels. 

PI or Delegate

2.4

Submit a coy of the Record of Issuance of Payments to Research Study Participants to Research Accounting at the completion of the study, the depletion of funds, or within six (6)months of a cash advance being issued, whichever comes first.  If near-cash or non-cash items are purchased with the advanced funds, the receipt must be attached. [refer to Appendix A (PDF*, 289 KB)]. 

PI or Delegate

2.5

Retain a Record of Issuance of Payments to Research Study Participants as per documents retention requirements of CRA and the funding agency.  [refer to Appendix A (PDF*, 289 KB)]

PI or Delegate

2.6

Account for the advance by submitting an Expense Report through the ERS based on the ubmitted Record of Issuance of Payments to Research Study Participants and receipts (if applicable). 

See Submit an Expense Report 

Note:  Please select “Subject Payment” as the Expense Type when submitting the Expense Report. 

PI or Delegate

2.7

Return any unspent funds to Financial Services, to be deposited and credited to the project. 

See Returning Unused Cash Advance Amounts

Financial Services

2.8

Deposit funds to project. 

Financial Services

2.9

Issue T4A to individuals where required. 

  1. Reimbursement for payments using personal funds (for individual payments less than $250) The PI or delegate has the option to use personal funds to issue payments to study participants and seek reimbursement.
Responsible Officer/Section Step Process
PI or Delegate 3.1

Submit an expense claim for approval through the ERS.

See Submit an Expense Report

Note: a copy of the Record of Issuance of Payments to Research Study Participants must be attached, and if near-cash or non-cash items were purchased, the receipt must also be attached.  [refer to Appendix A (PDF*, 289 KB)]
Note:  Please select “Subject Payment” as the Expense Type when submitting the Expense Report. 

PI or Delegate 3.2 Retain a Record of Issuance of Payments to Research Study Participants [refer to Appendix A (PDF*, 289 KB)] as per document retention requirements of CRA and the funding agency.
Financial Services 3.3 Review submitted Expense Report for completeness, accuracy, and eligibility.
Financial Services 3.4 Issue payment in accordance with posted service levels.

In summary, payments to study participants can be made for in one of three ways: 
If the individual amount is $250 or more, Option 1 must be used. 
For amounts between $100 and $249, options 1, 2, or 3 may be used. 
For amounts less than $100, only Options 2 or 3 may be used. 

*PDF files can be viewed using Adobe Reader 


Date Approved: January 12, 2015

Approval Authority: Vice-Principals' Operations Committee

Date of Commencement:

Amendment Dates: August, 2020

Date for Next Review:

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:Expense Reimbursement System Procedures (in development)