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Making and Recording HSP Payments

Directive Statement

Human Subject Payments must be spent appropriately in accordance with University of Florida policy, the terms of a grant (if applicable) and Institutional Review Board (IRB) study protocol terms and conditions.  Funds are to be used exclusively to pay research participants and may not be used to pay for other goods or services provided to the University of Florida.  All Human Subject Payments must be coordinated through the Human Subject Payment (HSP) program administered by Treasury Management.

Nonresident aliens must be paid through Payroll Services, and not through the HSP module.

Reason for Directive

Enables reliable IRS reporting and improves tracking of participant payments. Reduces the need to maintain sensitive data at the department level since the data is encrypted in the HSP module. Non-compliance with the payment policies of the University of Florida, grant terms, and IRB study protocol terms and conditions can have serious consequences.  The University of Florida is subject to IRS penalties and fines for failure to file correct 1099 MISC tax information.

Who Must Comply?

All University departments.


Payments to Human Subjects

Prior to making any payment, the Custodian must ensure that the payment is made in accordance with the grant terms (if applicable) and the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) study protocol terms and conditions.

Human Subject Payments to participants of research or survey projects (including University of Florida employee participants) may be made with a prepaid bank debit card or gift card.  These cash equivalent payments are considered taxable income and will result in the issuance of an IRS Form 1099-MISC if the participant receives $600.00 or more in a calendar year.

Recording HSP Study Fund Payments

The Custodian must ensure the following:

  1. All research stipends paid in person must be substantiated with a recipient signature
  2. Mailed payments should be substantiated by a log signed by two people
  3. A “check-out” log should be used for payments provided to someone other than the Custodian, for later distribution to participants, or that are taken off-site (including to a lab in another building or off campus)
  4. Collect and record the Social Security Number (SSN), name, and address of participants in the payment log if required

The SSN is required unless the study will pay participants $75 or less in a calendar year.


Human Subject

According to Federal Regulation 45 CFR 46 102.f, a human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains:

  • Data through intervention or interaction with the individual
  • Identifiable private information

Examples of human subjects are a person who becomes a participant in research, data obtained through medical records, data obtained through surveys and data obtained from observation. [Back to Top]

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The UF Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are charged with protecting the rights and welfare of participants in clinical trials and other human subjects research studies.  UF IRBs review all research involving human subjects to ensure the welfare and rights of research participants are protected as mandated by federal and state laws, local policies, and ethical principles. [Back to Top]

Nonresident Alien

A nonresident alien (NRA) is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (aka Green Card Holder), or who does not satisfy the Substantial Presence Test.  Payments to Foreign Nationals/Nonresident Aliens for participation in research studies must be processed through Payroll Services, as many factors are involved when determining work eligibility of NRA individuals and we rely on the analysis of qualified persons that have the expertise within the tax arena.  There can be very serious consequences for non-compliance not only at an institutional level but also for the individual, i.e. IRS penalties and fines, the 20-hour rule (for those participating here in the U.S.) should be considered and the fact that some visa types (work-dependent visas, usually) will not permit the individual to receive income outside of their employment, including as a study participant.

In general:

  • F and J student visa holders are considered non-residents during their first five full or partial calendar years in the U.S.
  • J professors and researchers are considered non-residents during their first two full or partial calendar years in the U.S.
  • H-1, TN and O-1 visa holders are considered non-residents until they meet the substantial presence test

[Back to Top]

Last Reviewed

01/31/2021: reviewed content


Contracts & Grants (C&G)

Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP)

Institutional Review Boards (IRB)

Requirements for Payments to Foreign Nationals or Nonresident Aliens


PRV800 – HIPAA General Awareness

PRV804 – Protecting Social Security Numbers

RSH320 – Human Subject Payment


Treasury Management: (352) 392-9057


Disbursements: (352) 392-1241

Contracts & Grants: (352) 392-1235

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