Manage a Human Subject Research Petty Cash Fund
Human research relies on volunteers to participate in studies. It is not uncommon for a researcher to reimburse subjects for travel or other expenses that they may incur as a result of participation in a study. Some studies may also offer compensation as a means to attract volunteers.
This section relates to human research studies that will provide payments to participants or subjects for either:
- Expenses that will incur as a result of participation (i.e., travel-related costs) or
- Payments to compensate subjects for their willingness to participate in the research study.
All plans to compensate participants/subjects in research studies must receive prior approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Administer Human Subject Research Petty Cash Funds
For each funded grant project, a unique Petty Cash Fund is established to support the anticipated human subject reimbursement activities.
The Principal Investigator should monitor all petty cash expenditures on a regular basis to ensure consistency with agency funding requirements and that any variances from the operating budget are identified and addressed. However, staffing resources permitting, it is preferred that the fund custodian be someone other than the PI (but must be a full-time salaried officer or staff employee).
- For more information, please refer to "Special Procedures for Human Subject Research" → "Petty Cash Administration for Human Subject Research" in the Petty Cash Web-Based Training.
Reimburse Human Subject Research Petty Cash Funds
For human subject payments or reimbursements, the study coordinator should distribute the cash to the subject and prepare a receipt or log for the subject to sign. Amounts may exceed $80, but such amounts should be pre-approved as part of the fund creation process.
All receipts/logs for human subjects need to be HIPAA compliant.
- For more information, please refer to "Special Procedures for Human Subject Research" → "Human Subject Payments or Reimbursement" in the Petty Cash Web-Based Training.
Replenish Human Subject Research Petty Cash Funds
- Only attach the non-confidential part of the 3-part IRB form if required.
- Do not send any confidential data or receipts with confidential information to Accounts Payable (AP).
- If 3-part IRB form is not required by Controller's Office, there is no need to send to AP as an additional back-up. On the replenishment Check Request Form, assign the specific ARC account for Human Subjects payments.
Learn how to Manage Human Subject Research Funds
For general guidance on how to manage a Human Subject Research Petty cash Fund –
- Please refer to "Special Procedures for Human Subject Research" in the Petty Cash Web-Based Training
- For transaction instructions, please refer to the job aid: Petty Cash Transactions in ARC.
Learn about Petty Cash Policies
For guidance on Columbia University's Human Subject Petty Cash Policy.
Complete and submit the following forms: