Psychology | College of Liberal Arts
skip to content The University of Texas at Austin

Participant Payments

Prior approval is required before you can issue participant payments for research subjects.  Researchers can request a cash advance for partipant payments, which can be dispersed in the form of cash, Paypal/Venmo payments, or gift cards. 

Cash Advance Requests

  • To request a cash advance, please complete and submit the: Cash Advance Request Form
  • All required fields must be completed in order to submit the request form. Please include any additional useful information in the Comments field.
  • The maximum period for a cash advance is 6 months.
  • Cash advance requests must be submitted at least 10 business days before the cash advance start date.
  • Previous cash advances must be reconciled, and all unused funds returned, before a new cash advance can be issued.  In some cases, overlapping cash advances may be allowed to prevent gaps in coverage.
  • Once the funds have been released, you will receive an auto-generated email message to indicate that the funds have been direct deposited.
  • Complete information about cash advance policies and procedures, including links to the downloadable signature receipt forms, may be found here.

Cash Advance Procedures

  • All subject payments must be made within the dates on your cash advance.
  • All paid research subjects are required to complete and sign either the Individual Receipt Form or the Multiple Participant Receipt Form
  • The Individual Receipt Form should be used if the participant expects to receive more than $600 from research participation within one calendar year. It can also be used to protect the privacy of the subject.
  • For all other participants, use the Multiple Participant Receipt Form
  • Within two weeks of the cash advance end date, an accounting of the advance funds must be submitted. The requestor is responsible for being aware of the cash advance end date and submitting their reconciliation paperwork by this deadline.
  • The following items must be submitted to Gina Pollard to complete the reconciliation:
    • Summary Reconciliation Sheet
    • All Individual and Multiple Participant Receipt Forms
    • All unspent cash advance funds, as listed in the “Due back to the university” field of the Summary Reconciliation Sheet. (Note: Department staff will provide instructions for returning unused funds once all other documentation has been submitted.)

Remote Participant Payments

  • Cash advance funds can be used to pay participants remotely through PayPal or Venmo, or to purchase electronic gift cards for participant payments. 
  • Multiple Participant Receipt Forms are still required for remote payments (note that participant signature is not required when paying remotely and annual payments are unlikely to reach $600).
  • The Individual Receipt Form should be used if the participant expects to receive more than $600 from research participation within one calendar year.
  • Record a screenshot of the payment verification screen from the Payment App to document each payment as it is issued. This should be maintained in your study records.

Gift Card Payments

  • Gift cards can be purchased for participant payments, either using cash advance funds or on a ProCard.  All cash advance paperwork described above is required when using gift cards for participant payments.
  • Note that the Tango system is no longer recommended to purchase gift cards.