Patient Stipend Funds

Patient Stipend Funds (PSF) are payments distributed to human research study participants to compensate for the time and effort required for a research project. Emory offers many options - see tabs below.

For PSF (cash or gift cards) that are stored and disbursed by DOP employees, administration has created additional guidelines to accompany the existing Emory University Policy. The additional guidelines are meant to provide structure for responsible management of PSF in regards to ordering, storing and tracking.


Step 1: Obtain a secure location to store your PSF (see "Tools for Managing PSF" section below)

Step 2: Contact to set up an appointment for a review of your exisiting PSF

PSF Options

Emory Payment Services can issue a check directly from the research account to the study participant. The DOP Additional Guidelines do not apply to this method of PSF.

1. Have subject complete the "Study Participant Information Form"

2. Log in to the Compass 9.2 Financials system on the Emory Finance Division website

3. From the main menu, go to Employee Self-Service, then Payment Request Center to create the check request*


*first payment may take up to 2 weeks

Cash may be advanced from the research account as an RPPF (Research Participant Payment Fund).

1. Request a New RPPF Account. Complete the RPPF form, obtain custodian and PI signatures, then email to DOP Administration will collect the remaining signatures and submit to the Office of the Controller. You will be informed once the account is set up.

2. To replenish funds, complete the RPPF Replenishment Request Form and the Research Participant Payment Fund Checklist and submit in Compass.

3. Whenever a check is recieved and cashed, email the check voucher receipt to

4. To request an increase, repeat step 1.

To purchase gift cards to be used as PSF:


1. Complete the DOP PSF Gift Card Request Form, obtain custodian and PI signatures, then email to You will be contacted when your cards are ready to be picked up.

2. To request additional gift cards for the same study, complete the Replenishment Request Form, then email to You will be contacted when your cards are ready to be picked up.


If a sponsor sends gift cards to be used as PSF, complete the DOP PSF Sponsor Provided Gift Cards form, obtain custodian and PI signatures, then email to

If a sponsor sends gift cards directly to the study participants, no further action is required and the DOP Additional Guidelines do not apply.

Coming soon - currently only available for studies conducted at the Marcus Autism Center.

Tools for Managing PSF

Per the DOP Additional Guidelines, PSF must be stored in a safe located behind a locked door with minimal or monitored access. There are 3 options:

  1. Your team already has a safe that meets these requirements. Please email so that administration can perform a site visit to verify.
  2. You may utilize a safe in the ECC-RU work room. Please email to check out a safe and recieve your key.
  3. If neither above are options, please contact for assistance.

A distribution log must be kept documenting the funds disbursed. Minimum information required:

  • Smartkey and project number for the source of funds (both found on the Emory Notice of Award)
  • 2 forms of study identification (Study Title, protocol number, IRB number, Sponsor, etc)
  • 1 additional identifier for gift cards (gift card number, access code, PIN number, etc)
  • Name of PI
  • Name of research staff performing the transaction
  • Unique participant ID (name or Study ID)
  • Transaction details (date, amount, type of funds)

A sponsor-provided log may be used and appended if needed to contain the minimum information.

Example templates can be found here:

Cash Tracking Log Template

Gift Card Tracking Log Template

There must be documentation of the participant receipt of the funds. Minimum information required:

  • 2 forms of study identification (Study Title, protocol number, IRB number, Sponsor, etc)
  • Name of PI
  • Name and signature of research staff performing the transaction
  • Name and signature of participant receiving funds*
  • Transaction details (date, amount, type of funds)

One copy should be given to the participant and one copy maintained by the custodian. A receipt book may be utilized for this process. An example template can be found here.

*If you cannot obtain patient signature due to the nature of the study, please contact with details to request a waiver.

Once a study has completed and no further PSF will be disbursed, the study team must meet with a DOP Finance Management staff member for a final accounting of the PSF, to include review of logs and a count of any remaining funds. The Close Out Form (see below) must be completed and submitted to within 2 business days of study closure. Per current Emory processes, cash and/or any unused cards will need to either be returned for credit or transferred to a discretionary account. 


DOP Close Out Form - CASH

DOP Close Out From - GIFT CARDS