The University of Chicago

Financial Services


Human Research Subject Fees

Paying Research Subject Testing Fees via a Revolving Cash Fund

A research subject-testing fee is a payment to an individual participating as a subject in scientific research project. These payments are to be paid out of a fund created specifically for the payment of these fees. The Revolving Cash Fund is not to be confused with a Petty Cash Fund.

Cash that has been obtained for the specific purpose of paying research subject fees cannot be used for:

Revolving Cash Fund must be established through Financial Services (Accounting Services) and should be used when the research project is an “ongoing” project. If the research subject-testing project is a “one-time” event, the principal investigator should request a Cash Advance. This document discusses only the revolving fund procedure.

Establishing A Cash Fund

The Principal Investigator (PI) should make a written request to Accounting Services. This request should include:

1. Purpose of fund.
2. Name of the custodian, who is the person maintaining the fund.
3. Location of the cash fund (the safeguards against theft should be indicated).
4. The amount of the fund. The size of the fund should be established so that
it is reimbursed once a month on average.
5. The amount of the testing fee that will be disbursed to each subject in accordance with the grant or contract award.
6. Grant or contract award number and expiration date.
7. Grant or contract guarantee account number to charge if cash is lost or stolen.
8. Approval by the Chief Financial Manager for the division or executive level.
9. The Manager of General Accounting will put through a Direct Payment Voucher Form 88R (DPV), based upon the above information.

Maintaining the Fund

1. The cash MUST be kept in a locked drawer or cabinet with the key in the custodian’s possession or the possession of a delegate. 
2. A Log of Payments to Human Subjects is to be kept of all disbursements. It must include the name, address, social security number, signature of recipient, and amount paid to each individual.
If the custodian or the PI determines that the names of the research subjects are of a confidential nature, then code identifiers should be used and logged onto a Coded Log of Payments to Human Subjects. Instead of identifying the individual subject by name, assign a code. The PI should maintain a file that cross-references the code identifier to each research subject. This file should include the name, address, social security number, signature of recipient, and amount paid to each individual. It is the principal investigator’s responsibility to retain this information for a minimum of three years, after the final financial report is submitted to the grant or contract agency.

Replenishment of the Fund

1. Complete the Request for Reimbursement of Petty Cash Fund (Form 41R).
2. Send Request for Reimbursement to Purchasing and Payment Services.

Changing the Balance of your Fund

1. Accounting Services must approve all changes to the balance of the petty cash fund.

Theft of Funds

1. Inform the University Police Department of the theft.
2. Obtain a copy of the police report.
3. Forward to Accounting Services a memo and copy of the police report. Accounting Services will create an entry charging the departmental guarantee account.

Out-of-Balance Funds

1. Contact Accounting Services.

Administering Payments

1. Payments of $100 or more must be processed on a check request, and cannot be made from the fund.
2. Check requests should be submitted to Financial Services Independent Contractor Services.
a. A payment processed on a check request will not reduce the fund amount. The appropriate grant or contract will be charged directly.

Changes in the Cash Fund

1. An increase to the fund requires a written request to Current Unrestricted Funds, stating the reason for the increase.
2. Closing or decreasing the Cash Fund
a. Contact Accounting Services for the imprest cash account number to credit with the unspent cash. Note: This is not the same as the grant or contract guarantee account number.
b. Deposit the unspent cash with the Bursar’s Office by submitting a Report of Money Received Form 133.