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Evaluating Payment to Participate in Research: Ethical and Regulatory Issues

Luke GelinasLuke Gelinas
IRB Chairperson

According to the US Office for Human Research Protections, paying individuals to participate in research is “a common and, in general, acceptable practice.” At the same time, both the Common Rule and FDA regulations instruct researchers and IRBs to minimize the possibility of coercion and undue influence during informed consent, which has often been interpreted as placing limits on acceptable payment amounts.

In this webinar, Luke Gelinas, IRB Chairperson at Advarra, proposes a practical framework for evaluating offers of payment and applies it to case studies to yield guidance on challenging ethical and regulatory issues involved in paying research subjects.

Learning objectives:

  1. Analyze case studies aimed at drawing out challenging ethical and regulatory aspects of paying research subjects.
  2. Define the key regulatory terms of “coercion” and ”undue influence” and the main risk of payment in relation to these concepts.
  3. Describe and apply a practical framework for evaluating payment that stresses the importance of being clear about why payment is being offered: as reimbursement, compensation, or recruitment incentive.

Content applies to:

  • IRB members of any experience level
  • Principal investigators and research staff
  • Site and sponsor personnel (and others) involved with proposing payment amounts or setting policy around payment

CE credits available

Attendance at this session has been approved for 1.00 contact hour of research specific continuing education on applications for Maintenance of ACRP’s CCRC®, CCRA®, CPI®, or ACRP-CP® certification designations and 1 hour of continuing education credit for the Certified IRB Professional (CIP) certification. Information for CE credits for SOCRA can be found at If you would like to obtain CE credits for a different credential, please check with your professional organization to determine if our webinars meet their continuing education requirements.

Note: This webinar is a collaboration between Advarra and Forte. We are in the process of integrating our webinar programs, and as a result the process for obtaining a certificate of attendance for this webinar may differ from what you’ve experienced with past webinars. Please contact with any questions.

Previously Recorded: March 2020
60 mins

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