Paying Participants

Introduction

Cognition and Behavior Lab has worked with AU Finance to produce the following payment policy. The documentation below provides several ways to reimburse participants. Please contact cobelab@au.dk if you have any further questions.

General conditions are:

  • The payment policy applies to all projects in COBE Lab using our participant pool. Note that payment of participants is a requirement if using our participant pool. We advise researchers to pay around 100-110 DKK per hour, which corresponds to a student wage.
  • The responsibility of paying participants lies firmly with the Principal Investigator of the research project.
  • The participants expect their payment no later than 6 weeks after their participation, depending on the administrative process. Lab Management will assist in payment queries, but take no responsibility in entering or verifying payment information unless explicitly agreed beforehand.
  • We strongly recommend that all participants have a CPR number and an Easy Account (NemKonto). The documentation henceforth assumes such a case, unless otherwise stated.
  • Payment methods are: Bank transfer, Cash, Vouchers, Lottery-like payment
  • Be aware that you are handling personal data and are required to take the necessary measures, e.g. protecting documents with personal information to prevent others from accessing the data.

In general, we recommend paying participants via automatic bank transfer. This process uses a participant's CPR number to transfer funds to their nominated NemKonto account. To use this method of payment, we ask the PI to download and complete the Project Account Information Form (see below). Send the completed form to cobelab@au.dk. This must be done prior to collecting data.

Please note that automatic bank transfer, cash payments, gift vouchers, cinema tickets, etc., are reported as earnings of the participant to the tax authorities.

Payment procedures step-by-step

The paragraphs below include step-by-step information on how to reimburse participants in numerous ways, including:

  • automatic bank transfer (recommended)
  • cash payments
  • bank transfer to overseas account
  • gift voucher/cinema tickets
  • lottery-type payments
  • anonymized payments

Bank Transfer

Participant requirements: CPR number, NemKonto

Participants expect their payment within 6 weeks after their participation. This means that you need to conduct payments continuously to avoid late payments. You can find the deadlines for payouts in 2020 here.

If you need to pay 15 participants or more at a time, you can follow the payment template procedure. Please note that each project requires a separate template. If you have less than 15 participants at a time, the details can be entered directly in AU Timeløn.

1. Identify a person who has the authority to approve expenses incurred to the organizational unit to which your project belongs (stedkode). This is usually a secretary at the department or research centre.

2. When participating each participant must sign a bank transfer receipt that states his or her CPR-number (See example in Appendix B).

3. Download the payment template and fill out the green box in the sheet ‘project information’ (Appendix A). It is important that the unit number is ‘2555’ in order for Lab Management to keep track of payments.

4. Send the sheet ‘project information’ to cobelab@au.dk before data collection begins. 

For payments to 15 participants or more at a time, continue as follows:

5. Enter participant information in the sheet ‘participant information’. Protect the excel file by encrypting with a password (Windows: File > Info > Protect Workbook > Encrypt with Password; Mac: Tools > Protection > Protect Workbook).

6. Send the filled out payment template to the person you identified in step 1 with the authority to approve expenses.

7. This person sends the excel sheet to the respective HR department (BSS/HEALTH, ARTS, ST). Please be aware that the excel sheet should be sent to the payroll office directly from the departmental secretary or other personnel authorized to approve expenses incurred to your project.

8. The records approved by the payroll office will be released for payment.

For payments to less than 15 participants at a time (AU Timeløn), continue as follows:

5. The appointed person with secretary access in AU Timeløn enters the payment details in AU Timeløn. This person might need authorization to the unit number 2555. Information on how to gain access and how to register participant payment can be found here. Please note that the unit number is ‘2555’ (COBE Lab) and the location code (stedkode) is your institutional location.

6. Approved records are released and the payments will be transferred to the participants’ Easy Accounts as part of the next round of payments, which take place twice per month.  

AU will automatically report participant earnings to the tax authorities. All earnings are classed as B-income. 

Cash

Participant requirements: CPR number

1. You can withdraw cash with either an AU or personal credit card. The PI is responsible for justifying the amount in the RejsUd system, and for any discrepancy between the amounts stated and withdrawn.

2. Each participant must sign a cash receipt to acknowledge they have participated in a study and received the payment in cash (see example in Appendix C).

3. Participant CPR numbers and monetary amount must be collated in an Excel spreadsheet (For example use Appendix A leaving irrelevant columns blank).

4. Process the completed sheet in the RejsUd system together with the receipts of payments.

5. RejsUd personnel will adjudicate the amounts stated and make sure that the payroll office reports the amount to the tax authorities.

In the event of problems, please contact your project economist (projektøkonom).

Gift Voucher, Food Voucher, Cinema Ticket, Gift, etc.

Participant requirements: CPR number

1. Each participant must sign a gift voucher receipt to acknowledge they have participated in a study and received the payment as a gift voucher (see example in Appendix D).

2. Information on participant CPR numbers together with gift voucher amount must be collated in an Excel spreadsheet (For example use Appendix A leaving irrelevant columns blank).

3. Process the receipts in RejsUd together with the complete list of names equal to the set of items given as gifts. The PI is responsible for any discrepancy.

4. Items exceeding 75-100 DKK are reported to the tax authorities. Items defined as less than 75-100 DKK are defined as ‘small appreciations’ and are not reported.

5. If bought through ‘indfak’ the list must be obtained together with other project documents (by local secretary, project economist, EU receipt registration, project administrator, etc.)

Note that the PI is liable in case of a discrepancy between the number of purchased items and the number of items given as reward for participation. In such a situation, excess gifts/ vouchers are considered the same as travel pre-payments, which represent a value to the beholder. If such gift/ vouchers are not justified or returned, they will continue to represent a value, and therefore the researcher will have to pay for the discrepancy. For instance, if 100 cinema tickets were purchased and 98 were recorded as gifts for participants, since the last two cannot be refunded they should be discarded.

Random payment (Lottery-like Payment)

Participant requirements: CPR number

A random payment, whereby a randomly selected sample of participants receive a prize, is permitted under certain conditions. Since the ‘lottery’ is not open to the public, it cannot be defined as a ‘lottery’, but rather a random payment.

Please note that the net total of random payments must be of equal value to the net total of all participants earning our recommended wage (100–110 DKK per hour). For example, if you wish to recruit 100 participants for a 10 minutes online survey, with a selected number of participants winning 100 DKK gift vouchers. The total participant time is 1000 minutes, divided by our 100 DKK per hour rate, which totals 10 participants winning a gift voucher. Participant must be informed the probability of them winning in the study description (in this case 10%).

1. Draw the winners (Lab Management can help you identify and contact the winners).

2. If the winners receive a specific item, each drawn winner must sign a receipt to acknowledge, they have participated in a study and received the payment as the specific item (see example in Appendix D). If the winners are paid via bank transfer, no signature is required.

In the event of awarding tax-free earnings, the researcher must pay twice the stated amount to the winner, and further inform that their earnings must be reported to the tax authorities. As an example, if a tax-free payment of 500 DKK is proposed, the researcher must pay 1000 DKK.

Anonymous Cash Payments (not recommended)

In case of anonymous cash payments, no record of the participants are kept at AU.

1. You can withdraw cash with either an AU or personal credit card. The PI is responsible for justifying the amount in the RejsUd system, and for any discrepancy between the amounts stated and withdrawn.

2. The PI submits a signed document and describes why anonymous cash payments are the preferred payment method (it has to be done before the first participant payment takes place). Examples on why AU cannot report the income to the tax authorities are research on drug abuse, sexual orientation, infectious diseases, physical abuse, etc.

3. Participants report their income to the tax authorities. A statement from AU regarding tax information must be given to each participant (Example in Appendix E).

Anonymous Bank Transfer

Anonymous transfers are currently not possible. Further, AU will not accept MobilePay (or similar) at the present time. MobilePay can be considered as tantamount to cash payment in the event that the PI transfers funds through his/her own account.

Payment of Participants Without a CPR Number

Participants without a CPR number or NemKonto account can be paid by this procedure. Please note there is an extra transaction cost, which is around 250 DKK per transaction.

1. Complete and send the form in Appendix F to the relevant project economist.

2. The project economist verifies the information and forwards such documentation to the payroll office, who will manually handle the transaction.