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Joint Research Management Office

Reimbursing expenses and payments for involvement and participation in research

At Barts Health and Queen Mary, we recognise that public contributors play a vital role in developing and delivering our research, ensuring it focuses on outcomes that are important to patients and the general public. There is growing support for paying or rewarding the public for their contribution to our research. Whether this is on a one-off or regular basis, we want to recognise best practices and ensure that our public contributors are not left out-of-pocket for being involved in our studies.

This page provides guidance on making payments to public contributors who are actively involved in health and social care research as well as reimbursing the expenses to people who are taking part in research as participants. This applies when people are partners in the various stages of research, from identifying and prioritising topics and commissioning to evaluation and dissemination. 

In line with HMRC guidance on research volunteers, lay participants and volunteer participants in clinical trials, please note that compensation of this sort does not constitute an employment relationship. PAYE or National Insurance contributions (NIC) may therefore not be appropriate.

Covering expenses

By ‘covering expenses’ we mean either paying for the costs directly or reimbursing the costs incurred by a member of the public whilst being involved in research-related activity. All out-of-pocket expenses should be covered. Covering expenses is not the same as payment for time, skills and expertise.

Payments for time, skill and experience

By ‘payments’ we mean payments made to members of the public for their input of time, skills and experience into the research process. Payments for time and experience should be considered best practice. Rates of payment will depend on several variables that are covered in this guide, and some examples are given. However, because each situation is different, we do not attempt to be prescriptive about rates of payment.  The NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination Payments Policy outlines their rates and can be used as a guide/ benchmark.

Public involvement payments at Barts Health

Since 2021 all public involvement payments from Barts Health research accounts can only be made via bank transfer payment. This is due to the Trust no longer using cash-in-transit services across all its sites. 

Paying public contributors

The process for paying public contributors for their time and contribution to research, and reimbursing their associated expenses, is as follows:

  • Complete all highlighted fields within the Manual Payment Request Form [DOC 49KB].
  • Email the form to together with a copy of supporting documentation and receipts for any expenses which are being reimbursed.
  • Approval is made via the Oracle Accounts Payable System.
  • All payments are made by BACS (Bankers’ Automated Clearing System) bank-to-bank transfer. 

Please note the updated guidance on the frequency of payment requests: If you are requesting payments to public contributors regularly, please ensure these are submitted quarterly; and if you are requesting payments to public contributors on a one-off basis, please ensure all requests are submitted at the same time in one email.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss special circumstances, please contact Neeta Patel at 

Reimbursing participant expenses

The process for reimbursing R&D patient participation expense claims is as follows:

  • Complete the Research Project Patient Participation Claim Form*
  • Complete the Manual Payment Request Form [DOC 49KB]
  • Both forms must be emailed to together with a copy of the receipts for the costs which are being reimbursed.
  • Approval is made via the Oracle Accounts Payable system.
  • All payments are made by BACS transfer.

* These forms are study-specific and must be purchased separately. Please see Oracle form ordering instructions [PDF 914KB]. Before ordering claim forms (Ref: THA2274) a quote must be obtained from Rollmark (Dieletlit) Limited, the supplier. To do this you should contact them at or call 01842 754984.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss special circumstances, please contact    

Reimbursing expenses and paying public contributors at Queen Mary  

In addition to payment for involvement or participation in research, the payment process can also be used to reimburse reasonable expenses in line with the Queen Mary Expenses Policy. Expenses may include travel, subsistence or childcare, depending on individual circumstances and by prior arrangement. Reimbursement will be made only after receipts have been produced.

To enable a BACS payment for the first time, payees must complete the BACS Form [DOC 56KB] - on both page 2 and the Payment Request Form on page 3. For each subsequent session, payees will only need to complete the Payment Request Form (page 3). The form needs to be signed by the relevant manager, and when completed sent to: 

NIHR guidance on paying for involvement

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