Compensation for Clinical Trials

Benefits and guidelines for compensating research participants

Compensation for clinical trials and research subjects is a practice common and widely accepted, but more extensive research has been done highlighting the benefits and guidelines necessary to correctly compensate research participants


  • When to offer compensation
  • Compensation timing
  • The Four Main Compensation Models
  • The Benefits & Delivery of Compensation

While there are no hard and fast rules about compensation, utilizing a compensation strategy can prove essential to the success of any study. We hope this guide will provide tips to higher enrollment, reduce inefficiency costs, and provide more accurate data by encouraging subjects to stay through the trial’s completion.

Compensation for Clinical Trials

The main ethical question within the medical community remains this— at what point can a payment be considered excessive? Does this conflict with the obligation to minimize the possibility of coercion and undue influence during the informed consent process? The FDA advises 1 . that “other than reimbursement for reasonable travel and lodging expenses, IRBs should be sensitive to whether other aspects of proposed payment for participation could present an undue influence, thus interfering with the potential subjects’ ability to give voluntary informed consent.”