Vouchers for Research Participants

Throughout your research, you may require volunteers or participants to take a survey or be interviewed and you wish to reimburse volunteers for their time.

UBEL cannot use money from the ESRC grant to pay research participants in cash and students should not pay participants directly. Instead, UBEL DTP students may use their Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) in order to purchase vouchers to reimburse research participants or to enter participants in a prize draw for a voucher.

The amount paid to each participant should be a small standard sum (e.g. £10 -£15 for up to half day and £15 -£25 for a full day). 

You should consider the following criteria when deciding how much to pay participants or whether a draw for a voucher is more appropriate:

  • nature and length of the survey/interview /task
  • degree of inconvenience/discomfort to volunteer
  • ease of obtaining volunteers for example where the ‘group’ is very small e.g. parents of children with a specific illness versus a student population
  • number of volunteers needed
  • budget available for payment*
  • standard practice within your department for participant involvement (and whether the department have funds or standard procedures to facilitate this kind of work)

*Remember: UBEL DTP students have £750 per annum for RTSG. You should consider if you want to use this fund for any other expenses (e.g. conferences) when deciding on the amount to use for research participant vouchers.


  1. Complete and submit the online form to apply to use RTSG for research participant vouchers.
  2. Obtain Supervisor Approval
  3.  UBEL Management to approve the request. The UBEL DTP team will contact students directly via email if the application for this type of expenditure is successful. Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
  4. Standard practice for RTSG is for students to purchase items to be reimbursed. Receipts of expenditure must be provided. Please do not purchase vouchers for research participants until the UBEL DTP team have confirmed your application has been approved.