How to Recruit/Pay Subjects

Recruiting subjects outside SONA system:

  • flyers approved by the IRB

  • "Today's Announcements"


When sending out an email to the participant list, make sure to use BCC so that the email addresses cannot be seen by everyone on the list. I like to give them the information I gave you guys above about the payment so they are not expecting cash right after the experiment. I also like to have a blurb explaining that they are being contacted because they are on our email list and if they would like to be removed please let us know. You should also list any requirements for your study (age, normal vision, etc) because they have no been screened. Below is an example email I have sent in the past:


You are receiving this email because you have expressed interest in being a research participant. We are currently running a study right now that you can participate in. Below is some information about the study:

The experiment will last for one hour and you will be compensated with $10 (a petty cash voucher*). During the hour, you will look at images on a computer screen and use the keyboard to report what you see while a camera tracks your eyes. In order to participate, you must have normal or corrected-to-normal vision (contacts preferred to glasses) and you must be between the ages of 18 and 35. We also ask that participants do not wear eye make-up as it can make the eye tracker less accurate.

If you meet the two underlined requirements above and are still interested, please let me know your availability for the next week.

Alissa Stafford
Fischer Lab Manager

*Petty Cash Vouchers can be cashed at the Petty Cash window in the basement of Garland from 10AM-2PM, Monday through Wednesday.

If you want to be removed from this email list, please respond to this email and we will remove you.

Pay your subject with petty cash voucher:

  • Payment: Participants are paid $10/hour for behavioral studies and are given a petty cash voucher. We don’t reimburse for parking or anything so it’s best to get people that have access to campus. 

  • The petty vouchers are exchanged for cash in Garland Hall in the basement, there is a Student Accounts office and the petty cash window is down the hallway from that. Working hours: ​Monday-Wednesday from 10am-2pm



When you use petty cash vouchers

Behavioral participants (special note for fMRI participants below*) are compensated with either a sona credit or $10/hour in the form of a petty cash voucher. Our lab sadly cannot give petty cash directly to participants. They must take the voucher to Garland Hall Room 32 Monday-Wednesday 10am-2pm to exchange it for cash. Make sure to tell participants in advance that they will not be receiving cash directly.

Rebecca made an annotated petty cash form explaining how to complete it. This along with a blank petty cash voucher are available on the dropbox: /DropBox/labAdmin/pettyCashVoucher/. The fund and internal order number will depend on which fund you are using to pay the participant. The fund will most likely start with 10115 and the IO with 800/900. The IO number is on the form twice, in the table as well as below the dollar amount (in words). I have had participants leave the SSN portion blank before if they are international students and have not had a problem.

Once you and the participant complete the form, photocopy it and hand the original to the participant before they leave the lab. A copy must ultimately be given to either Rebecca or Jenny (depending on the IO). The lab manager will be in charge of getting this to Rebecca/Jenny.

Compensating fMRI participants*: There is not an easily accessible copier at KKI, so take 2 blank copies of the petty cash voucher with you and fill out both. Give the participant one copy and keep the other. fMRI participants will be paid $30 per hour (rounded up to the nearest 15 minute increment).

For the lab manager:
I (Alissa) typically scan in the copy of the completed voucher that I kept and send this to Rebecca/Jenny and save the electronic copy for my records. You could also give Rebecca/Jenny the paper copy after you scanned a copy for yourself, I think Rebecca usually prints out the electronic ones I send her anyway. Basically, be sure that the participant, Rebecca, and you all have your own copy.

The voucher is VOID after 30 days. Sometimes participants will not cash it within the allotted 30 days, there is no way you will know unless the participant contacts you or the other researcher that issued it. If this should happen, contact either Rebecca/Jenny and make sure the petty cash voucher was not turned in and ask if you can reissue another. Rebecca/Jenny may want to physically have the original copy back from the participant, so if the participant comes in make sure they give that to you before you re-issue another one.