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Scrip Program Overview: Paying Clinical Trial Participants

Learn about scrip, UCSD's way to pay people who participate in clinical trials.

If you compensate participants in clinical trials as part of your research, review this page for information you need to know.

Scrip is the preferred payment method used to compensate participants in clinical trials. Scrip is like a check but offers the recipient more flexibility, control, and confidentiality. The name of the payee is not printed on scrip, so it should be secured like cash.

Note: If it is anticipated that total payments to any one subject during the course of a study will total $600 or more in a calendar year, the payment(s) must be processed as a direct Payment to Participant using MyPayments, and issued in the form of a check or ACH. Information required for these payments include the subject's name, address, and SSN (submit W-9). This information will be reported to the IRS, and Form 1099-MISC will be sent to the payee at the end of the calendar year in which the payment(s) were made.

Use scrip when payment must:

  • Be confidential
  • Be paid at the time of participation
  • Limit personal data about the recipient

Scrip is:

  • Issued by Disbursements on request from department scrip coordinators
  • Standardized with serial numbers
  • Printed quickly upon request
  • Ordered in specified denominations
  • Tracked, audited, and controlled with ease
  • A confidential method of paying clinical trial participants
    • Note: An alternative method for paying clinical trial participants is via MyPayments.
  • Tax reportable when necessary
  • Redeemable with no ID at UCSD Medical Center Cashier, first floor (map); Cashier's Office (map); or a San Diego County Wells Fargo Bank

Department scrip coordinators

Department scrip coordinators are designated by the department and are typically administrators overseeing a trial or series of trials. BUS 49 requires that staff handling cash and cash equivalents (including scrip) receive training on cash handling procedures.  Refer to the online Cash Handling tutorial available through the UC Learning Center.Department scrip coordinators are accountable for scrip use, as follows:

The Disbursements scrip coordinator is responsible for issuing, verifying, distributing, auditing, and reconciling the scrip account.