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Scrip Program Overview: Paying Clinical Trial Participants

Learn about scrip, a payment method to compensate human subject participants.

Scrip is a payment method used to compensate human subject participants. Scrip is like a check, but the name of the payee is not printed on scrip. Scrip 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.


Scrip is:

  • Issued by Disbursements on request from department coordinators
  • Standardized with serial numbers
  • Ordered in specified denominations
  • Tracked, audited, and controlled by the department
  • A confidential method of paying clinical trial participants
  • 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 coordinators

Department 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 coordinators are accountable for scrip use, as follows:

The department is responsible for maintaining, securing, distributing, and reconciling their financial accounts.