Payment – What rates should be offered for involvement in research?

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INVOLVE recommend that as a minimum all out of pocket expenses should be covered for members of the public.  We do not recommend particular payment rates for involvement in research. This is because the rate offered will need to suit the individual circumstances of the involvement. In the main, this depends on two things:

  • The nature of the task asked of members of the public – how complex is it and what level of skill, expertise and advance preparation is required? For example, the rate offered for taking part in a one-off consultation event might differ from the rate offered for membership of an on-going research panel with complex papers to review and comment on prior to each meeting.
  • The amount of funding available to support involvement – different organisations will have access to different funding amounts to support involvement. We do not want organisations to feel inhibited from doing involvement if they do not have the same level of funding, and therefore cannot offer the same rates, as other organisations.

Rates are sometimes set by a host organisation for the research (for example, the university or NHS Trust). You should check whether the organisation you are working with has a policy for payments and expenses for involvement. In Payment for Involvement, we have listed some examples of rates offered by different organisations and for a range of involvement activities (see page 23-5). These may help you decide which rate to offer appropriate to the involvement in your research.  This publication also includes practical information on things you need to consider when making payments and covering expenses.

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