Stipends and Honoraria

Stipend & Honoraria Policy is a draft. Final Policy awaiting approval of the president.


This policy prescribes the process for the issuance, approval and payment of stipend payments, human research subject payments and honorarium payments.   The Policy is designed to comply with current Federal, State and University policies, procedures and regulations.

Authority, Responsibility and Duties 

  1. Payments for stipends, human research subjects and honorariums, shall confirm to applicable Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Regulations. Recipients will receive an annual 1099 –M,  information return, when total annual payments exceed $600.00
  2. The Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance shall administer this policy, to include its development, communication and compliance monitoring.
  3. The University’s Controller’s Office will ensure that all Stipends, Human Research and Honorarium payments are processed in conformity with this policy.



A one time or series of payments given to a currently enrolled student, for participation in an internship, apprenticeship, fellowship or approved Grant program. A stipend is often distinct from a wage or salary because it does not necessarily represent comparable payment for work performed, or for which service cannot be measured in terms of a task. Stipends awards are usually lower than what would be expected as a permanent salary for similar work. This is because the stipend is complemented by other benefits such as accreditation, instruction, food, and/or types of accommodations.

Human Research Subject

An individual who has executed a written agreement to participate in an official University research program or project. Employees of the University who are not receiving academic credit to participate in the research are not entitled to Individual Human Research Subject payments and must be compensated via approved A-21 documentation thru the Universities’ Human Resource Office and paid via normal payroll.


A payment made without the payer (VSU) having to recognize any liability or legal obligation, made to a person for their services in a volunteer capacity or for services for which fees are not traditionally required. i.e. An Honorariums can be used to pay a guest speaker at a conference to cover their travel, accommodation, or preparation time.


An individual who is currently enrolled at VSU and pursuing a degree in a program of study at the university toward a bachelor’s or higher degree, or other accredited program of training at VSU, to prepare the students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

Policy Statements

a. As a general rule, stipends, human research subject payments and honorarium payments will be limited in single payment amounts of $1,000 per payee. These payments will be considered to be taxable income to the recipient(s) as governed be current Internal Revenue (IRS) regulations.   

b. All stipend and human research subject payments must be in conformity with an active documented research grant, current MOU or other executed official documentation, authorizing the payment. Sufficient budget should be available in the respective BANNER fund and account to fund the payment.  

c. Request for stipend and human research subject payments from Federal Grants must be forwarded and approved by the Office of Sponsored Research, thru the respective Principal Investigator, (PI). 

d. Request for Stipend & human research subject payments should be submitted on a completed “Stipend / Human Research Subject Payment Request Form” (see copy attached) and have the following documents attached. 

  1. Completed W-9 “Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification” form, for the payee receiving the stipend payment.
  2. Copy of the page(s) of the Grant Award or MOU that authorizes the payment from the program and shows a clear indication of the purpose of the payment and the payment period of the Grant Award or MOU.
  3. Available budget in the respective BANNER Fund and Account (X1418) where payment is charged.

    NOTE: Request for Stipend, Human Research Subject, or Honorarium payments for active VSU employees, will be considered as a salary/wage payment, and should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources on an approved A-21 form to be paid via normal employee payroll processes.

  4. Honorarium payments should be submitted on a general “VSU Check Request Form” (Copy Attached) along with an approved “PURCHASE ORDER” charged to the respective BANNER Fund / Account (X1413) with the following documents attached.

e. Honorarium payments should be submitted on a general “VSU Check Request Form” (Copy Attached) along with an approved “PURCHASE ORDER” charged to the respective BANNER Fund / Account (X1413) with the following documents attached.

  1. Completed W-9, request for Taxpayer Information for the payee receiving the Honorarium payment.
  2. Letter of explanation justifying the payment of the Honorarium Award.
  3. Approval of the Honorarium payment by the respective School Dean or Vice President. (or designee)

Other Considerations            

Types of payment request that are not considered as STIPENDS, HUMAN RESEARCH SUBJECT, or HONORARIUM payments, include but are not limited to:

  1. Payments made to students for teaching, instructing or tutoring other students. (wages)
  2. Payments to students to offset the cost of tuition, room and board costs as part of a non-credit, work related agreement.  (Scholarships)
  3. Payments to students for Fellowship or teaching activities.
  4. Prizes won in a contest, or awards  are not stipends and are taxable income to the payee if the amount of the award/prize exceeds $500.00.
  5. Request for payments where a contract has been executed with the Payee for “Services Rendered.
  6. Stipend, Human Research Subject or Honorarium Payments should never be processed using the University’s Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC).

Approved By: ___________________________________

Date: ____________________________________

Dr. Keith T. Miller, President 

Helpful Forms

Honorarium Form

Stipend Form


VSU Procurement of Goods and Services Policy 5508

VSU Small Purchase Charge Card Policy 5504