Skip to content

How to Pay an Individual

At UC Merced, there are several ways to pay an individual for services or completed work. Use this table to guide you to the best method of payment for your individual needs. For payments to non-resident aliens and non-U.S. citizens, refer to this workbook.

Be sure to contact the Academic Personnel Office at before attempting to submit an honorarium or stipend for academic personnel. 

One-sheet comparison guides

Honorarium vs. Independent contractor

Stipend vs. Honorarium

Stipend vs. Fellowship

STAR Award vs. Stipend

Independent Contractor vs. Vendor






UC Merced Classification Classification Description Examples Forms Needed Processing Times * Flowchart General Guidance
Fellowships A monetary award given to a graduate student to pay for academic pursuits. A merit- or need-based scholarship for advanced study of an academic subject. Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship (GDDF), Chancellor's Fellowship for Inclusive Excellence, President's Dissertation Year Fellowship, Cost of living Allowance (COLA), Outstanding Teaching Award Graduate Student Award authorization form (OnBase) 3-4 weeks Flowchart Graduate Policies and Procedures
Honorarium Normally a one-time payment granted in recognition of a special service or distinguished achievement for which propriety precludes setting a fixed price, such as a special lecture, participation in a workshop or panel discussion, or similar activities. Note: If parties enter into a formal agreement on price, the transaction is an agreement/contract, not an honorarium. Honoraria correspondence does not include terms and conditions or result in the receipt of an invoice for payment. Agreements/contracts are subject to procurement policies and procedures. Honorarium payment must be limited to $2,500 per calendar year. Guest speaker. A special lecture, short series of special lectures. Conduct seminars or workshops of no more than 2 weeks. Musical demonstration related to Music Department instruction. Appraisal of a manuscript for the University Press or an article submitted to a professional publication.

Completion of the Payment Request Form, Confirmation of UC Merced Honorarium letter emailed to the invited guest, Completion of the Speaker/Performer Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement, Syllabus or flyer of the event. Note: Only attach one pdf file per service ticket and must include documents noted above.

Please Note: If services are provided virtually from a non-UC location, then a waiver is not required.

2-3 weeks Flowchart More information
Human Subjects Payments of cash (including cash equivalents/gift cards) or tangible personal property as an incentive to a living individual (subject) from whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction or identifiable private information.

Participant in a drug trial or an internet survey about alcohol consumption. 

Individuals participating in research identified as exempt still need IRB review.

Payments made via gift card: IRB approval, IRB protocol, and vendor to be used

Payments made via petty cash: IRB approval, IRB protocol, approved petty cash form (from Treasury), and payment request form

Exemptions: 2-3 weeks

Expedited: 4-6 weeks

Full board protocols and modifications: As much time as required to finalize

Petty cash payments: 3-6 weeks

Flowchart More information
Independent Contractor/Consultant An individual without an EIN who performs a specific service for the UC based on a set price, pursuant to a scope of work and deliverables set by the UC. An attorney or accountant who has his or her own office, A videographer for commencement, A photographer for UC Merced Bridge Crossing, An editor to assist in completing a scholarly book project. an External Evaluator, a Consultant performing Mathematical analysis and simulation design or a Transcriptionist transcribing interviews. Independent Contractor (IC) packet (Please note: the Independent Contractor package must be renewed annually)  3-4 weeks Flowchart More information
Vendor/Supplier A individual operating as an entity with an EIN registered under a LLC, a corporation or partnership, engaged in the business of providing a product or service for UC Merced. Pepsi, CDWG, Mission Linen and Sysco  Quote or draft agreement (as applicable), new vendor setup (if the supplier is not in Oracle), and Insurance certificates. Insurance certificates are required for suppliers providing services. 1-2 weeks (if all documentation is provided) Flowchart More information
STAR Award Used to recognize contributions above and beyond an employee’s established day-to-day responsibilities. An important strategic tool in implementing the university's compensation philosophy and strategy. To be used to recognize extraordinary contributions and not as a substitute for equity or merit increases, or as a stipend. Eligible parties include policy-covered career PSS employees and MSP employees and career CX-represented and KM-represented employees. For UC Merced staff: STAR nomination form or team award spreadsheet Payment times vary by pay cycle Pending HR completion STAR Award FAQ
Stipend Provided when an employee is temporarily assigned, for a period of at least 30 working days, responsibilities of a higher-level position or other significant duties that are not the employee’s regular position. Represented staff are eligible for stipends only as outlined in collective bargaining agreements. Supervisors in an interim executive director role or individuals participating in a major software implementation project.

Leadership and Budget Approval should be completed prior to engaging HR. An approved justification, job description, and Human Resource approval is  needed.

Payment times vary by pay cycle Pending HR completion
More information
UC Merced  Classification Classification Description Examples Forms Needed Processing Times * Flowchart General Guidance
Student Payment Request Non-reimbursement payment to students Student awards that cannot be posted to the student's account through the Financial Aid office, payroll (UCPath) or Travel & Expense Management (Concur)

Payment Request Form, confirmation from Financial Aid, supporting documentation

2-3 weeks (provided all documentation is provided) Flowchart More information
Student Payment Request Disbursements Grants, Federal Work Study, Loans, Scholarships


Work study

Payment times vary by pay cycle


Work Study

Financial aid information
Student Payment Request   Fee remission Any award to a student, regardless of funding source, that provides funding to certain educational expenses  Graduate Division Payment times vary by pay cycle Flowchart  Graduate policies and procedures
Student Payment Request   Summer Sessions (incoming new Fall students)   Student ID, amount, program name, COA/POET, and signature from approver Payment times vary by pay cycle Pending completion Summer Session information
Student Payment Request   On-campus student employment Student workers whose job description falls under the classification of casual/restricted staff. Justification, job description, department and Human Resources approval where applicable  Payment times vary by pay cycle  Student jobs information Student jobs information
Student Payment Request   Reimbursements Payments made to non-employee - student for purchases for official business use such as research, public service, travel, and entertainment expenses.  Justification, receipts, and approval   Payment times vary by pay cycle Non Employee - Student  

Non Employee Reimbursements


Processing times are estimates and can vary based on the information identified during the processing of a payment. 

Payments cannot be made to an individual without the proper documentation, signed and fully executed by a UC Merced staff member with the appropriate delegation of authority.

Still unsure about the classification of payment? Please contact CBS2 via the CBS2 General Request for further assistance.