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Dissemination Centre

Payment to public contributors

1. Principles of payment  

Patients and members of the public contribute to the work of the Dissemination Centre in three ways:

  • As a rater of abstracts being considered for development into ‘NIHR Signals’  
  • As a member of the NIHR DC’s external advisory group  
  • Occasional tasks such as membership of steering groups or commenting on reports or other products    

All payments offered for involvement in the work of the centre are honorarium payments. They recognise the contribution that you as a patient, carer or member of the public make to our work. The payments are not based on an hourly rate for the tasks concerned and do not mean that you have a contract of employment with NIHR DC.  

2. Who is eligible for payment?  

Honorarium payments are only made to people who contribute to the work of the Dissemination Centre from a patient, carer or service user perspective.

If you do not receive a full time public sector salary you will always be eligible to receive these honorarium payments. If you do work full time in the public sector, you would still entitled to these honorarium payments provided that:

Your paid employment is totally unrelated to the activity being asked of you by NIHR DC


You intend to undertake the task for NIHR DC in your free time, such as through taking annual leave or outside your normal working hours  

If you are unable to fulfill these two points you must let the Dissemination Centre staff know. 

3. Arrangements for payment  


Payments to raters are made quarterly. At the end of each quarter (June, September, December and March) we will e mail you with a claim form which we will ask you to complete and return, confirming the number of rating tasks you have done in that quarter and your bank details.

Advisory group

After each advisory group meeting you will be asked to complete a claim form for your travel expenses and the honorarium payment for the meeting attendance.

Other tasks

Following completion of your task or contribution, we will e mail you with a claim form which you must complete and return, confirming the task(s) you have undertaken and your bank details.  

For all tasks and contributions to the work of the centre, payments will take up to four weeks to be made by our finance department.  

You are not obliged to accept any honorarium payment that is offered to you. If you prefer not to receive it, please just tell a member of the NIHR DC staff team. You may choose to have the honorarium payment made to a charity or organisation of your choice. Again, let the NIHR DC staff know.  

4. Tax and National Insurance  

If you do accept honorarium payments, these become part of your overall income and you are personally responsible for any income tax or National Insurance contribution liability. You will normally be reminded of this each time we ask you complete a claim form. The NIHR DC will never deduct tax or NI contributions from your honorarium payments.  

5. Public contributors who receive benefits  

If you are receiving any welfare benefits, there may be implications for you if you accept any honorarium payments from NIHR DC. Tell the NIHR DC staff if you are in this position and they will advise you. 

6. Rates of payment  

All the rates shown below are based on rates agreed by the Department of Health in 2009. The rates will be subject to review from time to time. You will always be offered and receive the up to date rate. The categories of payment within NIHR DC are:

 Involvement in rating

RateType of Review
£5.00 For rating one abstract

 Involvement in the DC Advisory Group

RateType of Review
£150.00                                             The usual rate for attending a board, panel or other formally constituted meeting (e.g. Advisory Group). This includes preparation and attendance for one day. 

 Involvement in other tasks

RateType of Review
£25.00                                                         For small pieces of activity which require little preparation, e.g. short teleconferences, reviewing short documents for DC which equate to approximately 1 hours’ activity.
£50.00 For slightly larger pieces of activity which require some preparation, e.g. teleconferences, reviewing documents for DC which equate to approximately 2 hours’ activity.
£75.00 For a meeting or teleconference which involves preparation and equates to approximately half a day’s activity
£150.00 For all-day meetings that do not have a formal constitution or terms of reference (e.g. training and development activities, focus groups, workshops), including any necessary preparation.

 7.  Travel

If you attend a meeting in person for the NIHR DC, all your travel costs for the trip will be covered. This is in addition to the honorarium payment for attending the meeting. NIHR DC staff will offer you the option to have your train tickets booked in advance and paid for NIHR DC. The tickets are then sent to you by post. If you have a network rail card, a disabled person’s railcard or a senior citizen’s railcard, please let the NIHR DC staff know, as the discount can be applied to your ticket. If you choose to book your own train tickets, you may use your discretion to get the best value for money, e.g. booking non-refundable fares or taking first class ticket options when these cost no more than the standard fare. Keep your receipts for train tickets you book yourself as these must be attached to your expenses claim form.

If you choose to drive to a meeting, you may claim reimbursement at the rate of 45 pence per mile plus any parking charges you incur. You will be asked to declare the mileage on your expenses claim form and to attach parking ticket receipts. 

You may use taxis if no alternative public transport is available or if due to your disability or ill-health public transport would not be feasible. Claims for taxi or bus fares must be backed up with receipts.

8. Accommodation

If you need overnight accommodation before a meeting the NIHR DC staff will book this for you. Accommodation before a meeting will provided if you would otherwise have to make an unreasonably early start. You will normally be booked into hotels convenient for the meeting on a bed-and-breakfast basis. You may then claim for an evening meal in accordance with the expenses rates listed on the expenses claim form.

 9.  Subsistence


All ratings tasks are carried out on your own computer in your own time so no subsistence allowance is paid.

Advisory group

Refreshments and lunch are provided for these all-day meetings. If you need additional refreshments such as on a train journey home, you may claim for costs incurred according to the expenses rates listed on the expenses claim form.

Other tasks

Tasks such as reviewing documents and participating in teleconferences will be done at your home so no subsistence is payable.

10.  Other costs

a) Printing


All rating tasks are done on line and no printing is required.

Advisory Group

If you require hard copies of documents related to the work of the group, DC staff will arrange to post these to you. If you need to print documents at home, you must first agree this with NIHR DC staff and you may then claim for printing at the rate of 5 pence per A4 sheet. 

NIHR DC staff will call you or offer to call you back if you contact them so that you do not incur phone charges. If we ask you to join a teleconference we will always provide you with a BT dial-in number which will be free to you providing that you call from a landline, not a mobile phone.

If you need to post items to us, you may reclaim this cost on your next expenses claim. If in order to attend a meeting for NIHR DC, you need to be accompanied by a paid or unpaid carer, a personal assistant or a support worker the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of this person will be met by NIHR DC. Please discuss your needs with DC staff in advance.

If in order to attend a meeting for NIHR DC you need to obtain carer cover for a person you normally care for, over and above the hours that you usually pay for, you may claim a reasonable hourly rate for the time that you need the additional cover. This includes care for children. Please discuss your needs with NIHR DC staff in advance.

b) Training and development

If you attend a training or development activity such as attending a course or conference, an honorarium payment will be made as follows:

If we ask you attend an event because it is essential for your role as a public contributor, we will pay for the fees of the event and your travel costs and subsistence and pay you a daily honorarium payment of £150.

If we agree that you may attend other, non-essential, events we will just pay for the fees of the event and your travel costs.

National Institute for Health Research, Room 132, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS

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