Honoraria Policy

When an Honorarium Payment is Usually Made

An honorarium is usually paid to a lecturer or speaker when the speaking engagement is not extensive or the lecturer does not ask for compensation. Under these circumstances the project director may offer to pay expenses plus an honorarium or just an honorarium.

When an Honorarium Payment Cannot Be Made

A person cannot have both an employment relationship and an independent contractor relationship with the same organization. For this reason, a SUNY-paid employee who gives a SUNY-sponsored lecture would be compensated through SUNY's extra-service payroll process. Likewise, a Research Foundation employee who gives a Foundation-sponsored lecture would be compensated through the Foundation's payroll process.

Research Foundation Policy

The following table describes the rules that apply to honorarium payments made by the Research Foundation:

If the service provider is a . . .

Then . . .

SUNY academic or professional employee

the honorarium payment must comply with SUNY policy (see next section).

non-SUNY service provider

there are no restrictions on the honorarium payment.

Research Foundation employee

an honorarium cannot be paid.

SUNY Policy

SUNY employees who are receiving an honorarium from The Research Foundation should review and comply with the SUNY policy - Honoraria and Travel Reimbursement by University Employees.

How to Process Payments of Honoraria

An honorarium payment to a SUNY academic or professional employee or a non-SUNY service provider is processed as a miscellaneous income payment. Refer to "Overview of Miscellaneous Income Payments" for more information.


Refer to "Engaging Independent Contractors" for information on classifying and hiring lecturers.

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