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An honorarium is 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. If the fee is prescribed by the individual or if it is negotiated, an honorarium situation does not exist, rather a contract for services exists. Further, it is inappropriate to pay honoraria to individuals who make significant instructional contributions to a course, or to pay honoraria over several months, such as to visiting scholars. Honorarium payments are generally not allowable charges to federal funds unless a contract or grant specifically authorizes such payments.

Honoraria Payments to Non-University Personnel

The maximum honoraria rate that can be paid to non-University personnel is $10,000. All honoraria of $10,000 or less require the written approval of a Dean, the University Librarian, or a Vice Provost. For approval of honoraria payments generated within a Research Control Unit, see note at the bottom of this page*. Exceptional honoraria paid to non-University personnel in excess of $10,000 will require advance written approval by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

Honoraria payments to non-University personnel are processed through the BearBuy system with a Payment Request Form. Appropriate documentation (e.g. copy of flyer or announcement of speech, letter of invitation to the recipient, etc), should be scanned and attached to the Payment Request Form in BearBuy. Honoraria should be classified with BFS expense account code 56726.

For further information, please see Section D-371-35 of the Accounting Manual.

Honoraria Payments to UC Faculty from Other UC Campuses

The maximum honoraria rate that can be paid to University of California faculty is $1,500 (with exceptions allowed up to $3,000) per event. All University of California faculty honoraria payments of $3,000 or less require the written approval of a Dean, the University Librarian, and Vice Provost. Exceptional honoraria paid to University of California faculty in excess of $3,000 require written approval from the Office of the President. 

Payment of honoraria to faculty from other UC campuses should be processed on an Intercampus One-Time Payment Form (PDF) (UPAY 644C-T) and be routed through APO. Honoraria payments from LBNL are paid through Central Payroll and a corresponding invoice is created in BFS:AR. See Lawrence Berkeley Lab Honorarium to UCB Faculty instructions. All honoraria paid to University of California faculty must conform to the relevant provisions in the Academic Personnel Manual Sections 660 and 666 (PDF). Note that State funds cannot be used for honoraria paid to University of California faculty.

For further information on honoraria paid to UC faculty, please contact the Academic Personnel Office at 642-5626 or

Non-Academic UC Staff

Non-academic staff members are not eligible to receive either honoraria or any other payments that are not related to the service they are providing as employees.

Honoraria Payments to Foreign Individuals

Honoraria payments to foreign individuals are subject to the same guidelines as citizens and residents of the U.S. In addition, there are other requirements that must be met before a payment can be made.

1. Determine if a GLACIER Tax Record is required

If the foreign individual is not a U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, Refugee or Asylee, they must have a complete GLACIER Tax Record and all GLACIER forms must be signed and submitted to Central Payroll before the payment can be processed. Information regarding GLACIER can be found at GLACIER Tax Compliance System.

2. Determine if the foreign individual has a US Tax ID Number

If the individual does not have a Social Security Number and is not eligible to apply for one, they must apply for an Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN). Please see Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN) for Honorarium Recipients for information on this process.

After reviewing the information above, if you have questions or need further assistance regarding payments to foreign individuals, please contact Arthur Quilao at 642-2836 or

*NOTE: Unit Directors reporting directly to the Vice Chancellor for Research have been delegated authority to approve payments up to $10,000. Payments above $10,000 require written approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research prior to the event.