<h4>Background</h4>Providing compensation for participants in clinical research is well established and while international guidelines exist, defining a context-specific and fair compensation for participants in low-resource settings is challenging due to ethical concerns and the lack of practical, national compensation and reimbursement frameworks.<h4>Methods</h4>We reviewed Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) internal reimbursement documentation over a 10-y period and conducted a scoping literature review to expand our knowledge of compensation and reimbursement practices including ethical concerns. We developed a preliminary reimbursement framework that was presented to community advisory boards (CAB) and clinical investigators to assess its applicability, fairness and transparency.<h4>Results</h4>The main topics discussed at the workshops centered on fairness and whether the reimbursements could be perceived as financial incentives. Other decisive factors in the decision-making process were altruism and the loss of caregivers' earnings. Investigators raised the issue of additional burdens, whereas the CAB members were focused on non-monetary elements such as the healthcare quality the patients would receive. All elements discussed were reviewed and, where possible, incorporated into the final framework.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our new reimbursement framework provides a consistent, fair and transparent decision-making process and will be implemented across all future OUCRU clinical research in Vietnam.
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Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, University of Oxford, Centre for Tropical Medicine, 764, Vo Van Kiet, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.