You have worked hard, written that grant, and been funded.
The chemistry purchasing staff are anxious to help you spend your money so let's get started by answering the following FAQs.
STUDENTS must work with their faculty mentor to place orders
• Can you just go out and start spending?
No, the university has specific rules which govern what can be bought, by whom and how purchases can be made. Here are a few general guidelines: Equipment and supplies costing less than $3000 can be ordered at the department level. Goods costing $3000 or more are ordered by purchasing and require a competitive bid process unless it is an item from a sole source; the chemistry department also has a vetting procedure in place for replacement of existing or purchase of new equipment (be sure to allow enough time for this process to take place!). Ask Ian or Jeff for more details.
• Who does the ordering?
Work with the appropriate chemistry staff to procure your items. Ian orders research scientific equipment and supplies. Tony orders instructional scientific equipment and supplies. Brian will work with you for all computer-related purchases. Jeff places orders for all instrumentation. Lisa orders non-scientific items including books and subscriptions, and also processes salary/hiring paperwork, travel and professional dues. If the staff member listed is out of the office, please refer to the staff “Who to Call” list and request assistance from the backup.
• What do you want to order?
You need to know what you want – the staff can help you find it, but you must be clear on what you need. If you are working with grant money, it’s up to you to verify that your expenditure is acceptable under the conditions of the grant. If faculty have any questions concerning grants, contact Heather Harrell at x1988. Plan ahead and do your homework - ask questions before you order. Returns are expensive - you must pay shipping for returned items and vendors often charge restocking fees. If you have questions, see us before you get ready to order and we will help you figure out the most expedient way to get what you want.
• How do you find prices?
A list of links to our most commonly used scientific vendors is included below. You can look on vendor web sites or use department catalogs. Ask the staff for guidance if you are unsure.
• How do you place an order?
Items ordered by Lisa should be requested via e-mail with all details including the budget number to be charged. For all other orders, follow this link to a blank order form – staff will ONLY take orders in writing! One requisition per vendor, please. The McNair Program has their own requisition form called the “mentor purchasing request”, found on their website (http://www.cwu.edu/mcnair-scholars/forms). It must be approved by that program prior to being submitted to Ian.
• How do you fill out the requisition?
Fill out as follows:
1) Requestor - your name
2) Charge to – fill in the budget/grant number. Chemistry staff will not process your request without a budget number (names don’t work)!
3) Quantity - the amount that you want to order
4) Unit - ea, pk, cs, bx, etc.
5) Part # - vendor part #
Depending on the vendor, there is often a vendor part # and then the manufacturer part #, ex., for a beaker from VWR, there is the VWR # 13912-502 and the Corning #1003-150 for the same item. If you are using the VWR catalog, you must use the VWR part #. Make sure your part #s are correct and that they match the description.
6) Description - just the basic description, ex., 150 ml beaker but IF you are ordering chemicals you must put the size here, ex., 100g or 4L
7) Unit Price - put the catalog (or Internet) price - make a note on the requisition indicating where you got the price. The purchasing staff member will get an official quote reflecting our discounted prices from the vendor. Make sure that the unit and price match, for instance if you want to order a case make sure you have the case price.
8) Vendor – the name is sufficient, unless it is an obscure vendor in which case, we will let you know if we need more info.
9) Rush - note the date needed and we'll do our best!
10) Total - Sales tax will be calculated. If we are ordering from an out of state vendor, we pay Washington state use tax (instead of sales tax) which is 8% for Ellensburg. There will also be shipping costs incurred for orders other than VWR, Fisher and Sigma-Aldrich. Hazardous chemicals often have expensive over pack charges, no matter the vendor.
• Do your purchases need to be approved by anyone?
Faculty have primary signatory authority on their own grants and have responsibility for making sure that funds are available and spent appropriately. Faculty also typically give signatory authority to Jeff, Ian, Lisa and Tony so that they can place faculty grant orders.
1. Orders in excess of $2,000 currently need approval up to the Vice President due to state mandate (chair, Dean, Provost), so allow ample time.
2. McNair Program funded purchases – once the McNair purchasing request form has been completed, it must be signed by someone in the McNair Office before Ian can place an order. Don’t ask without the signature, there are no exceptions.
3. STEP Program funded purchases – must be approved by that program prior to purchase.
4. If you want to make purchases with department funds, you need to get the chair's approval prior to placing the order. A couple of examples of when you might want to order with department funds are: 1) you are developing a new curricular lab experiment and need to order supplies or equipment, or 2) you want to make a purchase from the department portion of indirect funds.
• When will you get your order?
- Orders that are less than $2000 can typically be ordered on our Purchasing Card and will usually be here within a week. The staff member will e-mail confirmation that the order was placed, including anticipated arrival date and the projected total including taxes and shipping.
- Items that fall under the state purchasing restriction (in excess of $2,000) or that are $3000 or more and must be put out to bid will take at least a month. Some items are considered 'sole source' and do not need to be put out bid. Please contact Ian for more details.
• How will you get your order?
Orders other than those placed by Lisa will be received in the Chem Receiving area, Science 315. Ian will check orders in (verify that all items were shipped, that nothing is broken, etc.), log chemicals and equipment into the appropriate departmental database, and deliver the items to the space that you have designated in your research area. An e-mail will also be sent to confirm delivery. You are responsible for verifying in a timely manner that all equipment works. Warranties on equipment normally begin when the equipment is received. Tony is the backup for receiving. See Lisa for orders that she places.
• How do you keep track of your orders and expenses?
The responsibility for managing grant expenditures rests with the grantee. Assistance is provided as follows:
1. Contact the person responsible for reconciling the grant - this could be the secretary in COTS, the fiscal tech in the grad office, Linda Shepard (all external grant awards) or Lisa (for department and startup funds). Lisa can tell you who to contact if you aren’t sure.
2. Lisa will provide you a copy of a budget report for each project that she reconciles.
3. Information needed to track Goods and Services expenses will be provided to the person reconciling the grant using the following procedure:
a. The PI should place orders with the appropriate staff member.
b. The staff will assign a unique chemistry order # to the requisition, will place the order and correct the expenses on the requisition to reflect the actual rather than the estimated prices (if needed). Shipping and taxes will also be added.
c. A copy of the requisition will be put in the box or e-mailed to the person reconciling the grant to indicate that the order has been placed and to provide a more accurate estimate of the expense. The staff member placing the order will also email the requestor with the requisition total and anticipated arrival date when an order is placed.
d. As invoices on the order are received, the staff will tag the invoice with the appropriate chemistry order # and put a copy in the box or send by e-mail to the person reconciling the grant. This invoice amount is the expense that will show up on the Monthly Project Report for reconciliation.
• How do you track your budget?
Review the charges on the budget reports that Lisa or Linda provide for you. If you find discrepancies, let the appropriate staffer know and he/she will help you figure out where the error is and who to contact.
• What provisions are available for purchases from local vendors?
Discuss this with Lisa PRIOR to purchase to determine the best method allowable by the university and the funding source.
• What to do for room/building modifications?
The campus has extensive services & support available through Facilities Management (FM) located in the Jongeward building. To get an estimate for minor renovation an IPR (Improvement Project Request) must be filled out and submitted to FM work control. See Ian or Jeff for assistance.
• What if you need something built or fabricated?
The instrument technicians cans work with you to meet your needs. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your requirements. See Jeff or Emil for further assistance.
• Can you buy things with your own money and get reimbursed?
If at all possible, discuss this with Lisa PRIOR to purchase. An attempt to get reimbursement 'after the fact' can be made but this requires excessive paperwork including a statement and signature from the Dean about why proper purchasing procedure was not followed. This situation should be avoided if at all possible.
• Who do you contact if you still have questions?
Lisa is the Budget Coordinator for Chemistry and should be contacted for any purchasing-related issues not addressed in this document.
Top of Page
The links in the table below will take you to vendors most often used by Chemistry.
The web accounts are set up for pricing and availability only, ordering is not possible
on these accounts. However, they will be valuable tools for helping faculty to find the best prices on items before sending orders to Ian.
|Vendor||Website (no checkout)||Username||Password||Benefits|
|Fisher||www.fishersci.com||cwuchemdept||chemistry1||NAOSMM & univ discount|