Purchasing Procedures

All purchases must be made by the department staff. Students, faculty, and researchers may request a purchase through iBuyNU or the purchase order form and are not authorized to order directly from vendors. If you are placing an unusual order on a sponsored account, that needs additional justification, please use this justification form.

Catalog Orders

  • Graduate students, faculty, and staff will be given access to iBuyNU, Northwestern's online shopping catalog, should they need to purchase items for research or academic use. Items purchased on iBuyNU are referred to as catalog requisitions.
  • See the FFRA training website to access the "Purchasing > Shopping iBuyNU" training materials to learn how to use the online catalog.
  • Shoppers will assign iBuyNU carts to their lab’s designated administrator.
  • Enter the chartstring to be used as a comment on the cart.

Non-Catalog Orders

  • Purchases from a company whose catalog is not in iBuyNU are referred to as non-catalog requisitions.
  • Shoppers must submit these orders using the department purchase order form. Required information includes:
    • Company name
    • Company address
    • Company phone number
    • Company fax number
    • Name of the person requesting the order
    • Date
  • Add exact product description and pricing and then contact your advisor or PI to get the correct chartstring. Send the form to or your designated administrator so he or she can place the order in NUFinancials.

Split Orders

  • If you are charging items on more than one chartstring, you or your supervisor are required to submit a justification along with the order.

Receiving Your Order

  • When your order arrives, sign the package out on the package log in E310.
  • Review the packing slip to make sure all items have been delivered.
  • Sign and date the packing slip indicating that the ordered items have been received.
  • Submit the packing slip to your lab’s designated administrator.