The ability to purchase items is essential for the conduct of your research. You may purchase research/laboratory supplies and equipment from both on-campus and off-campus sources via the UCSB Gateway System.

Account Information

It will be important for you to know information regarding your research project's funding before you place orders. You will be assigned account codes specific to the project (grant, contract, etc.) on which you are working. Please do not share these codes with other people.

The UCSB Procurement Gateway System will indicate the projects on which you have been authorized to make purchases. Please allow at least 24 hours for processing of routine purchase order requests.

 Note: All expenditures over $500 must be approved by the principal investigator or other personnel with delegated authority on your research project.

 Purchasing Gateway

Purchasing research supplies and equipment.


Procurement Gateway

Gateway is the online purchasing system required by the campus. This system allows online purchasing of necessary research supplies and equipment. Vendors whose catalogs are hosted through the Gateway system include UCSB contract pricing and product descriptions. Additionally, Gateway centralizes all of the Purchase Order (PO) paperwork online. Please allow at least 24 hours for processing of routine purchase order requests.

Compatible Web Browsers.

 Firefox  Chrome

Equipment Orders

All equipment orders are processed through the UCSB Procurement Gateway system. In addition to the information requested in that online system, the following forms may be required:

  • Vendor Quote (required)
  • Source Selection and Price Reasonableness

Please Remember to Note

  1. Hazardous materials, Lasers (all classes), Radio Frequency and Microwave Equipment, X-Ray Machines, Cabinet Radiography, Electron Microscopes, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.
  2. Special delivery instructions, such as freight shipment.

Please allow 48 hours for processing time in the CNSI Purchasing Office.

Definition of Equipment and Add-On Equipment

Non-expendable, tangible, personal property which has an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, is freestanding, is complete in itself, does not lose its identify when affixed to or installed in other property and has a normal life expectancy of one year or more.

Add-on to Equipment

Component parts with a cost of $5,000 or greater which permanently increase the value or useful life of a specific (as identified by the property number) University-owned inventorial equipment shall be added to the value of that unit of equipment. For example, an upgrade to current equipment making it better or faster utilizing a component part (usually internal) that costs at least $5,000 that is not an expendable supply would be considered an equipment add-on.

Office & Research Supplies

Office/administrative supplies may not be purchased on research contracts and grants. In other words, you will need our assistance to purchase office supplies. Please discuss any special needs with the CNSI Assistant Director. The following list includes some commonly used items that are considered office/administrative supplies and may not be charged to any federal contract or grant:

 Note: No office / administrative supplies are allowed on federal contracts or grants and all purchases or recharges over $500 must be authorized in writing by the principal investigator on your research project.

Office Supplies

Paper, pens, transparent tape, printer supplies, pencils, rulers, calendars, staplers & staples.

Research Supplies

Items that may be purchased in storerooms on grants: Computer disks for data storage, bound lab notebooks, specialty labels for sample labeling, specialty tapes for lab setups (masking, double sided, duct tape).

Cash Reimbursements

All purchases should be processed using a purchase order issued via the UCSB Gateway System.

In compliance with UC Policy BFB-BUS-43 Purchases of Goods and Services; Supply Chain Management, UCSB strongly discourages reimbursement of purchases made outside of the Gateway system. Specifically, BFB-BUS-43, Section H states, "An individual who has not been delegated purchasing authority who makes an unauthorized purchase of goods or services shall be responsible for payment of the charges incurred." As a result, reimbursements for expenditures (purchases of goods and services) made outside of the Gateway System are processed on an exceptional basis.

Typically, you will not be reimbursed for expenditures not pre-authorized by the CNSI Financial Manager or Assistant Director. Exceptions to this policy may be granted if you have extenuating circumstances such as a research emergency that requires you to purchase items for a repair outside normal business hours.

Please contact the CNSI Purchasing Coordinator (purchase@cnsi.ucsb.edu) to discuss your situation. The Purchasing Coordinator will request exceptional approval as appropriate. If a reimbursement request is approved, you will be sent the cash reimbursement form at the time of the approval. A completed cash reimbursement form accompanied with original receipts must be sent to the Purchasing Coordinator for processing.

 Note: No office/administrative supplies are allowed on research contracts or grants plus all purchases or recharges over $500 must be approved by the principal investigator or other personnel with delegated authority on your research project.