Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Basic Science Administration
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New Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards

The Federal Government has issued new purchasing guidelines when using federal grant awards, called Uniform Guidance.

The primary goals of these procurement standards are to:
  • Increase reuse of existing equipment and supplies
  • Increase competition when purchasing equipment and supplies
  • Minimize sole sources

Key Policy Updates

  • Any purchase on a federal grant of $10,000 or more requires multiple bids (quotes).
    • This includes lab supplies, approved equipment or computers, lab services, consulting, etc.
    • If the purchase is made from a NU Preferred Vendor, multiple bids are NOT required.
  • If a purchase can only legitimately be procured from a single vendor, we can submit a sole source justification that will be evaluated through the workflow approval process.
  • Bids for purchases over $250,000 using sponsored funds will be formally conducted by Northwestern’s Procurement and Payment Services department.
  • The threshold for purchases that require ASRSP approval has been increased from $2,500 to $5,000; expenses lower than $5,000 that are not subcontracts, consulting, or travel will no longer require ASRSP approval in workflow.
    • Justifications for non-capital equipment or computers not included in the grant proposal still require prior approval before submission.
  • Purchases on non-grant accounts of $25,000 or more still require multiple bids, or a sole source justification when only a single vendor can provide the item(s).

Additional Resources

Visit Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards for detailed information about these new purchasing procedures.

For additional resources, visit Accounting Services for Research and Sponsored Program (ASRSP) – Uniform Guidance.


Contact the BSA Team

If you have any general questions about Uniform Guidance or need to discuss justifying certain expenses on your grants, please contact your research administrator in BSA. If you have questions about Uniform Guidance standards, when to use multiple bids or how to request a sole source justification, please contact BSA’s Procurement Team

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