The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Local Business Center, Division of the Physical Sciences


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Can Buysite be set up so that the PI can see purchases as they happen or on a regular basis?
A. Yes, the requestor should be e-mailed a copy of the purchase order with account info on it.

Q. Do purchases made on BuySite require any subsequent upload of receipts?
A. No, an invoice is sent by the vendor and presented to your financial administrator for signature approval and ultimately for payment processing.

If multiple people will be placing orders, the PI should provide the names of the individuals that will request Buysite orders. This way a "lab" set up can be established so that the PI and his/her administrator can run reports for all purchasing activity by the group.

Q. Do purchases paid with a DPV directly to the vendor have a lower or upper limit?
A. Due to the purpose of DPV's there is no absolute dollar limit. However, most purchases should be processed through the Buysite purchasing system and not paid for with a DPV. For a list of expenses that do not require a purchase order see If the payment is to an individual for services rendered, then the independent contractor or sponsored consulting agreement procedures must be followed.

Q. What purchases can be paid through a DPV?
A. DPVs are internal forms used to instruct the University to write a check or otherwise initiate payment. They are used to process payments for reimbursements, honoraria, prizes, subawards, a variety of expenses for which purchase orders are not required, and independent contractors/consultants. For a list of expenses that do not require a purchase order see

DPVs should not be confused with purchase orders. They are payment forms and not order forms. DPV numbers should not be given to vendors a purchase orders. It does not constitute a valid purchase agreement between the University and a third party. Any vendor or service provider that processes an order based on a DPV, and not a valid purchase order or contract, runs the risk of not getting paid.

Q. Does the distinction between services and goods affect overhead rates (IDC)?
A. No, services and goods are subject to the same IDC rate.

Q. Can services be charged as equipment or constructed equipment and is there overhead on them?
A. Any goods and services required for the construction of equipment, and used exclusively for that purpose, can be billed as "constructed equipment" and thus will not be subject to IDC.

Q. What is the price beyond which one needs to obtain competing quotes from different vendors?
A. $4,999

Q. Can the University pay a vendor directly without a purchase order?
A. In order for the University to pay a vendor the for vast majority purchases of goods and services, a valid purchase agreement must be issued. This can take the form of a purchase order, a standing order, a sponsored consulting agreement, or another form of contract. Procurement of services without a purchase order on sponsored award must be established with a sponsored consulting agreement.

George Herbert Jones Laboratory

PSD LBC Main Office

Jones Laboratory: 5555 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Eckhart Hall

PSD LBC Satellite Office

Eckhart Hall: 5734 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Gordon Center for Integrative Science

Chemistry Business Center

Gordon Center for Integrative Science: 929 E 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

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