The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Local Business Center, Division of the Physical Sciences


The GEMS program is the University's general expense management system used to reimburse benefits eligible University employees for their business expenses. This web-based expense management system works hand-in-hand with the University's optional GEMS credit card.

Reimbursements processed through this system are distributed via the payroll system. Therefore, any money owed to users will appear in their next paycheck according to the bi-weekly schedule. Employees on bi-weekly pay schedule will not see a separate check. Monthly employees will receive a separate pay advice for one or both of the bi-weekly pay periods.
Note: GEMS reimbursements will not be treated as taxable income. However, because of IRA regulations, GEMS card purchases not attached to a GEMS report and submitted after 120 days can be reported as personal income. There are some exceptions, but GEMS card transactions are best reconciled within 30 days.

The recipient of the reimbursement (or his/her delegate) must prepare the expense report in GEMS, attach the appropriate documentation, and forward it to the financial administrator. If a delegate handles the preparation, the recipient will still need to approve the expense report prior its submission to the financial administrator.

New users are encouraged to review the online training materials and to consult the GEMS Resources Page. People who will use the system extensively should also consider attending one of the classroom training sessions offered.

Benefits ineligble employees, fellows, students, and visitors in the Physical Sciences Division should not use GEMS. Instead, ePayment requests should be used for travel and non-travel reimbursements.


All reimbursements are paid in US dollars $USD by default. Any foreign currency amounts must be converted into $USD on the reimbursement forms. When converting currencies, a copy of the conversion method used should be attached to the reimbursement. is a popular and easy to use choice for currency conversions. The currency conversion should be based on the exchange rate at the time of the transaction or the end of the travel period (not the time of reimbursement). GEMS card transactions are automatically converted to $USD (foreign transactions are subject to a 1% fee).


You need a CNET ID and password in order to access GEMS.


A GEMS credit card can be issued to authorized faculty and staff to facilitate easier payment of frequent and/or time sensitive expenses. These cards can be designated for travel or procurement uses (or both) for University business. The GEMS card should not be used for personal expenses. Those who wish to apply for a card should consult with Michael Grosse or Henry Way before completing the application materials.

All GEMS card expenses incurred should be reconciled (submitted for approval and paid from the proper accounts) within 30-days after the purchase. The card holder will receive 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day notifications. Should GEMS card expenses remain unreconciled after the 90-day notice, the outstanding card balance can be deducted from the card holder's paycheck.

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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