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Ordering and Purchasing


Table of Contents

What Budget/Cost Center to Charge

On-Campus Purchasing (catalog)

Purchase (non-catalog, aka ProCard) or Payment Request

M&E Tax Exemption

Orders above the direct buy limit

Purchase Reimbursements

Travel Reimbursements

What Budget/Cost Center to Charge

Any type of purchase or reimbursement will require a budget number/cost center to process. Consult the chart below for the person to contact.

  • Faculty advisers will assign research budget numbers to graduate students and undergraduate advisees working in their labs under their direction and may submit a purchase request under the faculty’s delegated authority.
  • Students who have submitted an AMP Project Agreement Form or an SRP Agreement Form should consult with their faculty adviser about obtaining a budget number to purchase materials and supplies needed to support their research projects.
  • Teaching assistants, working with the faculty and the technician in charge of each lab, will obtain supplies for use in specific courses. They may submit under the MSE Department’s delegated authority. These orders will be approved by MSE Staff and the administrator.

Certain PI/faculty advisers require preapproval if the purchase is above a certain dollar threshold. If your PI/faculty adviser requires it, obtain via email and attach to an Ariba order:

Group/Lab Faculty/Approver Preapproved Limit
MSE Department TBD No Limit
Arola Dwayne Arola No Limit
Barnard Arthur Barnard TBA
Brush Lucien Brush No Limit
Cao, Guozhong Guozhong Cao No Limit
Cao, Ting Ting Cao No Limit
De Yoreo James De Yoreo No Limit
Flinn Brian Flinn No Limit
Hinds Bruce Hinds No Limit
Huang Luna Huang No Limit
Idrobo Juan Carlos Idrobo No Limit
Jen Alex Jen TBA
Krishnan Kannan Krishnan TBA
Liu Jun Liu No Limit
Luscombe Christine Luscombe No Limit
MacKenzie Devin MacKenzie No Limit
Pauzauskie Peter Pauzauskie All Amounts
Roumeli Eleftheria Roumeli No Limit
Sarikaya Mehmet Sarikaya TBA
Subban Chinmayee Subban No Limit
Xiao, Di Di Xiao No Limit
Xu, Xiaodong Xiaodong Xu No Limit
Yang, Jihui Jihui Yang No Limit
Yankowitz Matthew Yankowitz No Limit
Zhang, Miqin Miqin Zhang Items over $300
Zhang, Shuai Shuai Zhang Up to $500
Zobeiry Navid Zobeiry Up to $100

On-Campus purchasing

As of June 1, 2023, Ariba purchasing is no longer available. The UW is transitioning to a purchasing catalog in Workday.

At this time, Workday does not currently allow requesters to view UW supplier catalogs. We are working to find a solution. In the meantime, the fiscal team will help determine if your order will be processed via Workday or ProCard. Please understand that UW pricing could be slightly different than the price posted on a supplier’s website.

Please use the Purchase/Payment Request webform and staff will purchase on your behalf.

Purchase/Payment Request

Use this form for all purchases, including M&E Tax Exempt orders and invoice payments.

Purchasing Physical Goods

Submit all purchases through the Purchase/Payment Request webform. It will route for approvals before the order is placed.

Paying for Services

If you need to hire an independent contractor or consultant to provide services, use the Purchase/Payment Request webform and process below to submit an invoice for payment. It is illegal for you to pay for services and request reimbursement.


  1. Purchaser (a delegated authority/authorized personnel) submits their request through the purchase/payment form. You will receive an automated message with a submission #.
    • Make sure you enter the delivery address and contact in the appropriate field. If you choose to have the package delivered to 302 Roberts Hall, use your name as the contact so that the MSE Staff knows to contact you that the package has arrived.
  2. It routes to the "Approver's Email."
    • If the purchaser is a researcher/grad student, then they should enter the email address for their PI/faculty. It routes to the PI/faculty who replies with their approval and forwards the email with approval to
    • If the purchaser is the PI/faculty, enter the administrator's email address. The administrator will approve as the second layer of required approvals for purchases. The administrator will send to for staff to place the order.
  3. For payments: MSE Staff pays the invoice and updates the submitter.
  4. For purchases: MSE Staff places the order.
    1. Staff emails the purchaser that it has been ordered and reminds them of the  packing slip process.
    2. Purchaser receives the item, whether at the main office or the lab. If it comes to the main office, staff will email the purchaser that it has arrived.
    3. Per Washington State law, every order must be accompanied by a detailed/itemized receipt and proof of delivery (packing slip). Please submit packing slips within 10 business days of package delivery:
      • If the Purchaser/PI picks up the item from the main office, they need to sign/date the packing slip and leave it in the packing slip box.
      • If the package is sent to a lab, the receiver signs/dates the packing slip and drops the hard copy off in the main office.
        • For Procard purchases, title with the submission #. See the first step in the process for how to identify that submission #.

Submit a purchase/payment request

M&E Tax Exemption

If you have a purchase that you believes qualifies for M&E Tax Exemption, please complete the Purchase/Payment Request form and check “yes” for the tax exemption question. MSE staff will work with you on the determination and process. For more information on process and what equipment qualifies, visit the UW’s exemption pages.

Orders above the direct buy limit

All orders over $10,000 go to bid unless there is a justification for a specific vendor. Please work directly with MSE Staff, either your grants manager or submit the purchase request form above. Also note that you cannot sign any contracts. However, you may submit a contract through the purchase request form above and MSE Staff will handle it.

Purchase Reimbursements

The last resort is to purchase and be reimbursed through the Purchase Reimbursement webform. Note that this applies only to the purchase of physical goods. The UW cannot reimburse UW employees and students who paid independent contractors/consultants for services. Instead use the Purchase/Payment Request form above and MSE Staff will pay on your behalf.

Purchase Reimbursement Process for non-faculty:

  1. Certain PIs require preapproval for purchase reimbursements over a set amount. Consult the chart and obtain email approval if necessary.
  2. Purchaser submits purchase reimbursement request with receipts and packing slips (and preapproval if required for your group) within 10 business days after receiving their purchase.
  3. MSE Staff enters reimbursement into Workday and attaches the documents.
  4. GM receives an email from Workday and approves the transaction in Workday.
  5. PI receives an email from Workday and approves the transaction for funding in Workday
  6. Purchaser approves in Workday.
    • The purchaser should not approve in Workday if they suspect this is a duplicate or they received reimbursement through another source. If you suspect MSE has already reimbursed you and you receive a notice from Workday to approve a duplicate reimbursement, you should deny the reimbursement in Workday with a note that this may be a duplicate.
  7. Purchaser receives the reimbursement.

For reimbursements to faculty, the process starts at step two. In step five, administrator replaces the PI as funding approver. In step six the faculty member is the Purchaser and approves the reimbursement.

Submit a purchase reimbursement request

Travel Reimbursement

Please read our Travel Policy prior to booking or reimbursing travel.

Submit your receipts and preapproval through the Travel Reimbursement webform.

Travel Reimbursement Process for non-faculty:

  1. Traveler emails PI for preapproval. Please use our travel preapproval template when emailing your PI for preapproval to travel.
  2. PI approves via email.
  3. Traveler purchases travel.
  4. Traveler submits reimbursement request online with preapproval email and receipts attached within 30 days of trip completion.
  5. MSE Staff enters reimbursement into Ariba and attaches the receipts and PI’s preapproval.
  6. GM/Staff receives an email from Ariba. They click on the “open” link in the email to enter Ariba. They approve in Ariba.
  7. PI/Administrator (for MSE department budgets)receives an email from Ariba to approve for funding. They click on the “open” link in the email to enter Ariba. They approve in Ariba.
  8. Traveler approves in Ariba. 
    1. The traveler should not approve in Ariba if they suspect this is a duplicate or they received reimbursement through another source. If you suspect MSE has already reimbursed you and you receive a notice from Ariba to approve a duplicate reimbursement, you should deny the reimbursement in Ariba with a note that this may be a duplicate.
  9. Traveler receives the reimbursement.

For faculty, the sole difference is that they disregard steps one and two and attach the chair's preapproval for travel if they have it in step three. If faculty cannot locate a copy, staff will add one, though it is appreciated when faculty can attach their copy! In step seven, the Administrator approves for funding. In step eight, the faculty approves as the traveler their reimbursement.

Submit a travel reimbursement request