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Purchasing Policy and Procedure

Due to changes in Northwestern University’s expense reimbursement policy, students will not be reimbursed for any purchases made with personal funds. The university is no longer authorizing and processing student reimbursements because of the financial burden this practice places on students and has mandated that departments be responsible for all student costs up-front. All course materials and costs must be processed through the Farley Center.

I. General Purchases Policy

The following costs/purchases will be covered by Farley when submitted by following the attached Farley purchasing procedure:

  1. Prototyping materials
  2. NU Rapid Prototype Lab costs
  3. Market research costs
  4. Software or cloud-based services

A general purchasing policy and procedure overview can also be viewed in this video.

II. Non-Authorized Purchases Policy

The following costs/purchases will not be covered by Farley, and are the responsibility of students and their teams:

  1. Travel costs to and from classes/team meetings
  2. Food costs for team meetings
  3. Incorporation fees/costs

III. Special Purchases Policy

All special purchases require faculty pre-approval in email. Any special purchase submitted without written pre-approval will not be processed until approval is received. The following constitute special purchases:

  1. Seminars/workshop fees/competitions
  2. Travel costs to and from events/seminars
  3. Consulting services (see below)
  4. Provisional patent filing fee*
  5. All purchases over $500

* A release from Northwestern’s tech transfer office (INVO) must be obtained prior to the filing of any provisional patent

IV. Outsourcing/Consulting Policy and Procedure

In order to ensure client confidentiality and student ownership, students must submit a finalized professional services agreement between the consultant and the student team that has been reviewed and approved by the adviser prior to the commencement of any consulting work performed. Consulting services include but are not limited to:

The procedure for teams obtaining a contractor is as follows:

  1. Teams must meet with advisor/faculty (NOT TA) about their need for a contractor
  2. Obtain Advisor/faculty preliminary approval to source bids for a set amount of dollars.
  3. Teams find a contractor/a contractor wins the bid
  4. Teams must complete the Sole Source Justification (SSJ) form and provide all necessary materials with completed SSJ to their advisor/faculty
  5. Have the Advisor/faculty review the SSJ and supporting documents (i.e. quote, contractor info, etc.)
  6. If the advisor/faculty approve, they must sign the SSJ
  7. Team designated purchaser needs to submit a purchase request to the Center through the online ordering form and attach all mandated documents

Additional qualifiers --

1. Preferred contractors are:
2. Individual student contractors MUST have the following:
3. Professional contractors from the following geographic regions ONLY can be contracted with:

Due to the university-wide restriction of approvals for contractor services/new contractors, this process must be completed before the contractor begins work; teams who do not follow this process and obtain appropriate paperwork will not receive approval for contractor payment.

V. IP Policy

Students must partner with their class instructor to determine whether they are developing intellectual property:

  1. Any student developing technology or software must meet with their class adviser to ascertain if they should initiate the Student Petition To Release IP process through INVO.
  2. Funded graduate students with assigned PIs must have their PI adviser sign the NUvention Student-Adviser Acknowledgement form.
  3. Any student using NU technology to develop IP must complete the NUvention Use of NU Technology form and follow its process.

I. Purchase Submission Procedure

All purchases require the following steps be observed, (plus any additional necessary steps as outlined in sections III & IV):

  1. Login with your NetID/NU email and password to complete the online ordering form here: NUvention Course Item Ordering Form
  2. An email to your TA or faculty adviser containing the following:

II. Post-Submission Procedure

  1. Following order submission, the team requestor will receive emailed confirmation from the Farley Center Program Assistant within 24 hours and follow-up information will be requested as necessary.
  2. Some items will be sent directly to you; others must be processed through the University’s mail system, and will be available for pick-up in the Farley Suite.

III. General Purchasing Procedures

All class purchasing will be coordinated through the Farley Center; all purchases will be applied to individual team budgets.

  1. Teams must designate one student as requester: the requester will be responsible for submitting all purchase requests.
  2. Each purchase must be discussed with the course faculty adviser prior to submission.
  3. Falsification of adviser approval for special purchases will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including academic integrity investigations.
  4. Expedited shipping, if necessary, must be noted on the online form, and will be charged to the team’s budget.
  5. Packages held in the Farley suite must be picked up Monday – Friday between 9am - 5pm.
  6. The requester must schedule a pickup time with the Farley Center Program Assistant for all items held in the Farley Suite.
  7. Teams must track their purchases in order to maintain their budget; when a team’s budget reaches 75% spent, they must notify their advisor and CC the Farley Center Program Assistant.
  8. This process applies to all purchases, including NU Prototyping Lab purchases, event admission tickets, etc.
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