Information for Principal Investigators

This section details the procurement processes specific to your role as a Principal Investigator. If you have any questions about these topics or cannot find the information you need, please contact us at and let us know how we can help.

Commencement of Spending

Award funds may be spent once your project is live in GUS, our Financial Management system. You will be notified by the Contracts & Grants team when this happens and be given a project code. Please make a note of your project code to reference when working with the Purchasing team- it will help us find the necessary funding information quickly. 

For more information about when you can expect your funds to be made available, please visit the Contracts & Grants - Post Award page by clicking the link to the right and scroll down to the FAQ.
Budgeted Supplies and Equipment

It is important to note that the suppliers you used to generate your budget have not been pre-approved and that budgeted line items are not automatically ordered. You will need to submit requisitions for each item you want to purchase via the campus procurement system, Gateway. For more information about placing orders, please navigate to Purchasing Goods and Services by clicking the link at the top of this page.

If you have an order you believe will require additional approvals, e.g. use of hazardous materials, contract negotiation, competitive bidding, coordination with Design and Construction etc., please contact as soon as possible and we will help you navigate the process.

Delegation of Order Placement and Spending Authority for Research Staff

The Purchasing team at ERI is here to provide support for end users and review purchases for compliance with award regulations and university policy. If you cannot place orders yourself, we ask that you assign purchasing duties to one or more people in your group, such as a lab manager or graduate student researcher. If you would like a staff member to be able to place orders without your review and approval, you may assign a per transaction spending limit, allowing them to automatically approve the orders they place up to a certain amount. Please email the following information to and we will set them up in Gateway to place orders on your behalf. 

Project Code

User's Name

User's Email Address

Per Transaction Spending Limit (choose one): $500, $2500, $10,000, $25,000, $25,000+

Approving Orders Submitted by Research Staff

All orders placed by your team via Gateway will route to you for review and approval. Click on one of the links below for instructions on how to approve orders. You will need to be logged in to Google with your UCNetID to access these documents.

Approving Orders via Email

Approving Orders in Gateway

Partial Tax Exemption for Equipment Used for Research

If you are an individual who is primarily engaged in biotechnology, or physical, engineering, and life sciences research and you are purchasing equipment that will be used at least 50% of the time in service of this work, you may qualify for a partial federal tax exemption. The partial exemption is only used on inventorial equipment purchases over $5k. To qualify, you must meet all three of these conditions:

  • Be engaged in certain types of business, also known as a “qualified person”
  • Purchase “qualified property”
  • Use that qualified property for the uses allowed by this law

For more information, please contact Let us know what you would like to purchase and that you are interested in exploring this opportunity.

High Value Purchases

UCSB requires competitive quotes on all orders in excess of $100,000. If using Federal Contract funds, the threshold drops to $10,000. Members of the UC community are strongly encouraged to seek competition even in cases where goods and/services are exempt from the requirement to competitively bid. 

As a best practice, we request that you secure quotes from three separate suppliers prior to submitting your requisition in Gateway. Doing so will avoid a delay when we review your requisition and find that this requirement must be met before we can move forward with the approvals process. 

In the rare instance that only one supplier is capable of providing the items you wish to order, a Sole Source justification may be warranted and the competing quotes requirement waived. It is exceedingly difficult to be granted this waiver and important to note that pre-work done by a supplier to customize equipment will not validate a Sole Source transaction. You will also still need to prove Price Reasonableness, meaning you will be asked for documented price comparisons. For details about this process, click here to be taken to the Procurement Services website.