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Procure goods and services

Need assistance with procuring goods or services?

Institutional and sponsor requirements and regulations must be followed when procuring goods (supplies, materials, and equipment) and services (consultations, advice, and services from individual or legal entities) for research projects. All purchases must meet the standards for Allowability, Allocability, and Reasonableness (AAR) and directly support the aims of the project, as outlined in the budget for sponsored projects.


Approved procurement methods

The Duke Procurement website provides information regarding the approved methods for procuring and paying for goods and services. These include:

  • Buy@Duke
  • SAP purchase order requisitions
  • AP check requests
  • Corporate Card purchase

Internal services provided by officially-recognized Core Services should be managed through CoreResearch@Duke. The Duke Surplus and Storage Program is also available for acquiring furniture, equipment, and supplies. 

The “Related Resources” section on this page provides quick access to common procurement forms (such as Research Supoprt Services Agreements (RSSAs) and Sole Source Justification forms). Additional guidance, policies, and training are also available in the “Related Resources” section.


Important General Accounting Procedures (GAP)

The "Related Resources" section on this page includes a number of relevant GAPs that should be followed when procuring goods and services for research projects. A few key GAPs to highlight include:

Professional services by individual(s) or legal entities, who are not employees, may be allowable.  Examples include consultants, technical specialists, photographers, etc. Refer to § 200.459 Professional service costs for guidance on the factors to consider when determining the allowability of these costs, including:

  • Necessity of contracting for the service, considering Duke University's existing capabilities;
  • Reviewing whether the service can be performed more economically by direct employment rather than contracting;
  • The qualifications of the individual rendering the service and the customary fees charged;
  • Adequacy of the contractual agreement for the service (e.g., description of the service, estimate of time required, rate of compensation, and termination provisions).

Competitive Bidding

Price or rate quotes from an adequate number of qualified sources is required when purchasing goods, services, or other materials at or above the micro-purchase threshold.  Generally, a minimum of three price or rate quotes are required, or a sole source justification/price quote selection form must be completed.  Refer to GAP 200.101, Sole Source Justification/Price Quote Selection for Purchases on Sponsored Funds for additional information.

For additional assistance with procurement procedures and process, contact the business manager or lead research administrator for the project.