Certain types of goods and services are subject to specific purchasing restrictions such as additional forms, limited suppliers, or other restrictions.
- Advertising and Marketing
University Communications provides marketing and advertising support. Please contact them prior to establishing a services agreement with any other printer, graphics firm, or other service provider.
- American Type Culture Collection Products (ATCC)
Departments may place all orders valued at $10,000 or less (Biosafety Level 1 and 2) directly with ATCC. Depending on the ATCC material being ordered, ATCC may sometimes require the University to sign an additional Material Transfer Agreement for items such as the Geron-hTERT and Angio Ready products.
ATCC Ordering Instructions
- DO NOT include shipping as a separate line item on ATCC purchase orders. Unfortunately, ATCC receives many orders with shipping listed as a unique line item and this delays order processing. ATTC will apply shipping as a separate charge on the resulting invoice.
- DO NOT include the prefix of “ATCC” as part of the ATCC catalogue, item, SKU or part number in your PantherExpress System purchase order. Enter only the ATCC number as this will expedite order processing.
- When submitting a requisition to ATCC via the PantherExpress System, the distribution type will default to cXML, which is an electronic purchase order distribution method. It is important that you do not modify the default order distribution method such as unchecking the default checked boxes, checking any additional boxes, and/or entering fax numbers or email addresses. Modifying the default distribution type will result in duplicate orders and charges which the department will be responsible for paying since ATCC orders are not returnable. Review the following example of the default distribution method in the PantherExpress System:
Special Instructions for Influenza Reagent Resource (IRR) Materials:
If you are purchasing Influenza Reagent Resource (IRR) materials from ATCC, please be advised that these materials are subject to some additional restrictions as outlined in this User Agreement.
- Anatomic Specimens
If you need to obtain human anatomic material for use in teaching, training and research, please contact the Office for Oversight of Anatomic Specimens.
- Biological Materials
Biological materials must be purchased from University-wide contracted suppliers or suppliers already established in the supplier database as viewed in PRISM or the PantherExpress System. If you need to obtain biological materials from a new supplier, then you must follow this process.
The same process applies to purchases of laboratory chemicals.
- Blood and Blood Products
Blood products were previously ordered from Central Blood Bank which has now become Vitalant and all blood products should be ordered from Vitalant. Purchasing Services has established a new Master Services Agreement to facilitate purchases and the following processes are now in place.
Beginning June 1, 2021, the following changes will go into effect for all blood products from Vitalant: Vitalant will be changing its blood bags from Haemonetics CP2D to Fenwal CPD. This change will impact the blood bag itself, the product code, and the anticoagulant that preserves the product. For any specific questions about these changes, contact the University's Vitalant representative listed below.
Inactive CBB Account or New Accounts
Each researcher must complete a BS 049 form to create a new account with Vitalant. The completed form should be sent to Pitt’s Vitalant contact, listed below.
Please note it takes 7-10 days from receipt of the BS 049 form for the account to be established. The researcher will be notified when their account becomes active and they are able to order blood and blood products.
Existing and Active CBB Accounts
Any department with a Central Blood Bank (CBB) account that is still active can purchase product from Vitalant under their CBB account information. Vitalant will contact the researcher when the account is within 120 days of expiration to see if they wish to extend their account. Departments that extend their account will need to fill out the BS 049 and the account expiration will be set to February 20, 2023.
The University Purchase Order should be under the vendor name of "Central Blood Bank," not Vitalant. Once a PO number has been issued, the department should contact Vitalant’s Research Product line at (412) 209-7194 to finalize the order.
Vitalant Contact Information
Mike Quint, Senior Manager of Manufacturing Operations
Five Parkway Center
875 Greentree Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Research Product Line (order finalization)
- Buffy Coat orders only: 412-209-7194
- Blood products other than Buffy Coat (i.e. blood cells, etc.): contact Mike Quint as outlined above.
Pricing: updated pricing coming soon
The transportation fee is $52.30 per order. A fee will not be imposed on products that are picked up at the Vitalant’s Parkway Center location.
See the Standard Operating Procedures for Blood Draws Outside of Clinical Care Areas.
Books should be purchased through the University Store on Fifth. View Policy FN 25 for additional information about textbooks, instructional materials, and subscriptions.
P-card users are authorized to purchase imported books and journals. However, the P-card cannot be used to purchase other foreign good imports.
- Bottled Water
For the Pittsburgh campus:
The University has a contract with Compass to provide food services for the Pittsburgh campus and thus, bottled water must be purchased through Compass via Beverage Services. Bottled water for the Pittsburgh campus should not be purchased through the PantherExpress System. Departments wishing to order bottled water for the Pittsburgh campus may do so by e-mailing their order to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Compass menu can be found here.
Regional campuses should follow the direction of campus management for the purchase of bottled water.
- Building Renovations
All requests for renovations must be sent to Facilities Management.
- Catering and Restaurant Services
For Large Groups or Events
Compass is the preferred provider for catering large groups or events on the Pittsburgh Campus and is processed through the Pitt Catering Co. Any alcohol service on campus must be provided through catering. Review the following procedures and contact Conference Services for additional information.
Catered Food and Beverage Deliveries for Small to Medium Sized Groups
Utilize America To Go to order catered food and beverages from local restaurants for small to medium sized groups, when paid for by the University. America To Go is a University-wide Contracted Supplier available through the PantherExpress System. Through America To Go (ATG) you can order everything from breakfast and lunch to break service for on-campus meetings and events from an approved list of outside caterers and restaurants meeting the University’s insurance and business requirements. ATG orders can be delivered by or picked up from participating restaurants, dependent on the options available from each vendor through the PantherExpress System punchout.
Learn more on this page, including how to contact America To Go Customer Service.
- Chartered Transportation Services
Travel services including any travel bookings or car rentals should be managed through the Travel & Expense Management program, including the use of Anthony Travel agents and Concur.
Charter and school bus transportation contracts:
To learn more about charter bus and school bus transportation, visit this page or the the University's Transportation Services. Do not contact Lenzner or Matthews directly, and do not process confirmations from Lenzner or Matthews through the PantherExpress System.
Special event/off campus shuttle service contracts:
Special event/off campus shuttle service transportation is available through Molly’s Trolleys Pittsburgh. Follow this process:
- Contact Molly’s Trolleys at 412-281-2085 or email@example.com with your transportation requirements including: date, time, start and end points, additional stops, handicap accessibility requirements, department name, account number, contact person, phone number and email.
- Reference the Molly’s Trolleys Transportation Agreement and Shuttle Service Work Order that Molly’s Trolleys has in place with the University. Molly’s Trolleys will send a signed and completed Work Order to the department.
- The authorized department representative must review and sign the Work Order, then send the Work Order to Transportation Services at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
- Transportation Services will pay the invoice that Molly’s Trolleys sends to them and then process an interdepartmental charge to the appropriate department using the account number provided.
More information is available here.
The University of Pittsburgh has an exclusive agreement with Ricoh USA, Inc. for all copiers on campus. It is a cost-per-copy program that includes equipment, installation, training, maintenance and supplies (except paper). Due to the structure of the program, it is not possible for departments to obtain copiers outside of the program.
To learn more about the program and for contact information, visit this page.
- DEA Licenses and Controlled Substances
Proper registration with the state of Pennsylvania and the Drug Enforcement Agency is required when purchasing government controlled substances.
Under the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, researchers are authorized to receive prescription drugs and are exempt from registration or licensure as long as the research is within the scope of their professional approved research protocol. However, a licensed distributor must perform due diligence and obtain verification documentation to ensure that parties to whom they ship product are authorized to receive it.
The University has consulted with a large distributor of prescription drugs and devices, Covetrus, (formerly Henry Schein Animal Health and Butler Schein Animal Health), and has developed a Certification of Exemption.
Researchers should complete the Certificate of Exemption, and the investigator’s Department Chair or Dean must sign the form to verify that they have a need to order prescription drugs. The signed Certificate of Exemption must then be submitted to Covetrus North America.
University Guidelines regarding Controlled Substances
- The University’s Office of Research Protections provides Controlled Substances Guidelines
- Purchasing Services provides a checklist with instructions for Ordering DEA Controlled Substances
Obtaining a DEA License
All principal investigators who desire to purchase, possess, and use controlled substances (Schedule I-V) for laboratory research must register, and maintain active registration, with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
- To apply for a federal registration, contact the DEA office.
- Principal investigators who hold a DEA registration for the clinical use of controlled substances should incorporate, into this same registration, the controlled substances that will be used for laboratory research being conducted under their direction.
Any University departments considering purchasing unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for research or academic purposes or that are planning to contract with a company or individual that may use a drone in providing a service (such as for photography) must contact the University’s Office of Trade Compliance before proceeding.
- Employment Ads
- Ethanol Alcohol
Ethanol alcohol should be ordered through the Dietrich School Stockroom punchout on the PantherExpress System. Ethanol item information is available from Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Shared Research Support Services.
Additional information regarding the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids can be found on Environmental Health and Safety's website.
- Events and Meetings (Banquet Halls, Meeting Space, Hotel Space, Conference Space...)
Events, Meetings, or Pitt-hosted conferences require special types of services agreements and are subject to certain restrictions. Review this page for more information.
- Fume Hoods, Gas Cabinets & Biological Safety Cabinets
Unless they are part of the setup of a new building or new lab involving Facilities Management, purchases of chemical fume hoods, gas cabinets, and biological safety cabinets require approval from Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) before they are purchased. Approval should be attached to the requisition in supporting documents. Please check the EH&S website for contact information.
Gases can be purchased through Matheson Valley Gases on the PantherExpress System.
- HIV p24 Antigen Capture Kits
The ACVP at the Frederick National Laboratory (FNL), operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. (LBR), is supported by NCI Contract 75N91019D00024 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To fulfill FNL’s mission of supporting biomedical research, the ACVP is able to provide the HIV-1 p24 antigen capture kit reagents to the University of Pittsburgh via Material Transfer Agreement (MTA).
The process as required by ACVP, FNL, LBR and the University is as follows:
- The University requesting department emails Terra Ireland ACVP, FNL, LBR, stating the quantity and item(s) required.
- If this is a new user request, Mrs. Ireland requests detailed customer contact information and then initiates the MTA and within seven (7) business days, emails it to the requesting department for signature.
- The requesting department must obtain the proper University authorized official signatures on the MTA from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and should follow the process for an Incoming Material Transfer Agreement.
- Please note: The length of time for OSP to process the MTA will depend upon the item being purchased, the University researcher’s intended use of the item, the requesting department and possibly any requirements of the grant or contract that is funding the research project.
- After obtaining the signed MTA from the OSP, the requesting department should email and provide to Mrs. Ireland the following:
- A FedEx or UPS courier account number (this number must be provided in order to directly charge shipping as LBR no longer invoices the University);
- The fully executed MTA.
- Mrs. Ireland then ships the requested items via the requested Shipping Account Number. Once an MTA is established, the researcher only needs to contact Mrs. Ireland for additional reagents. The reagents are provided free of cost; the researcher only needs to provide shipping information to receive them.
Any questions regarding ACVP, FNL, LBR requirements can be addressed to:
Terra Schaden-Ireland MA, MBA
Research Associate III
Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL)
AIDS and Cancer Virus Program
Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.
PO Box B
Bldg 535 Rm 535
Frederick, MD 21702
- Immigration Attorneys
The Office of International Services (OIS), in coordination with the Office of General Counsel, has implemented guidelines on the University's use of outside immigration attorneys. Visit the OIS website for further information.
- Installed Water Filtration System
Optimum Water is a supplier that provides an installed water filtration system that is connected to the building’s water line. Departments that wish to purchase an installed water filtration system from Optimum Water must follow the process outlined below and, on the Purchase, Pay & Travel website. Following this process ensures the timeliest processing of the contract:
- Before submitting any contract to Purchasing Services, coordinate with your building or facilities point of contact.
- Once you have the approval to install, depending upon the building, installation may need to be completed by union labor.
- Submit a contract request using Contracts+ in the PantherExpress System. Visit the PantherExpress System SharePoint site for full instructions. Include proof of permission from building or facilities point of contact as part of your initial contract request for use by Purchasing Services.
- Laboratory Chemicals
Laboratory chemicals must be purchased from University-wide contracted suppliers or suppliers already established in the supplier database as viewed in PRISM or the PantherExpress System. If you need to obtain laboratory chemicals from a new supplier, then you must follow this process.
The same process applies to purchases of biological materials.
- Lasers and Laser-related Equipment
Any product that contains a laser for research or commercial applications must be approved by Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) before it is purchased, unless it is part of a new building or new lab involving Facilities Management. Items such as laser printers, laser pointers, and bar code scanners do not require approval.
EH&S reviews all other laser-containing items to determine if the laser has the potential to cause injury while in use. Approval should be attached to the requisition in supporting documents. Please check the EH&S website for contact information.
- Mailing Services and Stamps
Mailing Services provides first-class, package, air and foreign mail services. Express, insured, registered and certified mailing services are also processed. View the Mailing Services website for further information.
- Moving Services (Internal and External)
Moving Services - Internal
The Department of Parking, Transportation and Service's Central Receiving Office is responsible for on campus moves.
Relocation Services - External
The Transportation Office coordinates the relocation of household goods.
Travel Management offers this only in situations where University funds are to be expended for the relocation of full-time faculty, librarians, and administrative and professional staff who are newly hired by the University and/or are being transferred to a new University location.
All moving expenses paid on behalf of employees are taxable for federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax. These payments may also be taxable for Pennsylvania state and local income taxes based on the payment type. View Policy FN 15 for additional information about moving expenses.
Nembutal can be purchased in both 20 ml and 50 ml bottles through Covetrus North America, the supplier that University of Pittsburgh investigators must use to obtain controlled substances.
Should an investigator require a custom formulation of Nembutal that is not commercially available, use of Heiber's Compounding Pharmacy may be permitted. In such a case, an investigator must obtain a prescription in order for the drug to be compounded by Hieber's pharmacy.
Please note that Nembutal is a schedule II controlled substance, and must be obtained, stored, dispensed, and administered in accordance with the University's controlled substance guidelines. Visit this page for further information about Nembutal.
- Parking Passes
Parking permits and temporary passes are managed by the Parking Office.
- Photocopying, Printing & Graphic Design
As part of the University’s sustainability goals, the University encourages the use of digital design and production services in place of traditional printing when possible. Visit this page for more information and resources that Departments should utilize for digital design and production services and when traditional printing or photocopying is required.
Contracts for photographers must be processed through a Photographer/Videographer Agreement. The use of a Purchase Order (PO) is not acceptable.
- Radioactive Materials
Visit this page for more information including purchasing instructions and requirements.
In order to best protect the University of Pittsburgh, all software licenses, because they include non-standard terms and conditions, must be reviewed by Purchasing Services in conjunction with guidance provided by the Office of University Counsel prior to purchase in accordance with University policy FN 07.
Purchasing Services, along with the Office of University Counsel and Pitt Information Technology has developed and implemented an overall software licensing review procedure that is outlined on the Software Licensing Agreement Checklist. When considering the purchase of any software, the checklist should be used. The checklist is designed to ensure that the software review procedure is expedited and administered uniformly throughout the University.
Please note that the review process is required of all software purchases, including maintenance, renewals, and/or upgrades, not made through Pitt IT’s Software Licensing Services*. To expedite the review process, please submit all required documentation, inclusive of the completed Software Licensing Agreement Checklist.
Note: Requisitions for software purchases submitted to Purchasing Services without the required supporting documentation will be returned to the requesting department.
Software Purchases $10,000 or Less
Since nearly all software providers will not agree to the University's standard terms and conditions, and there are possible intellectual property and "deemed export" liabilities that may far exceed the value of the license, ALL software license agreements should be executed by Purchasing Services with additional reviews by both Pitt IT and the Office of University Counsel.
Software Purchasing Methods
Software may be purchased and paid for through:
- PantherExpress System
- Information Technology Software Store – Internal (University Supplier) Showcase
- CDW-G Punchout – Office/Computer Showcase
- Software Form – Standard Forms Showcase
- Pitt IT Software Distribution Services
- P-Card, with restrictions
- You must be approved to make software purchases on your P-card and complete the necessary training.
The University Travel Card cannot be used for software purchases.
Invoices to pay for software licenses must include the purchase order number and should be submitted as outlined in the Supplier Invoice Process.
*Software offered through Pitt IT’s Software Distribution Services is exempt from the software licensing review process. SLS offers the best overall cost of ownership, assurance of University compliance, and expedited receipt of software. Contact SLS for all software availability questions.
- PantherExpress System
- Subscriptions and Memberships
The preferred payment method for subscriptions, memberships, and dues is the University Travel Card. The use of the Dues/ Memberships Specialty Form is also allowed, although discouraged by Payment Processing.
- Surplus Property
The Surplus Property office handles the receipt, storage, distribution and disposal of surplus properties for the University of Pittsburgh community.
- University Logo & Promotional Items
Even though your purpose may be noncommercial (i.e. not for resale), you must still purchase items that display a University logo from a supplier that has permission and a license to use the University of Pittsburgh's name, logo, or trademark.
Review the University of Pittsburgh Department of Licensing webpage. If you have further questions, contact Lori Burens, University of Pittsburgh Licensing.
Promotional Items (not for resale) Where to Buy Them:
A list of authorized suppliers that carry University promotional items is available on the University Athletics website.
In an effort to ensure the appropriate and legal use of the University’s trademarks, logos, and word marks, we are asking that you only purchase University branded promotional items (not for resale) from University Licensees (i.e. authorized suppliers that carry University promotional items - same link as above).
University Licensees and University-wide Contracted Suppliers:
Only suppliers specifically designated as University Licensees have rights to produce products using University of Pittsburgh trademarks and word marks. Suppliers designated as University-wide Contracted
Suppliers are not automatically University Licensees unless designated as such. At this time, we do not have a University-wide Contracted Supplier that is also a University Licensee. If a University Licensee becomes a University-wide Contracted Supplier, this will be announced and a distinction will be made in our supplier directory.
For further information about the use of the University’s name, logos, trademarks, and service marks, please refer to University policy AO 23.
If you have questions, please contact Lori Burens, University of Pittsburgh Licensing.