eTools: eRequest

Special Notice: 

At this time, due to COVID-19 and campus restrictions, ordering must be kept to a minimum. Only orders that are research essential/mission critical on external funding, or COVID-19 research related - both university and external funding- will be approved. Please contact Staci Schweinfurth ( and Jeff Jahnes ( for questions and clarifications for the Department of Microbiology.

PPE orders can be placed on certain types university funding, but must follow ASC/Departmental guidance. Please be sure to note the stage your research has been approved for at this point (1, 2, or 3) and the return date for your approved stage - even if it has passed.

Thank you for your cooperation.

  • If ever a request is critical (for example: radioactive materials requests), please note this in your business purpose and/or send an additional email to the approver(s). Please only request an order to be marked "critical" when absolutely necessary.
  • When placing an eRequest, please make sure that your business purpose is clear, the PI lab name is included, appropriate documents are attached, and the correct chartfield is provided.
    • For grant purchases, you must use the fund 590000
    • Please provide chartfields in full
  • Review the Uniform Guidance Update from OSP
  • Do not use shorthand terms/jargon in the business purpose that is only relevant to and know by your specific lab
  • Do not put the lab address in the business purpose
  • Do not attach documents that are not relevant to your request (such as documents related to previous unrelated orders or documents counting the number of orders placed)
  • Lab's do not need to include the Department's name in the business purpose. This is already noted/designated per our ORG listed in the chartfield.
Below is the order of the preferred method of purchasing:

1. Internal Order:

  • Create "New" request
  • Choose "Internal Order"
  • Choose a vendor from the Internal Vendor list provided. If the Internal vendor is not listed, enter the vendor name in the space provided in the blank box.
    • Double check with the internal vendor that they are appropriately listed within the list (some areas have multiple options)
    • Include contact information (name of contact, email, phone), where possible, if the internal vendor is not available within the list.
  • Attach any necessary documents and, if necessary for your lab, search for PI to workflow for approval.
  • Enter chartfield (be sure to choose either UNIV or OSURF from BU GL) in its entirety (ORG, Fund, Account, Project, Program (if needed), User Defined (if needed))
  • Click "Continue"
  • Click "Submit for Approval"

2. eStores Purchases

  • Only OSU contracted vendors will appear in eStores; please review the list of vendors prior to getting a quote.
  • Get a quote from the vendor if necessary
    • contracted vendors can-and are required to-build quotes into eStores either under their supplier link or under eStores MyQuote (the vendor should let you know where the quote will appear).
    • If a preferred vendor states they cannot build the request in eStores, or you have trouble moving it to the cart, let the Department know.
  • Click "New"
  • Select "Standard Purchasing Request" (this is the default choice)
  • Click on the red "eStores" button to log into eStores.
  • On the top of the eStores portal, either search within OSU Stores in the available search bar on the landing page or click on "Supplier Websites". Review the list provided and pick the vendor needed to complete your order.
    • The search for specific items within be completed within the vendor's portal within eStores.
  • Load the items into your cart and checkout.
  • After checkout, you will be taken back to your eRequest page to complete the order (Ship to, business purposes, funding, and (if necessary) approver search). These must be completed prior to approval.
    • Please use the appropriate on campus addresses. Items should not be shipped to the department office unless there is a special circumstance (for example, a dry ice package and you may be out when it arrives.)
    • Be sure to include the lab name in your business purpose
    • Do not list the lab address in the business purpose.
  • Submit your request for approval.
  • **Special Note: You are not required and it is highly preferred that you not include order forms with your Radioactive Orders.
3. Department PCard: The department card must be signed out prior to making a purchase and the purchase must be approved prior to signing out the card (by submitting or creating/saving an eRequest). Once the purchase has been made, immediately return the card along with an itemized final receipt and final credit card receipt (if not on the same receipt). Department Admin can submit and complete eRequests if changes are needed to the original pre-approved eRequest if necessary.
  • University department pcards are tax exempt. If your purchase contains tax, it will be your responsibility to get tax removed
    • If a company requires a tax exemption form, please contact the department office or use this form (name.# and password required; form cannot be used for personal purchases).
    • Additional information related to Sales & Use Taxes can be found on the Business & Finance page.
  • Only University/Department funds can be used when making a PCard purchase (provide chartfield in eRequest); DO NOT attempt or plan to use External Research (OSURF) funds for Department PCard purchases
    • If a PI's lab has an American Express pcard for a grant, please work with OSP to stay compliant with their requirements. The department is not responsible for OSP cards.
  • When using the card for meals, the tip cannot exceed 20%. If the tip is over 20%, it will be your responsibility to get it fixed.
    • Guest lists must be provided when purchasing/providing meals for seminar guests.
    • Business Meals should not include more than 6 guests total (including the speaker)
      • Student lunches with seminar speakers must also follow this policy unless otherwise approved by the Departmental Admin Manager.
  • No alcohol purchases
  • Only the departmental pcard manager can make purchases to Amazon with the departmental pcard.
  • Pcard purchases must be in compliance with university policies
    • If ever you are unsure on how to interpret a policy, please contact the Department Admins.
  • Lab meals cannot be paid for using university (or OSP) funds. Please see Staci if you have questions related to this policy.
  • Do not, under any circumstance:
    • email the number of a departmental pcard
    • take a photo of our pcard
    • save the pcard number in your computer
    • sign up for autorenewals with a university or OSP pcard
    • You also should not be providing the CVV code on our card over the phone.
    • Attempt to take the card on a trip (we would immediately cancel the card and the individual responsible would be held accountable)
4. Standard Purchasing Request/Purchase Order:
  • Get a quote from the vendor
    • If ordering an item from within eStores, you do not necessarily need a quote. If you are unsure, contact the Department Admins or review #2 above.
    • Quotes for goods/services MUST be obtained prior to any work starting, items being ordered, or items being shipped to/from the lab.
      • If this policy is not followed, the request will be denied.
  • Click "New"
  • Select "Standard Purchasing Request" (this is the default choice)
  • Complete required fields and enter chartfield information in its entirety
  • Attach quote(s) and any necessary documentation [Quotes must be provided for requests $1,000 and above; however, best practice is to always attach a quote for reference if one has been provided]
    • Providing a quote is especially helpful if you're purchasing an item that is cheaper directly from the vendor rather than in eStores.
    • The cost savings must be significant in order to be approved by purchasing (usually more than $50-$75 depending on the item)
      • Keep in mind that the cost of shipping is included for all items shown in eStores.
    • Alternatively, the item must be unique and/or not available in eStores (such as a customization to the item that eStores cannot provide)
      • Reps for our vendors should be contacted, though, to ask if they could create a specialized quote that could be loaded into eStores for you.
  • Click "Continue"
  • Click "Submit for Approval"
  • Once a PO has been created--if ordering outside of eStores--you are required to send the official Invoice (along with the PO#) to accounts payable. [For OSP:; For University:]
    • If the PO starts with "RF", you forward the invoice to OR-AP; if the PO starts with "03500", you forward the invoice to apinvoices
    • Provide the PO # within the subject line of your email, attach the quote, and state "Invoice attached to release payment for PO# XXXX"
  • Standard Purchasing Requests must be in compliance with the university expenditures policy.
    • Purchase Orders must be requested/issued prior to the purchase occurring (including any related shipments) or it will be classified as After-The-Fact (ATF). Please add a comment to the eRequest that work has not started when/where relevant.
    • Samples cannot be submitted (or shipped) and work cannot be started prior to the PO being issued.
    • After-the-Fact purchases must follow the ASC Exception Process. *Please be aware, that ATF exceptions do not have to be approved by the Department or College Office. If an exception is needed, please contact the department office with questions and concerns.
      • Always make sure you are providing enough time to process purchases/services in order to avoid exceptions.
    • Goods over $25,000 and Services over $50,000 require a waiver of competitive bidding and approval. Request additional information and guidance from Jeff or Staci.
  • When purchasing on a grant, there are additional rules that MUST be followed.
    • Please review the Uniform Guidance Update as it pertains to procurement here.
5. Reimbursements: Submit receipts to the Department Office for reimbursements; DO NOT enter a reimbursement for yourself or anyone else within the department. Reimbursements via eRequest are non-travel related reimbursements only.
  • Reimbursements should not be your first choice when purchasing items and should be kept to a minimum.
  • If a purchase has been made on your personal credit card, the tax can be reimbursed only if the department approves; we are not required to reimburse tax.
    • You cannot ask that a vendor remove tax from your personal credit card purchase as that is against the state tax exemption law.
  • Reimbursements should not happen regularly for lab purchases and only items that are university compliant will be reimbursed.
    • If the reimbursements begin to happen too frequently, they will be denied and we will discuss how to avoid this in the future.
  • DO NOT purchase capitalized equipment with your personal funds.
  • DO NOT purchase computers (or related items) with your personal funds unless it is a very unique circumstance.

If you have any questions about these policies, please contact the Department Admin Manager, Staci Schweinfurth (schweinfurth.22).