How To Make Purchases

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How do I order items?

ShopUW+ is the main system used for purchasing and payments. Training is available for shoppers on the ShopUW+ website.

If your vendor is not available on ShopUW+, make your purchase request through the Department of Chemistry online purchase request system, Aestiva, at purchasing.chem.wisc.edu.

  • You will need to have a chemistry account in order to gain access to Aestiva.
  • If you have never used the system, but have a chemistry account, contact Chad Skemp at cskemp@chem.wisc.edu or Emily Bennin at elbennin@wisc.edu

General purchasing guidelines

For purchases under $5,000

We can normally approve and process these requests without needing anything additional from the requestor. A business purpose is always required. There may occasionally be other barriers, such as the intended vendor being prohibited by the university, but this is rare. For questions on purchases in this area, send a request through the ShopHelp system.

For purchases from $5,000 to $49,999

We require one of the following:

  1. That the vendor and the items being purchased already be on contract with the university. Search vendors currently on contract.
  2. Simplified Bid: Three comparative quotes, from which the lowest responsible quote is chosen to make the purchase; or
  3. Proper justification to waive the need for the simplified bid/three quotes, submitted on the Non-Competitive Purchase Request Form(.doc).*

*Non-Competitive Waivers over $25,000 require a governor’s waiver, which is very time-consuming and often unnecessary. In these cases, it generally makes most sense to prepare the simplified bid. If three relevant vendors are contacted, but two of the three cannot provide the requested items with required specifications, those two still count as bids.

For purchases of $50,000 or more

Purchasing Services will prepare an Official Sealed Bid or a Request for Proposal (RFP) depending upon the type of items and/or services needed.

Our main contact for these is Mike Marean at mike.marean@wisc.edu.

View a list of vendors who are not eligible to do business with UW-Madison.

Department Credit Cards and when to use them

Event Purchasing Card

Contact Kayla Driscoll to use this card

  • For catering or other food for an event
  • For event venue reservations, such as conference centers
  • For event supplies

In-Store Purchasing Card

Contact Pat Egan to use this card

  • DoIT purchases
  • In-store purchases such as at grocery stores


  • All lab and office supplies should be ordered via Aestiva whenever possible
  • Only use the In-Store Card if there is an immediate need for the item

To use a department credit card, you must submit the following documentation:

  • Business purpose (e.g., conference schedule, to collaborate with [Name] on [Project, etc.])
  • Funding (A481500 or other UDDS, a fund such as a 144 or 233 and project such as PRJ1234)
  • Copy of the paid receipt
  • Pre-approval form signed by PI or your supervisor & Pat Egan

Research Storeroom

When should I use the Research Storeroom?

Set up a Research Storeroom Account

  1. Visit the Research Storeroom website.
  2. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the header Research Storeroom Customer Forms.
  3. Select the second document from the top, Chemistry Research Assistant Storeroom Account Application.
  4. Complete the starred fields and email the document to Andrew Arndt.

Contact Andrew Arndt or Pat Egan with questions.

Reimbursement Tips

  • Submit all expense reimbursement requests within 90 days of the expense. This includes travel, business meals, supply purchases, etc. Anything after 90 days is considered non-reimbursable.
  • Make sure you have the proper funding number for your trip before you submit your reimbursement.
  • Make sure to include all expenses, including prepaid items, so that your E-Reimbursement reflects the full travel picture.
  • Remember that a business purpose must include basic who, what, where, when, and why information about your travel & expenses.
  • Submit questions through the ShopHelp system.

Request an Expense Reimbursement

  1. To submit a request for expense reimbursement, visit the Accounting Services site and follow the instructions for E-Reimbursement. You will need to know in advance which fund number your expenses will be reimbursed from (e.g., grant number, departmental fund code, etc.).
  2. Business Services has a step-by-step guide that you can access here: https://businessservices.wisc.edu/travel-reimbursement/getting-reimbursed/how-to-create-modify-and-resubmit-an-expense-reimbursement-in-e-reimbursement/
  3. If you need help with your reimbursement request, please contact your path coordinator or send a request through the ShopHelp system.
  4. Reimbursement requests are approved at the department level by Hailey Johnson and then reviewed and approved by College of Letters & Science staff. Please allow 2-4 weeks for your reimbursement to be paid out. If you haven’t received notice of your reimbursement within 4 weeks, please let us know through the ShopHelp system.

Use GET to Reduce a Day Trip Meal Allowance

Follow the detailed instructions for reducing your day trip meal allowance when using the GET tool.

Additional GET Resources from the DoIT KnowledgeBase.


UW–Madison is now requiring the use of ChemManager+ (CM+), a chemical inventory module for ShopUW+. CM+ should be used for the purchasing and inventory tracking of all chemicals in the department.

CM+ is a punch out, so users should add chemical items to their cart in CM+, rather than using the supplier-specific punch-outs.

You may only purchase chemicals outside of CM+ when not available inside of CM+.


Please contact the purchasing staff listed below with your questions.

Purchasing assistance is available from the following

Skemp, Chad

Position title: Financial Specialist

Email: cskemp@chem.wisc.edu

Phone: 608.262.1481


Contact for:

  • Purchases of any amount
  • To authorize listing an additional project/fund number in Aestiva
  • Purchase orders for events and travel
  • Invoice issues
  • Purchasing policy questions

Bennin, Emily

Position title: Financial Specialist

Email: elbennin@wisc.edu

Phone: 608.262.0280


Contact for:

  • ShopUW+ requisitions/invoices
  • Payments to Individuals (PIRs) – checks as payments or awards/honorariums
  • Direct Payments (DPs) to companies
  • Purchasing Card use and orders (orders placed on Aestiva)

Karls, Carolyn

Position title: Financial Specialist

Email: ckarls3@wisc.edu


Teams: CarolynKarls

Contact for:

  • Internal shop chargebacks
  • Purchasing card use and questions