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Purchasing Policies and Guidelines

There are many ways to buy goods and services through the UCSD Campus.  Below outlines several ways Sociology Faculty, Students, and Staff may acquire goods and/or services without paying out of pocket. 

Contact Us Before Purchasing

Purchasing polices at UCSD are complex and there are several methods of acquiring goods and services. Please consult with your Fiscal Assistant and/or your Fund Manager to determine the best method of procurement for your particular situation. The preferred method of purchase should be via Oracle Procurement, Concur directly to the vendor, or using the department Procurement Card. It is important to contact the department to setup the correct method of purchase especially if it falls under the category of Goods & Services with Purchasing Restrictions.

Additional information may be found on Procurements -  Responsible Buying and in the UCSD Policies and Procedures Manual - Purchasing section.


Reimbursements typically take 3-5 weeks to process. Please keep this in mind when deciding to make out-of-pocket purchases. To avoid waiting for reimbursement and ensure procurement policies are followed, please contact your Fiscal Assistant to setup the appropriate method of purchase. For reimbursement procedures and policies related to travel or a meeting/event, please visit our website here.

If you need to be reimbursed, please be sure to include the itemized receipt with the last four digits of card and date of purchase to Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke.  If the item was delivered, please include the packing slip or write on the receipt "Date Received: MM/DD/YY" with signature. Note: Certain reimbursements may require additional information/documentation depending on the type of reimbursement.

If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, reimbursement checks will be delivered to the Sociology Administrative Office (Social Sciences Building, Room 401, 4th floor). You will be emailed a reminder to pick up your check once it has arrived. 

Office Supplies

General Office Supplies

The Sociology department keeps a store of basic office supplies in Social Sciences Building Room (SSB) 401 Mail Room. These supplies are meant to support the basic instructional and office needs of Sociology faculty and staff and can be accessed during regular business hours (weekdays 8:30 am - 4:00 pm). Typical supplies kept include the following:

  • Writing instruments - pens, pencils, markers, etc.
  • White board marking pens, erasers and cleaner
  • Writing pads, note pads and post-its
  • Manila file folders, hanging filer folders, etc.
  • Paper clips, binder clips and staples
  • Transparencies and labels
  • Scotch tape, liquid paper, erasers and other miscellaneous items

Items not usually kept in inventory can be ordered from the UCSD Marketplace - typical delivery time for most items is one to two days. An order can be placed with Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke or one of our student workers in Social Sciences Building Room 401; they can tell you if the item is in stock and expected delivery date. Depending upon the item requested, you may be asked for a chartstring to charge for the supply.

A small amount of printer and fax supplies are also kept in SSB Room 401 and the Sociology Mail Room. These items should not be taken by faculty or staff for usage outside the mailroom - they are intended only for the printers, fax or copier located in that room. If you require one or more reams of paper for your office or lab, a request should be sent to Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke. Depending upon its intended usage, the paper may be recharged to a chartstring or purchased directly from a chartstring.


Memberships may be purchased using the department Express Card or setup via MyPayments. Please work with Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke to purchase.

Note: Conference registration may also be purchased on the Express Card if no other travel is being requested for reimbursement.

Grant/Research Specific Supplies

If you need specific supplies related to research on your grant or thesis such as transcription services, project-specific printing supplies, books, gift cards for human subjects, software, etc., please reach out to Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke. The department will setup the appropriate purchasing mechanism either through UCSD's Marketplace via Purchase Order, a department Express Credit Card, MyPayments, etc.

Foreign Vendors

If you need to make a purchase to a foreign vendor, please provide notice as soon as possible due to the administrative complexity with setting up foreign vendors with UCSD.  Please allow upto 30 days for processing a foreign vendor purchase. We will expedite this process as quickly wherever possible.

Human Subjects

Please see the Human Subjects section below on how to setup payments to human subjects.

Transcription Services

When requesting services for Transcription, please be sure to have the following information ready to Fiscal Assistant Rick ClarkePlease include the following in your email:

  • Detailed description/business purpose of request.
  • How often will the service be performed?  One time only?  Weekly?  Bi-weekly?  Monthly?  Bi-monthly?  Quarterly?
  • Estimated Start and end dates of service.
  • Dollar amount to be liened.
  • Name of vendor, point of contact, and email of where to send Purchase Order information - quote, website or email from vendor/contractor.
  • hourly rate - quote, website or email from vendor/contractor.
  • Chartstring - Please provide source of funding.
    • Students: Please ensure you have written approved for the expense from your advisor if paying with your department research and travel fund.

If they are a new vendor/contractor, please allow for up to two weeks for setting up in the Marketplace system.

Information for Vendors/Contractors

For faster invoicing, please setup electronic invoicing with UCSD by emailing

Payments to Human Subjects

If you are in need of setting up payments for human subjects research, please reach out to Fiscal Assistant Rick Clarke. Please allow a minimum of 14 business days to process upon receipt of all required information. We will accommodate your request as quickly as possible.

There are a variety of mechanisms to setup human subjects. Please see this matrix to decide on the best approach for making a Human Subject payment.


Before you submit, please ensure the following is in place:

  • The project should be approved for participant compensation
  • Provide the approved IRB letter and project #.

Once ready, please provide the above to your Fiscal Assistant along with the following:

  • Does the project allow for reimbursement or payment?
  • Will an individual participant receive $600 or more in a calendar year?
  • Does the research indicate participants must remain anonymous?
  • What is the IRB release date?
  • What is the “Do not use after” date on the Human Research Protections Program (HRPP) seal?
  • Confirm how the gift cards/cash will be stored. See section below under Storing Cash Advance/Gift Cards.

Confidential vs. Non-Confidential

  • For a confidential study, ask the participant to sign a receipt or provide an anonymous keyed list verifying payment. These will be retained in a secure location in the department.
  • For a non-confidential study, maintain a Participant Log Sheet that the participant signs.

Storing Cash Advance/Gift Cards

PI must verify that the cash/gift cards is stored securely in a locked receptacle or safe depending on the amount: 

Be sure to keep cash/gift cards in a locked receptacle or safe:

  • Up to $1,000 in a lockable receptacle
  • From $1,001 to $2,500 in a safe
  • From $2,501 to $25,000 in a steel-door safe, with a door thickness of not less than 1 inch and wall thickness of not less than ½ inch
  • From $25,001 to $250,000 in a class TL-15 composite safe or better

Reconciliation Requirements


Departments are required to maintain financial records for human subject cash equivalents and are subject to audit by AMAS (our internal auditors) and General Accounting.

  • Each quarter (every 90 days or sooner),  PI must complete the Certification of Payment to Human Subjects form, and submit  with Participant Log Sheet (if NON-CONFIDENTIAL) to Rick Clarke, using one of the options below:
    • ASK (login required, Category: Invoices, Bills, and Payments; Sub-Category: Payment for Clinical Trial Participants)
    • Mail to Mail Code 0955
    • Fax to (858) 534-4621
  • If the trial is confidential:
    • Check the Confidential Study box on the form
    • Retain the list of recipients in a secure area of your department – this may submitted via anonymous keyed list
  • If the trial is not confidential:
    • Check the Non-Confidential Study box on the form
    • Attach the completed Participant Log Sheet with participant signatures.


Prepare and maintain records on a quarterly basis (every 90 days) to Rick Clarke:

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