Medical and Laboratory

Learn about the purchasing category, Medical and Laboratory, at Columbia University.

Use the Good and Services Catalog to locate typical product and service categories or suppliers that have preferred University contracts.


The Medical and Laboratory Team manages a wide array of commodities in support of Columbia University’s Laboratory, Research and Medical Schools and Departments. Many of the services managed by our team are supported by University-wide Purchasing Agreements (UwPA) and Department Select Agreements as well as some additional approved suppliers. All Schools, departments, and Clinical Facilities are strongly encouraged to use UwPA Agreements as their primary supplier resource for their goods and services needs.

In the event a good or service is not covered by a UwPA, the Medical and Laboratory Team can provide sourcing assistance through competitive sourcing. 

It is important to note that when suppliers are providing services on-site at any and all Columbia locations, their Certificate of Insurance (COI) is required prior to coming on-site to initiate those services.

Purchase Order Process: Medical and Laboratory Commodities
  1. University-wide Purchasing Agreements (UwPA) Supplier: Department will process an Auto Sourced Purchase Order (PO) using correct category code.
  2. Department will obtain quote(s) from supplier and upload with requisition and confirm requisition as quote proposal awarded supplier address matches the quote.
  3. Department will ensure supplier is validated by Vendor Management prior to issuing requisition
  4. Department will create requisition and provide all required information including supplier email
  5. For onsite service engagements, Department will secure Certificate of Insurance (COI)
  6. Department will submit Sole/Single Source Justification when required to support supplier selection. For orders over $10,000 or 2 competitive quotes are required; For orders over $250,000, 3 competitive quotes are required please see updated competitive sourcing policy.
  7. For Foreign Supplier: Department will conduct Currency Conversion Check (if not in US dollars).
  8. Department will conduct an Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) check for all foreign suppliers.
  9. Department will properly receive purchases and upload documentation in support of requisitions.
  10. Department will process invoices in a timely manner once purchase is received.

Prior approvals are required for the following:

  1. Controlled Substances for Research require a Purchase Order Must Use Category Code 51142200
    • You must upload your DEA License and NY State License for the researcher who will be using items. Also the RASCAL training certificate for the researcher must be attached as well.
  2. Radioactive PO is required
    • Prior approval is required from Radiation Safety Office triggered by dedicated  RAM category code. All radioactive materials must be delivered directly to the Radiation Safety Office where it will be checked, logged in, and surveyed for any contamination, prior to Department receipt of items. RAM may NOT be delivered directly to the Lab.
  3. Refrigerators and Freezers for Research
  4. Lasers
    • You must complete the laser form and send to EHS prior to sending Requisition to Purchasing, also upload signed form with Requisition documentation for approval. This form is only necessary if purchasing a laser category class 3B and 4 or higher.

All international shipments must be cleared through an International Customs Broker authorized by the University through a valid Power of Attorney. Contact Michael Reich for assistance.

Customs Broker Details:

Horizon Air Freight 
152-15 Rockaway Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11434 Ext. 119
Tel: 1 718 528 3800
Fax: 1 718 949 0655
Contact: James Gassert – Terminal Manager



View the Creating a Multi-Year Requisition job aid.


Download the Columbia University Credit Reference.


For additional information, please contact the Medical and Laboratory Team Lead.

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