Procurement for Research and External Funding

If an aspect of your purchase is related to external funding, you may be required to document compliance.

Please be aware that external funders generally impose the following conditions related to procurement.

Purchasers must:

1. Comply with internal University procedures for procurement, including:

-Purchases under £50,000 must follow University policies and procedures located in the How to Buy Guide.

-Purchases £50,000 and over are regulated procurements, subject to legal minimum timescales (see the Process and Timescale chart). You must contact the Procurement Office before engaging in procurement at this level.

-All purchases must be conducted in accordance with the University Procurement Strategy.

-All purchases require appropriate approvals as delineated by the University Delegated Authority Schedule.

Please also be aware of budget holder and Procurement Office roles and responsibilities regarding procurement, as well as Research Integrity Policies and Key Commercial Policies.

2. Comply with procurement legislation:

-Public procurement law in Scotland is set by the EU and the Scottish Government (procurement policy is a devolved power of Scottish Parliament). 

-Scottish universities are public bodies for the purposes of procurement law.

-University policies and procedures align with the Scottish Procurement Journey, good practice guidance that complies with EU and Scottish legal obligations.

3. Respect EU procurement principles:

-All purchases, regardless of value, must comply with EU public procurement principles (equal treatment, non-discrimination, mutual recognition, transparency and proportionality).

-All buyers must seek value for money in a manner proportionate to the price and complexity of their purchase. Value for money is defined by the Scottish government as an "informed balance between cost, quality and sustainability" considerations. 

4. Comply with additional funder requirements, if applicable:

-External funders occasionally impose additional procurement-related terms and conditions that must be followed where they apply.  Please see the Research Grants Office for a list of funder T&Cs

5. Be able to document compliance:

-Procurements stemming from external funding, particularly from the European Union, may subject to audits that can occur long after standard document retention periods have expired. 

-Please Note: Budget holders are responsible for keeping adequate documentation of procurement compliance locally for purchases under £50,000.


See the Research Grants Office and the Research Support Office for more information about external funding. Please contact policy officer Peter Hayakawa (651 4380) with any questions or comments.