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Research Procurement

Principal Investigators (PIs) at the University of Toronto (U of T) receive funding in support of their research. The Tri-Agency and CFI/ORF-RI, Granting Agencies and Sponsors further reinforce the need to adhere to the University’s Procurement Policy while providing additional conditions or controls on the use of the funds provided, which must be considered for research-related procurements.

Procurement Services provides guidance and support to PIs and business officers to ensure the procurement is compliant with U of T policies, provincial and federal trade agreements, and sponsor requirements.

Research-related procurement questions should be directed to the Senior Procurement Officer – Research Portfolio.

Below is an overview of the additional requirements and considerations associated with research-related procurement. It is important to note that the Procurement Policy, associated administrative regulations, and best practices must be followed when procuring goods and services for the University.

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Competitive Procurement < $100,000

Invitational Procurement

The Invitation to Quote (ITQ) Standard Operating Procedure provides instructions on how to obtain identical written supplier quotations, ensuring the procurement process is fair, open, and transparent. Under the University’s Procurement Policy, a minimum number of supplier quotations are required for purchases of goods and services:

  • 1 quote up to $9,999
  • 2 quotes between $10,000 – $49,999
  • 3 quotes between $50,000 – $99,999

When the funding source is the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Ontario Research Funds through the Research Infrastructure program (ORF-RI), a Fair Market Value (FMV) reasonability assessment must be completed for all procurements with an In Kind contribution of more than $1,000. This may affect the minimum number of quotes required. For CFI/ORF-RI procurements an ITQ-CFI template should be used to solicit quotes from suppliers.

For more information on FMV assessments,see Purchase for CFI Projects.

Invitation to Quote Instructions and Templates >>

U of T Supplier Network

To reduce the administrative effort when purchasing standard goods or services, the University has established the U of T Supplier Network. However, its use may not fulfill the obligations of funding agencies such as CFI/ORF-RI.

Visit the Supplier Network >>

Approved Suppliers

Approved Supplier agreements add the confidence of knowing that they are compliant with the Procurement Policy. The University community is strongly encouraged to purchase goods and services from Approved Suppliers when possible.

Search for an Approved Supplier >>

  • Use of Approved Suppliers may not fulfill all the obligation of funding agencies; while most Approved Supplier contracts reduce or eliminate the need for additional quotes, many granting agencies have more stringent requirements.
  • If CFI/ORF-RI is the funding source uSOURCE should not be used to purchase goods and services.

Competitive Procurement > $100,000

Purchases greater than $100,000 must be publicly tendered in a competitive bid process (e.g. RFP) to be compliant with internal and external regulatory frameworks. It is recommended that the Competitive Bid Request form be completed a minimum of 6 months prior to requiring the goods and/or services.

Below is a high level description of the competitive process and the associated minimum timelines.

Non-Competitive Procurement

Procurement Policy Exemptions

If it is not possible to obtain the required number of quotes or issue an open competitive tender (e.g. there is only one supplier in the market), a Procurement Policy Exemption Justification (PPEJ) form must be completed. The PPEJ form should include an appropriate level of detail to support the non-competitive procurement decision (and the selected exemption), as it will be referred to in the event of an internal audit review or a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

To support a non-competitive procurement process when using CFI/ORF-RI funds and the total value is $100,000 or greater, additional due diligence is required to determine the Fair Market Value.

For more information on the non-competitive process, contact the Senior Procurement Officer – Research Portfolio.

Download PPEJ form >>

Additional Information

Research award holders are responsible for understanding the conditions provided by the granting agency that relate to sponsored research funds. The University of Toronto’s Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) group provides resources and information related to research and innovation activities.

Additional information can be found on the following granting agency websites: