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Purchasing at UNC

Purchasing Process Flow Chart

Sole Source vs Brand Specific Justification

Some purchases require submission of a waiver of competition form to justify purchasing from a specific company or when purchasing a specific brand or model of equipment.  This form is a new version as of October 2021, so be sure you are using this new version. Inaccurate filling out of this form is a leading factor in delay in the purchasing process.

“Source” justification refers to the VENDOR you are purchasing from. “Sole source” means that this vendor you wish to purchase from is the ONLY vendor that carries your desired product.  If your product could be sourced through the manufacturer as well as Fisher or VWR, selecting “sole source” justification does not apply.

“Brand-specific ” justification refers to the SPECIFIC BRAND you are purchasing.  If multiple vendors make a similar product, you must justify why only this brand will serve your needs (particularly if other vendors have a cheaper comparable product).

The Purchasing agents who receive these forms WILL do their due diligence in verifying their accuracy.  However, these purchasing agents are not scientists.  The more specific and accurate you are in your form, the less time will be spent needing to review it.

Please see the New Waiver of Competition Form page for details on how to appropriately fill in the new form.   If you have questions, please contact


To further assist you in filling out these forms, the Purchasing Team made available some examples of sole and brand specific justifications. Please use these as a guide for what they are looking for.

Sole Source and Brand Specific Justification Guidelines and Examples

Additional Sole Source Justification Example

Data Protection Checklist

If you are purchasing life science equipment with software that may involve protected University data/info including personally identifiable information and protected health information you are now required to complete a Data Protection Checklist that will be reviewed both by IT and the Purchasing Agent.