Work type



Capability Area

Finance and Administration

Purchasing Assistant

Apply now Job no: 494946 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Chicago – 55 East Monroe Street, IL Capability Area: Contracts and Grants, Purchasing


Join NORC’s Contracts and Grants team as a purchasing assistant, responsible for maintaining system processes to provide efficient and effective procurement of goods and services. Establish the foundations of your career path with hands-on learning opportunities in the presence of industry experts and strong mentors for those looking to bolster their experience.

Leverage your education in business, accounting, finance, or a related field to develop deep knowledge within the purchasing department, a subset of the Contracts and Grants team. Gain unique exposure within our non-profit social science research organization to make an impact working to assist and support the team managing contracts with a wide variety of government departments and agencies.  Learn from seasoned contracts professionals, including attorneys and social science researchers, and work directly with stakeholders across departments. Take advantage of this opportunity as a strong initial step within your purchasing or contracts administration career.


The NORC Contracts and Grants team provides oversight for all government and client contracts, and vendor agreements, keeping internal stakeholders informed and trained on federal regulations, as well as driving NORC’s federal compliance and reporting activities.

Purchasing is responsible for the negotiation and procurement of materials, equipment, and supplies from vendors. The team coordinates sourcing activities including competitive bidding, and develops and maintains supplier relationships in compliance with NORC policies and federal, state and/or local requirements.

  • Process, monitor, and expedite purchase orders and other procurements with appropriate support
  • Ensure accuracy of terminology and specifications on quotes
  • Reconcile procurement card purchases
  • Ensure employees adhere to NORC’s procurement policies and guidelines according to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
  • Identify parties excluded from receiving federal contracts, subcontracts, and federal benefits by conducting web-based searches
  • Monitor sub-recipients database on an annual basis (subcontractors, vendors, and other professional services firms) to ensure compliance with accounting and auditing practices
  • Act as point of contact for NORC employees and vendors
  • Liaise between vendors and internal departments to ensure effective procurement of goods and services, using effective communications
  • Manage tracking of orders and returns, while handling invoicing issues
  • Update databases, monitor small business usage, and manage department mailbox


  • High school diploma is required, with a preference for a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or similar discipline
  • 1 year of related experience is required
  • Knowledge of practices and procedures for procurement of materials, components, equipment, and services
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, time management, personal organization, attention to detail, discretion, and negotiating skills
  • Comfortable creating and maintaining physical and electronic filing systems
  • Ability to work in an accurate and timely manner, prioritizing multiple tasks from different projects
  • Capacity to handle sensitive and confidential material in a discreet manner
  • Strong skills using Microsoft Office; experience with purchasing software is a plus

NORC is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, our teams have conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


For over 75 years, NORC has evolved in many ways, moving the needle with research methods, technical applications and groundbreaking research findings. But our tradition of excellence, passion for innovation, and commitment to collegiality have remained constant components of who we are as a brand, and who each of us is as a member of the NORC team. With world-class benefits, a business casual environment, and an emphasis on continuous learning, NORC is a place where people join for the stellar research and analysis work for which we’re known, and stay for the relationships they form with their colleagues who take pride in the impact their work is making on a global scale.


NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.


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