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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information on the international agreement development and approval process?

The Developing an International Agreement section of the OIA website provides all the information necessary to initiate an international agreement. View Information for UC San Diego Faculty and Departments for specific guidelines, the required form to begin the agreement development process, and the pre-approved MOU and agreement templates.

Potential international partners should visit Information for Foreign Institutions Seeking Collaboration with UC San Diego.

What kinds of collaborations require a formal written agreement?

UC San Diego enters into agreements that support the interests of faculty and academic units in furthering international research and academic work. Formal written agreements are required whenever an international collaboration involves the ongoing commitment of university resources (e.g. space, lab equipment, etc.).

Some examples of activities that do not require a formal MOU or agreement:

  1. Inviting a visiting international student to campus for research purposes
  2. One time meetings, special events and conferences

What elements should be included in a written agreement?

MOU and collaboration agreement templates (Word files) take the guess work out of what should go into these documents. The templates have been reviewed and approved by the offices of Campus Counsel, Global Education, Contract and Grant Administration and Graduate Division. They include all necessary clauses to ensure compliance with UC San Diego and UC policies and standards. Additionally, utilizing the language in the templates will minimize the time necessary for edits, reviews and approvals.

When should I use the MOU template vs. the collaboration agreement template?

UC San Diego employs two primary types of documents for international collaborations: the MOU and collaboration agreement. Appropriate approval and authorization is required for both.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU, Word file) is a non-binding document that states a general desire to cooperate in certain broad areas. The MOU makes no promises on behalf of UC San Diego, and states that both parties may enter into specific written agreements that define the nature and terms of proposed collaborations. The MOU format is recommended when partner institutions are either in the initial stages of collaborative discussions or when partners do not wish to commit to specific undertakings.

The collaboration agreement (Word file) specifies: commitments of resources; acceptance of obligations; is legally binding; and therefore must be entered into after careful consideration.

What about Letters of Intent (LOI)?

UC San Diego is occasionally approached by an institution that prefers to sign a letter of intent (LOI) to formalize the intention to discuss potential collaborations at a future point in time. LOI are not standard at UC San Diego. The pre-approved MOU template is the preferred form for general collaborations that require further discussion. Requests for LOI are handled on a case-by-case basis.

What is an agreement signing ceremony and how should I handle this type of request?

Signing ceremonies are events in which some or all signatories to an agreement meet in person to sign the document. Such events are generally proposed for purposes of goodwill. They are not required to implement an agreement. The decision to host or attend a signing ceremony is up to the faculty representative named in the agreement and leadership within their unit. Some factors to weigh when choosing whether to host a signing ceremony on our campus, or to attend a ceremony abroad, include:

Funding: there is no central funding available to support signing ceremonies. The faculty representative is responsible for consulting with unit leadership, and the Office of Contract and Grant Administration as needed, to determine whether any proposed expenditure of funds is appropriate.

Logistical support: there is no central office that provides supportive services for signing ceremonies. The faculty representative is responsible for coordinating signing ceremonies that are proposed to occur at UC San Diego.

See Guidelines on Signing Ceremonies for International Agreements for additional guidance on hosting a signing ceremony on our campus.