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Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)


A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a non-binding document that acts as a public declaration of partnership, and is often useful in support of joint grant applications to external funding agencies, facilitating visa and travel document processing, and collaborative activities that involve an institutional presence of some kind.

The following describes the process for developing a new MOU:

  1. Department Review:  The faculty sponsor must submit an International Cooperative Agreement Information form (“information form”) to his or her department chairperson for approval. 
  2. College Review:  If the department chairperson approves, the information form is submitted for approval to the dean or dean’s designee. 
  3. Healthcare Colleges Review:  If an agreement originates in a Healthcare College, the faculty sponsor must submit the information form for approval to the Assistant Provost for Global Health Initiatives, who will consult with the relevant dean(s), the Office of Clinical Contracting, the Vice President for Clinical Academic Affairs, and, if house staff will be involved, the Graduate Medical Education office.
  4. Provost’s Review:  If approved by the College and, when required, by the Assistant Provost for Global Health Initiatives, the information form is submitted to the Assistant Provost for International Partnerships for the Provost’s review and approval.  The Provost has delegated this responsibility to the Associate Provost for International Programs.
  5. Negotiation of the Agreement:  The Assistant Provost for International Partnerships will provide the faculty sponsor an MOU template approved by UK Legal Counsel, which should be used as the basis for negotiations with the proposed partner institution.  The Assistant Provost for International Partnerships and the faculty sponsor will decide who will represent the University in negotiations (ordinarily it would be either the faculty sponsor or the Assistant Provost). 
  6. Legal Review:  If any provision of a draft agreement differs substantively from the MOU template, the Assistant Provost for International Partnerships (or the Office of Clinical Contracting, as appropriate) will review the MOU with UK Legal Counsel, modify the agreement as needed, and continue negotiations with the proposed partner until an agreement has been drafted that is satisfactory to UK Legal Counsel.  Final copies of an MOU may not be signed until approved, stamped, and dated by UK Legal Counsel (unless the MOU contains no substantive differences from the MOU template). 
  7. Execution of the Agreement:  The Assistant Provost for International Partnerships (or the Office of Clinical Contracting, as appropriate) will prepare four copies for signature.  The MOU is signed by the Associate Provost for International Programs and by an authorized institutional representative of the partner institution.  UK may have additional signatories (e.g., faculty sponsor, department chairperson, dean, Vice President for Clinical Academic Affairs, etc.), but none can substitute for the Associate Provost for International Programs.  The agreement may be signed in person or via the electronic or physical exchange of documents.
  8. Archives:  Two fully executed copies remain with the partner institution.  Two copies are held by UK, one by the Assistant Provost for International Partnerships and one by the cognizant dean.