A UW International Memorandum of Understanding (UW I-MOU) is a broad statement of cooperation by which the University of Washington and a non-U.S. institution initially express an interest in establishing a new relationship that may result in future collaborative activities. Such activities may include student and faculty exchanges, joint conferences and/or research projects. This statement of intent is often used at signing ceremonies to acknowledge the beginning of a new relationship. The UW I-MOU may also serve as the first step in developing a future, detailed binding agreement. A UW I-MOU is meant to be a non-legally binding document. It should not contain any commitment of university resources such as funds, staffing or facilities.
To determine if there might be an existing UW I-MOU with a particular foreign institution, contact Cameron Frisch, Assistant Director, International Programs and Exchanges at 206-221-4404 or email@example.com.
Formal agreements, in contrast to UW I-MOUs, are meant to specify and assign financial, performance and/or other legal responsibilities associated with a project that is to be completed within a specific time period. A formal agreement is legally binding and subject to UW contract clearance procedures.
UW I-MOU: Signing authority should be based on parity in the levels between the respective institutions. For example, a department chair would sign a UW I-MOU entered into with a chair at another university; a UW dean would sign with the head of a school/college at the other institution. A UW I-MOU entered into at the university level should be signed by either the UW Provost or President.
If it is not readily apparent from the titles at the foreign institution what the corresponding unit at the UW would be, contact Kim Dinh, Director, Finance and Administration, Office of the Provost at 206-685-3283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual faculty and staff do not have the authority to sign a UW I-MOU or formal agreements in the international context on behalf of the UW.
Formal agreements: Only the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is authorized to sign formal research agreements on behalf of the University.
Need for Additional Review of a UW International MOU
If the UW I-MOU standard template will be used with no changes, further review is not needed. The standard template has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate UW office.
If the UW I-MOU standard template will be used but modified in any way, it must be submitted for review to Kim Dinh, Director, Finance and Administration, Office of the Provost at 206-685-3283 or email@example.com before signing. Any MOU created by a foreign institution must also be submitted to Kim Dinh for review before signing. Further review by the UW Attorney General’s Office or OSP may be required.
Deans, directors, chairs and faculty who anticipate signing a non-binding MOU with a foreign institution on campus should determine, in advance, if the UW’s I-MOU template will be acceptable. If the foreign university instead wants to use its own format, the Office of the Provost strongly recommends involving them early in the development and review process.
UW International MOU Template
Download the UW I-MOU template.
Questions about UW I-MOUs may be directed to Kim Dinh, Director, Finance and Administration, Office of the Provost at 206-685-3283 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about formal agreements related to research activity, contact Michael Corn, Associate Director, OSP at 206-616-2585 or email@example.com.