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International Collaboration Agreements

To guide collaborations in education and research with institutions around the world, UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and units can consider executing formal agreements that document responsibilities and expectations of each institution. As laws and contractual practices vary widely around the world, developing international collaboration agreements can be complex. The Global Partnership and Programs team has responsibility for managing collaboration agreements between UNC-Chapel Hill units and international institutions (except agreements related to sponsored research) and maintains a database of agreements.

Agreement Drafting and Approval

Melissa McMurray, associate director of global partnerships, oversees the drafting and review of international collaboration agreements. Units should contact McMurray when considering drafting an agreement, and she will guide them through the process and consult with relevant offices, such as the Office of University Counsel and International Student and Scholar Services, to ensure the proposed activity is developed successfully and in compliance with University policies.

When the agreement content is final, McMurray manages the official review process, which includes:

  • Office of University Counsel
  • Director/chair of initiating unit
  • Applicable dean (or equivalent)
  • Vice provost for global affairs and chief global officer

Other individuals may be added as needed. After all approvals are secured, the signature is obtained from the vice provost for global affairs, who has been delegated signature authority for international collaboration agreements (others can also sign). Once partner signatures are obtained, a copy of the executed agreement should be sent to McMurray.

Types of International Collaboration Agreements

Melissa McMurray can help units determine the appropriate agreement type and provide the applicable template:

  1. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): provides a general commitment to establish a partnership and explore opportunities for collaboration; non-binding and does not commit any funds or resources
  2. Collaboration Agreement: establishes legally binding terms and conditions for a specific activity; examples include Student Exchange Agreement, Visiting Scholar Agreement, Program Agreement, etc.

For assistance with other types of contracts, please visit

Contact Information

Melissa McMurray, Associate Director of Global Partnership
Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs