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Negotiating International Agreements

In order to make sure University of California policies and requirements are met and to protect researchers and the University from risks inherent in binding legal agreements, research agreements are drafted and negotiated by your campus Office of Research and the Contracts and Grants Office. So, if any of the following appear in an agreement, it should be routed to Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or equivalent on your campus:

  • Intellectual Property ownership or licensing terms

  • Confidentiality terms which infers there is sharing of information, data, technology, business proprietary, human subjects or other sensitive data

  • Risk Management clauses, related to insurance, indemnification or warranties:  This represents a liability and responsibility that the University may be taking on, which infers some type of activity or specific project is being carried out

  • Pricing or payment terms

  • Deliverables required, including technical reports

  • A specific scope of work is included

  • Publication limitations

Rights and obligations associated with future University research results is the section that usually requires most careful attention. The Principles Regarding Rights to Future Research Results in University Agreements with External Parties (pdf) policy ("Principles Policy") establishes the fundamental parameters for negotiating that section of the agreements with external parties.

Last updated: 9 Jul 2016

Types of International Agreements

Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)

  • General statements of mutual interest to explore opportunities for collaboration
  • Explicitly non-binding and do not allow for commitment of university funds, staff, facilities, or other university resources

International Agreements

  • Formal contracts that detail the terms and conditions of specific forms of collaboration
  • Legal and binding on both parties
  • Necessary when there is a commitment of university resources including funds, staff, facilities, or other UW assets

Examples of activities requiring formal agreements include:

  • International student and faculty exchange
  • Joint research
  • Collaborative degree programs
Last updated: 6 Jul 2016

Who to Ask for Assistance

When negotiating international agreements, it is essential that you work with the applicable listed offices and with Technology Transfer offices. In the section Contract Provisions, common provisions specific to international agreements are discussed.  

  • UC Risk Managers are dedicated to facilitating UC research in support of UC’s mission.

  • UC Campus Legal Teams and UCOP Office of General Counsel are available to UC staff and faculty to develop the legal framework to conduct international research.

  • Your Campus Research Management Services provides expert administrative support to all researchers, from pre-award through the award process on all grant mechanisms.

  • Each UC has a different name for their Contracts and Grants Offices. They provide negotiation, acceptance of awards/agreements on behalf of the Regents for projects funded by federal and state agencies, foundations and other public and private sources. These offices are also responsible for drafting, negotiating, and executing subawards for collaborative research.


Last updated: 8 Dec 2016
Last updated: 6 Jul 2016