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Office Of Global Health
55 Lake Ave N, ACC7-004
Worcester, MA 01655
Tel: 508-856-2840
Fax: 508-856-1140

globalhealth@umassmed.edu

Forms and Policies: Memoranda of Understanding and Letters of Collaboration

Download MOU Policy
Download the OGH Policy for establishing MOUs or LOCs with International Entities.


Download MOU Policy
Download the OGH International Agreement Matrix.

POLICY FOR ESTABLISHING MOUs or LOCs WITH INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS OR ORGANIZATIONS

Memoranda of Understanding

The purpose of a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) is to formalize an affiliation between UMMS and an international institution or organization. MOUs provide an overview of the affiliation’s scope of work and describe, in general terms, the relationship that UMMS is seeking with a particular organization; as such, MOUs act as vehicles to generally define and enhance collaborations between international partners.

However, MOUs are not binding legal contracts or Affiliation Agreements – documents that define the precise legal responsibilities and obligations of the contracting parties. To the contrary, an MOU is a non-contractual, non-binding statement of the Parties’ desire/intent to engage in a certain Program and the related activities outlined therein. An MOU is not binding or enforceable on either Party by the other, and creates no legal responsibilities or obligations.

MOUs also will not be construed to create a relationship of a joint venture, partnership, brokers, employees, servants or agents between the two Parties. The Parties to MOUs are acting as independent contractors from Institutions that are entirely separate and distinct.

Letter of Collaboration

However, if the faculty or department desires to sign a documentation of collaboration that purely reflects a general intent to explore future relationship without any specifically defined areas of collaboration, they should request for a template for “Letter of Collaboration” (LOC) instead of an MOU. The LOC is a non-contractual, non-binding statement that may be signed to express the friendship and amity between the two institutions.

The UMMS International Agreements Matrix can help clarify the different types of agreements.

PROCEDURE for MOU

The following procedure should be followed to establish an MOU:

      1.   Obtain departmental sign off on the proposed partnership.



      2.   Submit a Foreign Project Registration form to the Office of Global Health for approval. This process may take up to 30 days (See UMMS policy for Foreign Project Registration).



      3.   Once Foreign Project has been approved, contact the Office of Global Health for an MOU template. The template MOU contains all the basic provisions of an MOU in vetted legal language; portions of Section 4 (Areas of Collaboration) may be removed based on the nature of the proposed relationship. UMMS legal counsel must approve changes to any other sections. Please contact Office of Global Health if your proposed MOU requires major changes.



      4.   Make changes to the template MOU by inserting the name and logo of the partnering institution, as well as modifying the MOU provisions to accommodate the needs of the specific relationship.



      5.   Return the amended MOU to the Office of Global Health to be disseminated for UMMS internal review. You will receive an electronic copy of the MOU with suggested revisions once the UMMS internal review is completed. UMMS internal review will be conducted at a minimum by OGH (Associate Provost, Co-Director) and Legal. In addition, the following may be asked to review, as appropriate:



      • Dean of Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
      • Dean of Graduate School of Nursing
      • Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs
      • Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education
      • Director of International Medical Education
      • Vice Provost for Research or Associate Vice Provost for Research
      • Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance
      • Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Medical Officer for Center of Health Policy and Research Commonwealth Medicine
      6.   Either the initiating department/program or OGH Program Coordinator (Jessica Chang) will send a copy of the UMMS-vetted MOU to the partner institution for approval. Kindly notify OGH Program Coordinator if the partnering institution requests that additional changes be made. Any changes to the document must be approved by UMMS legal counsel.



      7.   Once both entering parties have approved the MOU, OGH Program Coordinator will arrange for the leadership of each institution to sign the document for execution. Dean of the School of Medicine will sign all MOUs on behalf of UMMS; if the agreement relates to finances or the exchange of goods, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance must also sign the MOU on behalf of UMMS; if the agreement relates to the Medical School and the UMassMemorial Hospitals, the Chancellor must sign on behalf of both institutions.



      8.   Send copies of the formalized MOU to the Office of Global Health and the partnering institution.

 

PROCEDURE for LOC

      1.   Contact the Office of Global Health for an LOC template. The template LOC contains provision of an LOC in vetted legal language. This language should not be changed.  



      2.   Make changes to the template LOC by inserting the name and logo of the partnering institution where appropriate.



      3.   Return the amended LOC to the Office of Global Health for a final review. 



      4.   Either the initiating department/program or OGH Program Coordinator (Jessica Chang) will send a copy of the UMMS-vetted LOC to the partner institution for approval. Kindly notify OGH Program Coordinator if the partnering institution requests that additional changes be made. Any changes to the document must be approved by UMMS legal counsel.

 

      5.   In the event of a signing ceremony, the document will be signed by either of the officers at UMMS (Dr. Terence Flotte, Dean, or Dr. Michael Collins, Chancellor).



      6.   Once both entering parties have approved the LOC, OGH Program Coordinator will arrange for the leadership of each institution to sign the document for execution. Dean of the School of Medicine will sign all LOC on behalf of UMMS; if the agreement relates to finances or the exchange of goods, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance must also sign the LOC on behalf of UMMS; if the agreement relates to the Medical School and the UMassMemorial Hospitals, the Chancellor must sign on behalf of both institutions.

 

The Office of Global Health is located in room S1-710 and may be contacted by emailing OGH Program Coordinator (jessica.chang@umassmed.edu) or calling 508-856-2840.