International collaborations are typically initiated by faculty members at Penn State academic colleges and campuses. A faculty champion serves as a facilitator of collaborative activities and a point of contact responsible for communication with the collaborating international institution. If an agreement is required or considered, the faculty member works with the Global Collaborations team in the Penn State Global throughout the proposal, drafting, review and approval, and signing stages of the process. For additional information on factors and criteria to consider when starting up an international collaboration, please see Pre-Contract Planning.
Explore the list of active agreements between Penn State and our international partners.
Guidelines for Global Collaborations and International Agreements
To process requests for agreements (new or renewals), Global Collaborations utilizes a proposal mechanism based on a two-pronged approach for agreements initiation.
Types of Agreements
Penn State uses three types of agreements for international collaborations- a Letter of Intent (LOI), a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
Penn State's reputation in the international community depends in part on the nature and strength of our international partnerships. Before discussing collaboration with a foreign institution, it is recommended that faculty members review the following factors and criteria that reflect Global Programs’ strategic vision for global engagement and collect information that will help assess feasibility of their proposal.
Approval and Signing Process
Global Collaborations has established a 5-step review and approval protocol that guides the development of the most common types of agreements, from inception to signing. The purpose of the approval process is to ensure that all interested stakeholders have been provided an opportunity to review, modify, and approve an agreement prior to the signing phase.
Types of Collaborations
There are many kinds of collaborations between Penn State and international counterparts. Some require formal agreements, while others do not. The following is a brief overview of the more common types of collaborations, with links to more detailed explanations.