International Agreement Policy and Guidelines

Important notes

  • All agreements, whether binding or non-binding, must be signed by an authorized representative of the university. 
  • Any activity that involves minors (under age of 18) must be reviewed by the Office of Ethics, Risk and Compliance regardless of it being a routine or complex activity.
  • Any activity that involves licensing of the UC Berkeley name internationally must be reviewed by Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP) regardless of it being a routine or complex activity. BCBP will look at many factors including the territory and its intellectual property laws, valuation of the mark, and risk of reputational harm. 

This matrix is to help internal and external stakeholders navigate which office they should work with to draft binding or non-binding international agreements. To download PDF copy, click here.

If you still have questions, please contact Global Engagement Office at







Non-binding International Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

- For international research or academic collaboration.

- May also be referred to as Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Agreement, Collaboration Agreement, etc.

- MOU review, signing process, and templates.

• Non-binding document.

• Does not include specific deliverables or legal obligations.

• Not required by UC Berkeley but often requested by the foreign collaborator.

• Often used with government and higher education partners for diplomatic purposes.

• Not intended for use with corporate or for-profit partners (unless used as a term sheet for later, formal agreements).

Global Engagement Office (GEO)

More information


Chancellor or Senior International Officer

• Consult the Global Engagement Office to determine whether a non-binding MOU is the appropriate type of document for the program or relationship.

• Note that occasionally international partners may try to use a "nonbinding" agreement for something that contains deliverables or should be binding. In these cases, GEO will work with you to determine whether a binding agreement would be more appropriate and will secure support frm the appropriate contracting office - SPO, UDAR, BCBP, IAO, etc.).

• Contact GEO early for consultation. Agreements often require review from legal counsel.

Contracts and grant agreements

- For sponsored projects funded by government agencies, foundations, and other public and private sources.

- May also include unfunded collaboration agreements that include deliverables or other university obligations.

• Establishes terms and conditions for UC Berkeley's performance of sponsored projects (includes research, instructions, service, and other activities).

• Sets forth requirements for accepting funds in support of a specific project or program.

• Describes the specific deliverables and milestones associated with the project or program.

• Typically contains requirements (terms and conditions) for financial and technical reporting and intellectual property assignments, including patents and copyrights.

Sponsored Projects Office (SPO)

More information

Contact: Berkeley Regional Research Administrator

Executive Director or Associate Director of the Sponsored Projects Office

• Consult with SPO to determine whether agreement is required.

• Review any program solicitation or sponsor guidelines thoroughly.

• Start working with your Berkeley Regional Services (BRS) Research Administrator (RA) in early in the process.

• New to Grants and Contracts? Click here to check out.

• For proposal development assistance consider contacting the Berkeley Research Development Office.

Industry Sponsored Research Agreement, and Industry Affiliate Agreements

• Contracts and grants for sponsored research funded by companies.

• Used to establish, develop, and formalizerelationships with companies interested in promoting and sponsoring research.

Industry Alliances Office (IAO) in Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA)

More information


IAO Director, Associate Director, Industry Relations Manager, Industry Liaison & Contracts Manager

• Faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out to IAO for consultations.

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), Data Use Agreements (DUAs), Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA) or Confidentiality Agreements (CDAs)

• Used to receive materials, data, software, or confidential information for research use. (IAO)

• Used to send materials, data, software, or confidential information for research or commecial use. (OTL)

For receiving: Industry Alliances Office (IAO) in Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA).

For outgoing: The Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) of IPIRA.

More information


IAO Director, Associate Director, Industry Relations Manager, Industry Liaison & Contracts Manager

• Faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out to IAO for consultations.

International exchange or student mobility agreements (graduate, undergraduate),  3+1+1 programs, faculty exchange programs

• Used to establish terms and conditions for an undergraduate exchange, graduate exchange, or faculty exchange program.

Business Contracts & Brand Protection (BCBP)

More information


BCBP Director or Business Contracts Officers

• Early in the development of a new exchange program, consult Graduate Affairs for graduate programs, Study Abroad for undergraduate exchange, VSPA for faculty exchange, UC Berkeley Extension for concurrent enrollment, or the Global Engagement Office if unsure.

• Formalized exchange agreements should be binding where possible in order to protect participants and the university.

• Consult BCBP Decision Tree

International donor or gift agreement

• Documentation used to receive a gift from an international donor organization.

• May be for any activity at the university or to support research.

• Does not include deliverables.

University Development & Alumni Relations (UDAR) Fund Management

More information


• For gifts under $1M, Associate Vice President, UC Berkeley Foundation or Associate Vice Chancellor, Advancement Operations (depending on fiduciary)

• For gifts $1M-$10M, UC Berkeley Chancellor

• For gifts $10M+, University of California President

• Consult if unclear whether it is a gift or a grant.

• Contact early for consultation.

International sales and service agreements

- Including executive education, MOOCs, facility use, training, representation, and business collaboration; student exchange, placement, and training.

• Establishes terms and conditions for a business contract with an international organization

• Includes fee for service agreements and most revenue-generating activities.

Business Contracts & Brand Protection (BCBP)

More information


BCBP Director or Business Contracts Officers

• If revenue-generating, consider consulting new academic ventures (NAV-B) for program development support: Scott Shireman, Associate Dean and Chief Operating Officer at Berkeley Extension:

Use of university name and trademark

- Specifically trademark and/or non-research copyright acquisition, protection, and licensing.

To establish terms and conditions to authorize use of the Berkeley brand and trademark with an international partner.

Business Contracts & Brand Protection (BCBP)

More information


BCBP Director, Business Contracts Officers, or Brand Manager

• Consult BCBP decision tree