International Research Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with International Universities

Division of Research

An International Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an overarching non-legally binding document indicating an intention to undertake collaboration with an international institution. There are 3 types of MOUs covering General, Teaching & Research collaboration.

A Research MOU is to establish research links between the institutions and to strengthen research collaboration. A Joint PhD Agreement may for an appendix to a Research MOU.

All International MOUs and Student Agreements at UNSW need to adhere to the UNSW Policy and Procedure. Below is the procedure for establishing an MOU or Student Agreement.


UNSW Academic Staff interested in establishing a Research MOU should complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) form, seek support from the Dean or the Associate Dean of Research of their Faculty and then email the completed form to

An administrator from UNSW International or the Division of Research will contact the proposer of the EOI if more information is required.

Key Criteria:

The key criteria for all International MOUs or Student Agreements is that the proposed partner is a top tier institution, exemplified by a ranking in the Shanghai Jiao Tong top 200, Times Higher Education or QS World University rankings. Alternatively, a defined long term capacity building relationship with a selected partner where the relationship is clearly defined in a UNSW Faculty/School strategy is required.

 The following additional criteria apply for Research MOU and Agreements:

  • Facilitate productive, high impact, international research collaborations involving a critical mass of researchers

  • Result in increased international research funding and research outputs

  • Ability to showcase UNSW research and researchers

  • Enhance the profile and visibility of UNSW as a research-intensive University


The initial approval for all Research MOUs and Agreements is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research or Research Training). Final approval is by the Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) as per UNSW Delegations of Authority.

All International MOUs and Student Agreements are executed by the signing and mutual exchange of an MOU or Student Agreement document. An administrator from the appropriate office will make arrangements for signing and exchange of the final document with the international institution.

Please Note: All International Research MoUs requests will be assessed in relation to Australian Sanctions Law; UN and Autonomous Sanctions & Defence Trade Controls

All enquiries should be directed to An administrator from the UNSW Division of Research will answer your enquiry.