Research Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Universities

Division of Research

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is an overarching, non-legal binding document that reflects UNSW's intention to collaborate with an international institution. There are different types of MoUs, covering General, Teaching and Research collaboration, as well as Student Agreements.

A Research MoU reflects the partnering institutions' intention to establish research links or to strengthen research collaboration. A Joint PhD Agreement may form an appendix to a Research MoU.

All international MoUs and Student Agreements at UNSW need to adhere to the UNSW Policy and Procedure

Expression of Interest:

UNSW academic staff interested in establishing an MoU should submit an online Expression of Interest (EOI) form. As part of the submission, relevant information such as the purpose of the MoU, benefits, expected outcomes, alignment to Faculty and UNSW strategic priorities as well as prior links/history of collaboration should be provided.

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

Key Criteria:

One key criterion for all international agreements is that the proposed partner is a top-tier institution, exemplified by a ranking in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Jiao Tong Ranking), Times Higher Education World University Rankings and/or the QS World University Rankings. Alternatively, a sustained 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 agreements:

  • The partnership facilitates productive and high-impact collaborations involving a critical mass of researchers (Note: For research collaboration between individual academics, we generally will not pursue institutional MoUs);

  • The partnership brings about increased international research funding and research outputs;

  • The partnership showcases UNSW research and researchers; and

  • The partnership enhances the profile and visibility of UNSW as a research-intensive university.


EOIs for Research agreements are reviewed by Faculty Associate Dean/Dean of Research, the International Research Manager, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), as per UNSW Delegations of Authority.

All international agreements are executed by the signing and mutual exchange of the MoU. An administrator from the appropriate office will make arrangements for the execution of the agreement with the international institution.

Note: All international Research agreement requests will be assessed in relation to the Australian Sanctions Law, and the UN and Autonomous Sanctions & Defence Trade Controls.


All enquiries related to Research agreements should be directed to  An administrator from the UNSW Division of Research will respond to your query.