Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)

All MOUs documenting the parties’ intent to engage in activity related to the research enterprise at the University are signed by the Vice President for Research (VPR). MOUs unrelated to funded projects should be sent to the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) via email (

OIE will forward unfunded MOUs to the Office of Sponsored Projects and simultaneously advise the originator of the (unfunded) MOU (whether faculty, student, researcher, ORU, Academic Department or College) that the MOU was sent to OSP and any questions or follow-up should be directed to OSP.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a.k.a “memorandum of agreement”, “letter of intent”, et. al., is a bilateral or multilateral agreement which documents the manner in which the parties intend to pursue a common course of action. While in some cases the parties do not intend to imply a legally enforceable agreement, the mere fact the document is not labeled as a “contract” does not mean the MOU can NOT be legally binding. MOUs may have the binding power of a contract depending on the presence or absence of certain legal elements within the text of the document, and thus MOUs may only be signed by an authorized signator of the University.

The person/department sponsoring the MOU must review the document as to content and form before submitting the MOU to the VPR Office.  If the MOU relates to:

  1. a proposed collaborative research effort between a for-profit entity and the University (solely funded by the for-profit entity)—The Office of Industry Engagement (OIE) can assist in review of the MOU and submission to VPR. Simply submit the proposed MOU, along with an email describing the circumstances, to
  2. a proposed collaborative effort with the University which will ultimately involve funding, or participation, by a state, federal, or foreign government agency—The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) can assist in review of the MOU and submission to VPR.

Pertinent Office(s):

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