MUSC is committed to international collaborations in teaching, research, service and other fields of mutual interest through a multi-layered engagement of research, faculty, and student collaborations and already has formal partnerships with many universities, government agencies, and non-profit organizations operating outside the United States. Faculty are often at the forefront of these relationship-building efforts and in some instances are asked to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) or other kinds of agreements to establish such collaborations.
Relationships with entities outside the United States whether through the simplest MOU, an unassuming subcontract, or the most complex research collaboration offer unique opportunities but pose special challenges. Because an MOU or other form of international agreement may be a binding legal agreement, it is important that any such agreement be entered into carefully. International agreements are more complex than domestic contracts because they need to take into account the host country’s laws, such as laws pertaining to local language, registration, labor or tax requirements. Further, because MUSC is a state institution, there may be special requirements or restrictions that may need to be included in these agreements. In addition, international projects often involve additional costs, such as obtaining foreign ministry permits and approvals to fulfill host country regulatory requirements that may not have been fully considered or vetted.
For these reasons, the Center for Global Health and the Office of the Provost have developed guidelines to support MUSC departments and Colleges that seek to establish meaningful institution-to-institution relationships overseas while helping faculty understand the best way to pursue such relationships. These guidelines are not intended to apply in situations where MUSC has a well-established, standardized process, such as Grants and Contracts, Procurement, or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.