Formalize Your Partnership

In today’s globally minded and interconnected world, there is a critical need to explore and strengthen equitable partnerships between leading universities and research institutions across the globe. By integrating local and transnational perspectives, global partnerships can foster cultural awareness while exploring life-changing research and innovation.

While these partnerships can provide exciting and practical opportunities for students, faculty, and communities, it is critical to understand that partnerships require careful planning, attentive nurturing, and a substantial commitment of human, financial, and intellectual capital.

Why Formalize Partnerships with Written Agreements?

Formalizing agreements between and among partners (whether or not goods or services are exchanged or whether or not mobility occurs) are important for two primary reasons: transparency and liability. It is a good practice to be transparent about both formal and informal agreements between and among institutions or stakeholders. It is critical that agreements are formalized to mitigate risk and protect the University should anything go awry in the relationship under consideration. By not only formalizing the agreements themselves but standardizing and formalizing the processes by which they are developed, the University of Pittsburgh is better equipped to ensure successful, productive, and positive relationships with partners across the globe.  

This information is intended for project administrators (PAs) who have held early conversations on potential collaborations with peers and are seeking to expand upon these ideas and take actionable steps towards an active partnership collaboration.

University Policy on International Agreements

The University partners with academic institutions across the globe to expand curricular offerings, research collaborations, and intercultural opportunities for mobility of students and faculty. University of Pittsburgh Policy AO 21 International Inter-institutional Academic Agreements was developed to provide a mechanism for initiating, amending and/or renewing international agreements. The University’s process for establishing and renewing agreements with international institutions exists to protect the interests of faculty and units working to establish linkages, as well as the University overall. The policy governs agreements having the following characteristics:
…any agreement 1) between the University of Pittsburgh and one or more foreign governments and/or universities or other organizations domiciled outside the United States, regarding the use of this University’s faculty, student, library or other research or instructional resources within the United States or 2) that commits the University of Pittsburgh to the deployment of faculty, student, library or other research or instructional resources outside of the United States.

Pitt Contacts and Teams 

The University of Pittsburgh employs various experts to assist in your international partnership endeavors.

PittGlobal's Partnerships Team is here to assist in your strategic planning and partner engagement and can assist with making potential connections between colleagues and partners with similar or overlapping interests.

The first point person for most contracting needs (see Phase 3) is the Global Concierge. For guidance on international travel resources abroad (travel abroad, trip registration, loaner technology, insurance, provider services, etc.) please visit