Cornell University has implemented a new contract management platform to administer several types of international agreements, including:
- International institutional/academic collaborations (memorialized by Memoranda of Agreement, Project Agreements, Letters of Intent, Letter Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, or any similar agreement regardless of title). Learn more about these types of agreements here.
- International revenue-generating activities (memorialized by Master Services Agreements, Statements of Work, Educational Services Agreements, or any similar agreement regardless of title)
- International independent contractors (individual or non-corporate entity that resides outside of the United States, and provides personal services to Cornell University, while retaining control over the means and methods of accomplishing the result)
You must engage your unit's contract administrator to assist with agreements for projects or activities that are sponsored by a foreign entity or when Cornell conducts work outside of the U.S., including:
- Executive education, training, etc. (revenue-generating activities that fall outside sponsored research)
- Providing grants (from internal funding sources) to international collaborators or community stakeholders
- Non-degree program tuition or service revenue
- Other review generating activities
- Staffing needs for individuals located outside of the U.S., including independent contractors
What's not in scope?
- Purchasing (e.g., when units purchase services or products from a company registered outside the U.S.). Independent contractors (those who are operating without a legally registered company, do need to be evaluated--reach out to your unit's contract administrator).
- Sponsored research projects, including sub-awards
- Tuition for traditional degree programs
- Investment activity
- Technology licensing
- Gifts and/or sponsorship processed through the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development
Step one: As the initiator, ensure that all relevant parties in your college/unit are aware of and support the collaboration being proposed with the international entity.
Step two: Contact your unit's contract administrator at the earliest stage possible.
Step three: Allow the team ample time to evaluate your agreement from a variety of perspectives. Complex contracts may take extra time, particularly if they require outside advisory support. Your unit's contract administrator will return the contract to you with input or comments, as needed.
Step four: Negotiate with your collaborator to ensure both parties agree to terms. If there is a dispute and proposed terms are questioned. It is common for some back and forth at this stage of contracting.
Step five: Once both parties have agreed to terms the document will be ready to be signed.
Step six: According to Cornell Transaction Policy 4.2, only certain individuals have been granted transaction authority for the university’s international agreements, including university counsel, the provost, and the vice provost for international affairs. Additionally, delegation plans have been completed to extend this authority to deans of colleges/schools and authorized approvers for university-level units. Only these individuals may sign international agreements for your unit, college or school.
If your project is related to sponsored research, please contact the Office Sponsored Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 255-5014. A grant and contract officer will help you navigate the paperwork to accept funds at Cornell.