Initiate a Partnership

Mississippi State University (MSU) prioritizes global research, academic programming, and service efforts towards solving global food security and creating university global awareness.

In order for our institution to further our efforts in relation to global food security, MSU strives to create and develop partnerships with organizations around the world. Depending on the nature and scope of the partnership, the agreement type may vary. The two basic agreement types at MSU are:

  1. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): MOUs are institution-wide agreements declaring intent to explore collaborative opportunities between MSU and the partner institution in areas that would be mutually beneficial to each institution. MOUs may initiate activities that lead to future MOAs, once relationships have been developed.
  2. Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): MOAs are specific agreements that can stand alone or be dependent upon a university-level MOU. MOA’s primarily detail collaboration in the realms of Research or Student Exchange with specific departments or colleges across campus.

In order to initiate an international partnership agreement, either as an MSU employee or foreign entity, the following procedures must be followed:

  1. Interest shown for partnership development is communicated to the International Institute at
  2. An MSU faculty member is identified as the primary contact for the agreement initiation (if not indicated in Step 1).
  3. The faculty member will provide the International Institute with a completed (not signed/finalized) International Partnership Cover Sheet.

    The notes section of the Cover Sheet should include an explanation of why the partnership is beneficial to the University, college and the department, as well as any specific provisions to be incorporated into the agreement.

    In addition to the Cover Sheet, the faculty member will receive a list of questions regarding the current and future goals of the partnership.

  4. If the potential Partner has provided a template or example MOU/MOA, forward that document to the International Institute. The International Institute will then integrate the Partner’s draft and MSU’s approved template to form a single MOU/MOA document.
  5. Provide the International Institute with contact information of the International Office at the Partner institution for future communication purposes.
  6. The International Institute will liaise with the Partner’s International Office and MSU’s Office of General Counsel until an agreed upon MOU can be established.
  7. Once MSU’s Office of General Counsel and the Partner’s International Office approve the document, the International Institute will route the Cover Sheet for final signatures.
  8. The International Institute will present a packet including the MOU/MOA, Cover Sheet, and International Institute letter of support to the Provost for approval and signature.

    If the agreement is a MOA-Research, the International Institute will work with the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) in order to route for approval and signature.

  9. The International Institute will liaise with the Partner’s International Office to acquire required signatures from their institution.
  10. After finalizing the document, the International Institute will provide copies of the agreement(s) to the faculty member, Partner’s International Office, Provost Office, and/or the OSP.
  11. Annual follow up with the unit of record (academic department) will be conducted annually to catalog the partnership’s progress.

Questions: Please direct all questions and inquires relating to international partnerships to the International Institute at