International Research Collaborations

The purpose of this publication is to present an overview of common issues that arise in global research administration and provide suggestions and resources to senior leadership, research administrators, and faculty at U.S. institutions that support such activity; focusing on pre-award matters such as pre-planning and partnership feasibility, proposal development, and negotiation, as well as post-award issues around award management, regulatory requirements and compliance risks.

(35 pages, PDF)

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

  • Glossary and Terminology 
  • Why Collaborate Globally?  
  • How to find the Right Partner and Funding Opportunity?  
  • How to Communicate Effectively with Partners?  

Chapter 2: Project Pre-planning

  • Partnership/Project Vision
  • Establishing Project Team Chemistry, Culture and Trust
  • Communication
  • Institutional Support for the Project 
  • Leadership of the Project (Institutional and Researcher)  
  • Project Feasibility, Funding Phasing and Eligibility Rules 
  • Sponsor Engagement
  • Special Geographical Issues
  • Compliance Landscape 
  • Agreements
  • Research or Development Project
  • Peer Advice

Chapter 3: Proposal Development

  • Lead Writer versus Team Writing
  • Reviewing One Draft versus Multiple Drafts
  • Suggested Changes versus Absolute “Must Haves” 
  • Types of Agreements to Consider at the Proposal Stage 
  • Budget Development for a Proposal
  • Direct Costs
  • Indirect Costs
  • Budgeting Equally versus Proportionally 
  • Budget Tips for Proposal Stage

Chapter 4: Negotiation

  • Sponsor Type 
  • Agreement Type
  • Award Negotiation: Roles and Key Considerations 
  • International Collaborator
  • International Partner or Sponsor: Culture and Customs
  • Defining the Scope of Work
  • Establishing a negotiation process at your institution
  • Academic Issues

Chapter 5: Award Management

  • Type of Award Actions
  • Award Actions 
  • Identification of Good Accounting Practices by the International Partner(s) 
  • Managing the Terms and Conditions of the Award
  • Setting up the Subaward Accounts 
  • Subaward Monitoring
  • Transferring Money
  • Closeout 
  • Uniform Administrative Guidance (UG) and International Partners 
  • Cost Principles and Cost Accounting Standards

Chapter 6: Regulatory and Compliance

  • General Regulatory Requirements
  • Unique Requirements and Considerations 


Martin Kirk, PhD, Director, Research Operations, King’s College London
Martin leads the research & researcher function and has operational responsibility for the Research Management and Innovation Directorate (RMID) at King’s College London. He joined King's in 2018 from the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he had been Director, Office of Research Services since 2007. Martin is a past president of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) and past co-chair of the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS). 


Jeremy T. Miner, MA, Director of Grants and Contracts, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Jeremy is a seasoned second generation research administrator who has served as NCURA-SARIMA International Fellow, given conference presentations and conducted grants trainings on six continents, and authored numerous books, micrographs, and articles on grant writing and research administration.


Ara Tahmassian, PhD, University Chief Research Compliance Officer, Harvard University
Ara is Harvard University’s Chief Research Compliance Officer and responsible for the oversight of the review, development, and implementation of policies related to research compliance activities coordinating the significant compliance requirements across the university. He has been active in national and international efforts including: two terms on the Board of Directors of the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), and chairing the Research Compliance and Administration Committee. He is currently a member of COGR’s Research & Regulatory Reform committee, FDP Animal Subject’s Subcommittee, NCURA Select Committee on Peer Programs, and NCURA Select Committee on Global Affairs. 


Bryony Wakefield, PhD, Director, Research Development, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
Bryony leads a team of expert research administrators, particularly in the areas of collaboration and funding, research performance and research strategy. Bryony has worked in the higher education sector for seventeen years in central and faculty roles at the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and the University of Canberra. In 2017, Bryony was appointed a Fellow of the Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS).


Marianne R. Woods, PhD, JD, Academic Program Director, Master of Science in Research Administration, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Advanced Academic Programs, Johns Hopkins University
Marianne has been in research administration for over 35 years. Prior to JHU she was the Senior Associate Vice President for Research at UT San Antonio. In 2009 Marianne was the recipient of the NCURA Outstanding Achievement in Research Administration award. Dr. Woods was the 2016 ARMS-NCURA International Fellow and traveled to the University of Melbourne in Australia. She has also served on NCURA’s Select Committee on Global Affairs.