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Affiliation Agreement Approval Process

Tufts University, its schools, centers, departments, and units frequently enter into affiliation agreements with both domestic and international partners in order to expand the student experience, conduct and enhance the impact of research and scholarship, and provide opportunities for faculty development. 

What is an Affiliation Agreement?

“Affiliation Agreement” is a general term that refers to any inter-institutional agreement between Tufts (or one of its schools or the HNRCA) with a Collaborating Institution or Entity in support of academic cooperation, such as academic programs, co-curricular or service opportunities, exchange of students, faculty, scholars, and staff. They can have different names: Memorandum of Understanding, Memorandum of Agreement, Affiliation Agreement, Exchange Agreement, Cooperation Agreement, Collaboration Agreement, and more. 

Affiliation Agreements Approvals

All affiliation agreements require internal approval. Certain affiliation agreements require approval from the Office of the Provost, while others may only require approval from the initiating party’s school dean or director. More information can be found in the internal approval policy 

Affiliation Agreements that Require Office of the Provost Approval 

  • Joint degree or certificate agreements
  • Joint admissions agreements or expedited admissions agreements
  • Consortium agreements
  • Academic agreements, student exchange agreements and student internship or externship agreements outside of the United States
  • Health sciences residency agreements and hospital affiliations with institutions outside of the United States

Affiliation Agreements that Do Not Require Office of the Provost Approval but Require School/Center Approval

  • Academic agreements, student exchange agreements and student internship or externship agreements within the United States
  • Health sciences residency agreements and hospital affiliations with institutions within the United States

Agreements that are Not an Affiliation Agreement

  • Co-authoring agreements
  • Gift agreements with corporations or foundations (submit to Corporate & Foundation Relations/Advancement)
  • Grants/sponsored research agreements with governments, industry, or foundations (submit to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research via Local Research Administrator)
  • Industry collaboration,  technology transfer, license and intellectual property agreements (submit to OVPR via Technology Transfer & Industry Collaboration or submit to the Office of the Vice Provost for Innovation)
  • Shared research services with Tufts Medicine (submit to the OVPR; also requires Office of University Counsel approval)
  • Procurement contracts for goods and services, including consulting agreements/consulting contracts (submit to Procurement)
  • Rental or lease agreements (submit to Procurement)
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Approval Process for Affiliation Agreements Requiring Provost Approval 

Step 1: Negotiate activity and obtain support from school dean or EAD 

  • Discuss the initiative with Department Chair, Dean (or their designee) or unit head, and EAD to obtain their support and learn about any applicable school policies and procedures. 
  • Confirm financial needs and support. 

Step 2: Complete and submit the Affiliation Agreement Online Proposal Form  

  • Complete the Affiliation Agreement Online Proposal Form using the online system (Kualibuild). Please note that you must be logged into the VPN to access the form.  
  • When prompted, upload the draft agreement (with changes proposed), if any, or attach the collaborating institution’s template or proposed draft (with changes clearly marked). Include details of any financial arrangements related to the collaboration. 
  • If there is no draft agreement, your form will be routed to a contact in University Counsel who will work with you to find the right template.  
  • If there is a draft agreement, you will be prompted to upload it. 
  • We encourage the use of Tufts’ templates, as this will reduce the amount of time to approve and conclude the agreement, but recognize that there are circumstances when it will be appropriate to use the collaborating institution’s (e.g., if Tufts is sending students or faculty to the collaborating institution, if there are special laws or regulations that apply, etc.).
  • Once the Affiliation Agreement Online Proposal Form and accompanying documents are submitted in the online system, they will be reviewed first by your school/unit, then the Provost’s Office and University Counsel, and approved or returned with revisions.   
  • Please allow at least 14 business days  for Provost Office review after the submission has received all school/unit-level approvals. Some agreements, especially international agreements, may require input and/or approval from various units as part of the approval process.  The Office of the Provost will consult those offices and/or provide additional instructions to the agreement lead if needed. 

Step 3: Share document draft with partners  

  • After the Agreement has been reviewed or drafted by Office of University Counsel (and any other relevant  units), your proposal form will be routed for signature to the Collaborating Institution, which may propose edits. 
  • If the Collaborating Institution proposes any changes to the draft, you may resubmit the draft with the changes clearly indicated in the Affiliation Agreement Proposal Form. 

Step 4: Execute the Agreement 

  • Following approval of the draft by Office of University Counsel and the Office of the Provost, and the Collaborating Institution, the Agreement is ready for signature.  
  • All final signatures will be routed via BoxSign. After that, the agreement will be archived and recorded for information on active agreements and renewals.  


Frequently Asked Questions