Guidelines for BioMed Proposals


(Division of Biology and Medicine)

Every year, Brown University signs agreements with international institutions that cover a wide variety of collaborations across campus. This document clarifies the process whereby new agreements related to global health and medicine with international institutions are initiated and approved.

I. Substantive Description of the Program

All faculty members proposing an international agreement should prepare a proposal including responses to the following:

  1. Describe the academic relationship envisioned.
  2. Describe the academic benefits to both institutions.
  3. List the faculty sponsors (name, title and contact information) at both institutions.
  4. List the responsible officers (name, title and contact information) at both institutions.
  5. Describe the levels of interaction envisioned. Please specify if it involves faculty, post-docs, medical residents, graduate students, undergraduates (or all of the above), and if it is focused on teaching, research, clinical rotations, or a combination of the three.  Proposals that involve only clinical rotations need only the approval of the relevant Brown department chair, and are not included in this process. Similarly, proposals that involve MOU’s for medical students only are handled by the Office of the Associate Dean for Visiting International Medical Students (VIMS).  The Office of the Dean of Medicine and Biology should be informed of these collaborations. 
  6. State the anticipated duration (semester, year, etc.) of exchanges.
  7. Describe how costs (including tuition, living expenses, health insurance) will be covered. Note that Brown’s agreements normally follow a “home tuition model” in which the student pays tuition to the home institution.
  8. If the sponsoring government or institution is paying stipend or other costs, please provide the amount. Note that students and scholars coming to Brown from overseas must demonstrate a specified level of financial support; this amount is established annually and can be clarified in consultation with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS).
  9. Describe any special health and safety considerations that may pertain to the program destination.
  10. Describe the outcome(s) envisioned. If the program involves students, is the visit on a for-credit or non-credit basis? Typically, if students are involved in international exchange they receive academic credit but not a degree from the host institution. (Note that if a joint degree program is envisioned, a more lengthy review and approval process is required—see below).

II. Procedural Steps for Review of the Program

Faculty wishing to propose a new program related to global health and medicine should first submit a written proposal that responds to the questions in Part I above to the Global Health Initiative Office. Any draft MOU or letters of interest from the partner institution may also be attached (but are not required).   The Global Health Initiative staff will review the proposal and route to the Dean of Medicine and Biology for approval as appropriate.

Once approved by the Dean of Medicine and Biology, a copy of the proposal will then be sent to the Office of Global Engagement (Diana Perdomo).


  1. Any draft MOU submitted will be vetted by the General Counsel’s Office and revised as necessary to comply with Brown’s policies for legal agreements.
  2. Proposals for joint graduate degrees will also require a separate proposal that is reviewed by the Graduate Council, and then (if approved) in sequence by the APC, Faculty and Corporation.


III. Criteria for Review of New Agreement Proposals

Proposals will be assessed in line with the following criteria:

1. Academic Criteria

  • It is established that Brown faculty/students/researchers going abroad will go through the current departmental and other procedures for approval of credit, time away from campus, etc.
  • There is a competitive selection process for visiting students if they will be taking credit-bearing courses
  • The proposal is sponsored by Brown departments that have expertise in the area, including commitment from a Brown faculty member for supervision
  • There is a recommendation from the partner institution(s), including the visiting faculty/student/researcher’s supervisor, for faculty/students and researchers coming to Brown

2. Administrative Criteria

  • The proposal clarifies the ways in which the partnership will add value to Brown and its objectives for international partnerships, and lays out specific goals/deliverables
  • There is departmental sponsorship of the program
  • Responsibility is clarified for admissions decisions, academic supervision, collaborative research, funding sources, fee structure, visa, safety and health insurance, travel, housing and other logistical issues, and the faculty member(s) who will have primary responsibility for the administration of the program
  • Sunset provisions are included in the MOU that build in a process of evaluation and review

3. Financial Criteria:

  • Adequate funding will be provided by the institutions, student or outside sources.

4. Procedural Criteria: 

  • The MOU is reviewed and approved by the Dean of Medicine and Biology. The Office of the Dean will then forward the document to the Office of Global Engagement (Diana Perdomo) for coordination with the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, and other offices as necessary. Agreements need to be reviewed by the Office of the Provost, and are signed by the President, Provost, or Dean.