Memorandum of Understanding

Memorandum of Understanding

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) can be extremely useful for advancing and formalizing community-academic partnerships, especially community-engaged research partnerships. Whether you have an established partnership or are just beginning one, it’s never too late to create a MOU!  A MOU typically requires addressing several key aspects of operationalizing a partnership, including: leadership roles, project direction, payments, dissemination of partnership findings, and data collection, ownership, storage and use. Creating an MOU to reflect the mutual goals, responsibilities and benefits of and to each partner has many benefits.

A written document not only serves to clarify and record the expectations and terms associated with an agreement, it can be invaluable if there is turnover in partners, and/or disagreements arise during project implementation.  Such a document can also be useful to orient new individuals who enter an established partnership.

MOU Templates

  • Here is a MOU template we have developed for use by UW Academic Partners:
    CCHE UW MOU sample (PDF)
  • The format can be changed/tweaked in consultation with Community Partners to ensure project scope and community based organization culture is reflected:
    MOU Sample 1 (PDF) & MOU Sample 2 (PDF)

CCHE staff have assisted researchers and community members with developing MOUs. We would be happy to share our resources and expertise during a consultation! Your brainstorming on the queries below prior to visiting us will assist us with providing you a tailored consultation experience.

Questions to consider when advancing a partnership:

Leadership roles

–          Who is this agreement/memorandum between? Who are your partners?

–          Are the roles and responsibilities of each partner clear? Is everyone comfortable with these?

–          Who is the director of this project? Are there multiple leaders? If so, how do their responsibilities differ and/or overlap?

Project direction

–          What are the scope and goals of the project?

–          What is the duration (start and end time) of the project?


–          What type(s) of payment will occur?

–          How/Will partners be reimbursed for expenses?

–          What process will allow partners to submit invoices appropriately?

Dissemination of partnership findings, data collection, ownership, storage and use

–          Are confidentiality agreements needed?

–          Will either/both partner wish to disseminate/publish findings?

–          How will project data be stored, and who will have access to use this data?


Please contact us any time you have questions or want to set up a consultation at