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EPIC-N Resource Spotlight: Partnership Agreement/Contract Templates

Author: Marshall Curry

EPIC-N Collects Example Partnership Agreements to Support Member Programs

Following the EPIC Model means building real partnerships between local governments/communities and universities. To initiate a formal EPIC partnership, EPIC programs generally rely on a request for proposal (RFP) or letter of interest process. Once a university and a local government/community decide to partner, they define how they’ll document the partnership’s identified deliverables. Sometimes these agreements are written up as a “partnership agreement”. Other times, programs call them “memorandum of understanding (MOU)”, “contract”, “letter of intent (LOI)”, “agreement”, or “memorandum of agreement (MOA)”. Whatever the name and format may be, as long as it communicates the mutually agreed upon goal(s), activity(s), deliverable(s), timeline(s), and/or resource(s) exchanged, EPIC-N celebrates the completion of these agreements!

However, there can be a line of delineation. For example, if the two parties enter into a formal contract, the agreement may be legally binding. Other types of agreements, like the MOU, are more informal and are typically not considered legally binding. The key is whether the parties intend to be legally bound by the terms of the agreement. As such, we encourage both the university and the local government/community entity to consult with their legal departments to explore which type of agreement is warranted or required.

Purpose of the Agreement

The primary purpose of the agreement is to ensure the communication and coordination necessary to implement research and educational projects agreed upon by both parties. It also lays out a path of specific steps both parties will take for pursuing initiatives that will foster and promote program success. Through this “formal handshake,” the university and local government/community, together, commit to collaborating with one another on their shared EPIC Model partnership goals.

Agreement Templates

EPIC-N knows that each university and/or local government/community may require variations of a partnership agreement. That’s why, with the help of our members, we’ve created a folder within the EPIC-N Toolbox dedicated to agreement templates successfully used by EPIC Model programs in the past. EPIC-N members have full access to all available templates through the EPIC-N Member Commons, so you can quickly produce your own organization’s program agreement. After consulting with your respective legal department on which type to use, you can simply access any of the templates available and revise as necessary. If you have questions along the way, we have dedicated EPIC-N staff that can help you through this process.

Become an EPIC-N Member

Become an EPIC-N member to gain access to the agreement templates. Becoming a member of the EPIC-Network is easy and free (for a limited time). To join, simply sign up for the free trial online. After receiving your request, EPIC-N staff will contact you to learn about your goals, provide resources, and support you on your EPIC journey.