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Faculty Engaging in International Collaborations, Grants or Activities

  • Responsible Office: Global Education Office, Office of the Provost
  • Current Approved Version: 04/06/2009
  • Policy Type: Administrative


The purpose is to document the processes VCU faculty/students/staff must follow as they become engaged in international proposals, projects and programs to protect all parties involved and to enable the highest quality experience for all those participating in an international collaboration through VCU.

The VCU Office of International Education is charged with coordination of international partnerships and related activities (see “VCU’s International Partnerships in the World”) as well as oversight of other University-sponsored international relationships/endeavors. International relationships/endeavors are defined as any involvement of VCU faculty, students and staff going abroad on programs sponsored, endorsed, or authorized by or otherwise associated with VCU as well as VCU programs designed to host international students, faculty, staff and visitors. When designing or submitting new international programs or proposals which will take place on- or off-campus, VCU faculty/staff/students must contact VCU Office of International Education to ensure that the participation of VCU students and employees as well as international guests participating in VCU international sponsored programs meet Federal, State and/or VCU regulations and polices as well as any other requirements and/or standards as may be outlined in international memoranda of understandings, agreements or grants.


All faculty/students/staff at VCU, particularly Deans of Schools and academic program directors who may submit proposals (e.g. curricular, joint/dual degree, research, grant, special program proposals) involving collaboration with VCU’s International Partnership Universities or any other universities, institutions or agencies overseas.


VCU Office of International Education officially interprets these procedures and guidelines and shall revise or eliminate any or all parts as necessary to meet the changing needs of Virginia Commonwealth University and the internationalization of its campuses. Questions about this document should be directed to the Executive Director of the VCU Office of International Education.


I. Submitting Proposals for Budget Support for Collaboration with a VCU International Partnership University

   A. Partnership Proposals

Proposals from the College/School, Department/Program and/or Faculty level will be submitted on the International Partnership Fund Budget Request form (posted on the International Partnerships website) to International Partnership Support Services in the Office of International Education with the endorsement of the Dean(s) of the involved unit(s). Endorsement of the Dean will indicate the willingness of the Dean to match funds provided by the Office of International Education in support of the proposed activity. Before working on a proposal submission, it is advised that faculty preparing the proposal meet with the VCU faculty member who is the Director of the related VCU International Partnership (see “VCU’s International Partnerships in the World”).

   B. Proposal Timeframe

Proposals must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of activities for which funding is requested.

   C. Proposal Format

The International Partnership Fund Budget Request form specifies the Partnership institution, the type of activity proposed (e.g. collaborative research, curriculum development, faculty mobility, etc), the funding requirements (e.g. salary, travel, lodging, supplies, scholarships, etc), project participants and co-funding unit. The form includes space for a brief narrative description with explicit reference to how the proposed activity will enhance the development of the partnership and, more specifically, by what means the success of the activity is to be measured (see “International Partnership Objectives and Outcomes”).

   D. Proposal Budget

The overall proposal budget should not exceed a total of $10,000 provided by the Partnership Program ($5,000) and the respective Dean(s) ($5,000). The Budget should provide a justification of individual components of the budget and supporting documentation.

   E. Proposal Review

Proposals will be reviewed by the Council of International Partnership Directors. Proposal evaluation will examine the extent to which the proposed activity is appropriate to the International Partner Institution, consistent with the broad objectives of the Partnership Program initiative, enhances the educational and/or scholarly missions of the University, is compliant with requirements for defined evaluation and holds the prospect for continued and enhanced activity on a self- sustaining basis. Acceptance and support of a proposal is contingent on the availability of funds within the fiscal cycle of the University.

The Council of International Partnership Directors may recommend funding as written, a modification of the existing proposal, denial of the proposal with a suggestion to resubmit with modifications, or denial of the proposal. In all cases a brief written summary of the product of the review process will be provided to the individual submitting the proposal. All recommendations of the Evaluation Committee will then be forwarded with the VCU International Partnership University Proposal Cover and Signature Page for final approvals/decisions to the Executive Director of VCU International Education, the Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs and/or the Associate Vice President for Health Sciences (if applicable), the Vice-Provost for International Affairs, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs as well as the Vice President for Research (if applicable).

   F. Funding

Once the proposal has been accepted and signed, the requesting Department will furnish OIE with the budget code for all expenses associated with the proposal that will be cost- shared and a timeline for the completion of the program. Because the funding source is a ledger 1, all program expenses must be paid or committed prior to the end of the current fiscal year. Unless the department opts to process the program's TAs and TRs, OIE will process this paperwork with both OIE's and the department's budget codes included. If the department prefers to process the paperwork, OIE will, upon program completion and assessment of final/total costs, transfer 1/2 of the total cost (up to $5,000) to the department's 1-index.

II. Requirements Involving International Collaboration, Activities and Endeavors Not Affiliated with the VCU International Partnership Universities

   A. International Collaboration Proposals Requiring Services Offered by the VCU Office of International Education

For grants and any other proposals with international endeavors directly involving one or more of the offices within VCU International Education, the Principal Investigator (PI) or designee will work directly with the Associate Executive Director of VCU International Education. The meeting with the Associate Executive Director needs to take place well BEFORE the grant/proposal due date. Following the work of the Associate Executive Director of OIE and of the PI, they will both meet with the Executive Director of VCU International Education and/or Vice Provost for International Affairs to present how all the international components of the grant/proposal have been addressed so appropriate letters of support may then be issued.

Additional information can be found in the procedures for the VCU Office of Immigration Services for All International Students, Research Scholars, Professors, or Specialists on the VCU Campus and/or the procedures for the VCU Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

   B. International Collaborations Not Requiring Services Offered by the VCU Office of International Education

Faculty, students and staff applying for grants or submitting other proposals involving international endeavors taking place either on- or off-campus for which they are not sure if any of the services offered by the offices within VCU International Education (see “Organization of the VCU Office of International Education”) are needed should contact VCU International Education to make sure that there are not immigration and visa matters that may need to be addressed in their projects. The Executive Director will review the grant proposal with the principle investigator (PI) or designee, who is in-charge of assembling and submitting the grant to the VCU Office of Research for final approval, and furnish, if needed, appropriate support letters or other documents (e.g. Memorandum of Understanding, International Agreements) to accompany the grant or to follow the grant once awarded. For Memoranda and Agreements, the Executive Director of VCU International Education and/or the Vice Provost of International Affairs, in collaboration with the VCU Office of the General Counsel, will prepare the documents and acquire appropriate signatures. For joint or dual degree program proposals or for any other academic and curricular matters with international institutions, the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs must also review and approve the proposal/agreement.

III. VCU Faculty Seeking International Sabbaticals/Lectures

   A. VCU’s International Partnership Universities:

For any VCU faculty members who have been granted Senior Fulbright Lectureships or other similar awards and who want to apply for a lectureship at one of VCU’s International Partnership Universities, the VCU faculty member needs to contact the VCU Director of a specific International Partnership (see “VCU’s International Partnerships in the World”). The Director of the Partnership will make the necessary inquiries to see if a lectureship can be arranged in conjunction with the faculty member’s award.

   B. Institutions outside of the VCU International Partnership Universities:

For awardees of international lectureships who intend to lecture at institutions outside of the VCU International Partnership Universities, it is the responsibility of the individual faculty member to make those lectureship arrangements after having conferred with their administrative supervisor (e.g. Chair/Dean) regarding leave. The VCU Office of International Education does not negotiate between a faculty member and their supervisor international leave/sabbatical issues or arrangements.

   C. Requirements:

For any VCU faculty member who leaves on a lectureship/sabbatical that has been approved by their administrator, the faculty member must fill out and submit for approval a travel authorization form. The faculty member will want to also verify Department of State Travel Warnings and obtain an International Teacher Identification Card.


  • International Partnership Objectives and Outcomes

  • Organizational Chart of the VCU Office of International Education

  • VCU International Partnership Universities Proposal Cover and Signature Page

  • VCU Office of International Education: International Travel for VCU Faculty/Staff/Students Procedures and Guidelines

  • VCU’s International Partnerships in the World