Skip to main content

Conducting Research in Indonesia

These guidelines are for Cornell affiliates who need an LOA or MOA/MOU to support an application for a foreign research permit to conduct research in Indonesia—including Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays.

Panoramic view of Jakarta with residential houses, modern office and apartment buildings.
Jakarta, Indonesia.

For Cornell faculty, post-docs, researchers, and other affiliates to obtain a research permit in Indonesia, the Indonesian government and/or Indonesian host institutions may require Cornell affiliates to arrange a Letter of Agreement (LOA) or Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding (MOA/MOU) to be executed between Cornell and the overseas host institution. Cornell can only support a researcher-specific LOA/MOA/MOU in cases where a required research permit would be withheld unless and until a Cornell-executed LOA/MOA/MOU is produced.

In our experience, the two types of agreements generally accepted by the Indonesian government and host institutions are:

  •  a general MOA/MOU executed by the dean of the Cornell researcher's college/school and the host university's leadership.
  • a researcher-specific Memorandum of Agreement to Host a Visiting Research Fellow that is executed by the Cornell researcher, the dean of the Cornell college/school, and the host university's leadership.

Please note that if there is no preexisting agreement between Cornell and the host institution, the three-party Memorandum of Agreement to Host a Visiting Research Fellow is the preferred type of agreement.

Steps for the Cornell Researcher

  1. Visit Cornell's MOA database (Cornell NetID required) to determine if the university already has a general MOA. If so, request a copy from your unit's contract administrator and share the document with your prospective host institution to determine if it is acceptable documentation to receive your research permit.
  2. If Cornell does not already have an MOA with the host institution, or the existing MOA is not accepted as a suitable agreement for your situation, you need to determine what type of agreement your host institution requires.
  3. Reach out to your unit's contract administrator for assistance in obtaining a suitable template. Global Operations partners with the Office of General Counsel to make a variety of contract templates available to help document these types of relationships. If a general MOA/MOU between Cornell and the host institution is required, the agreement will be between your college/school and the host institution. University-level MOA/MOU are atypical, although exceptions are made with the Office of Vice Provost for International Affairs approval.
  4. Using a Cornell template, the Cornell researcher (or their admin support, if available) is responsible for a) completing the provided template to ensure it reflects the nature of their research; b) working directly with the host institution to finalize the agreement terms; and c) communicating with the unit's contract administrator who works directly with the Office of General Counsel to have each iteration of the contract reviewed and ultimately receive final approval.
  5. All agreements must be executed by Cornell's authorized signatory, which is typically the dean of the college/school.

Other Considerations

Are you sending or bringing research specimens to Indonesia?

  • To send or bring research samples or specimens to Indonesia, you must submit a Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA) with your research permit application. Contact the Center for Technology Licensing for assistance with necessary MTAs (as applicable).
  • Export Controls' guidance may apply to certain shipments.
  • Depending on the circumstances, these agreements can be complex and may require review by several internal offices. Please allow a minimum of two months to finalize the necessary agreements, in addition to the processing time required by the Ministry of Research and Technology/National Agency for Research and Innovation (RISTEK/BRIN), to review and issue the permit. Read detailed guidance concerning Indonesia's research permit application process.

Are you importing biological strains and materials, chemicals, geological samples, human specimens, and hazardous materials to the United States? 

Will you be on sabbatical leave abroad? 

Read Cornell's guidelines here.