Policy makers, at various levels of governance, generally encourage the development of research collaboration. However the underlying determinants of collaboration are not completely clear. In particular, the literature lacks studies that, taking the individual researcher as the unit of analysis, attempt to understand if and to what extent the researcher's scientific performance might impact on his/her degree of collaboration with foreign colleagues. The current work examines the international collaborations of Italian university researchers for the period 2001-2005, and puts them in relation to each individual's research performance. The results of the investigation, which assumes co-authorship as proxy of research collaboration, show that both research productivity and average quality of output have positive effects on the degree of international collaboration achieved by a scientist.