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Material Transfer Agreements

The sharing of tangible research materials typically requires a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) between the provider and recipient.  An MTA is a legal contract to protect the rights of both entities to set terms and conditions regarding intellectual property, ownership, publication, permitted use, and liability.

MTA Request Form

What are tangible research materials?

Tangible research materials are considered any research materials with commercial value or intellectual property.

What are some examples of tangible research materials?

Common examples include biological materials, chemicals, physical samples, and devices.

What is the process?

  1. The University investigator completes an MTA Request Form. The Office of Technology Transfer and the Office of Research Compliance will review the request to determine transfer requirements:
    1. Technology Transfer, with General Counsel, determine agreement terms and conditions.
    2. Research Compliance determines applicable compliance committee review for materials being transferred to the University.
    3. Research Compliance may notify the Conflict of Interest Officer regarding the transfer.
    4. Research Compliance may notify Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability if the material may be hazardous.
  2. The investigator works with applicable University departments to complete the transfer requirements.
  3. The material is transferred.

How long does this process take?

It depends on a number of factors such as:

  • With whom the investigator is transferring materials
    • Higher education, non-profit, industry
  • The material’s sensitivity and potential intellectual property value
  • Agreement requirements
    • Requires consensus from provider’s and recipient’s organizations.
    • General Counsel may require agreement review (up to three weeks).
  • Compliance committee protocol and approval requirements (if necessary)
    • Full committee protocol review can take up to six weeks

Need more information or have questions?


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