Research Topic

Material Transfer Agreement


A Material Transfer Agreement or “MTA” is an agreement that governs the transfer of materials between a provider and a recipient.

Types of materials that might be provided under an MTA: biological or non-biological materials, plants, chemicals, animals, electronics, computer chips, or any other “material” the provider considers to be proprietary.


Who Processes MTAs?

Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) reviews Material Transfer Agreements for incoming materials related to research and provided to University free of charge (except for shipping costs). 

The Office of Technology Management (OTM) reviews Material Transfer Agreements for outgoing University technology or materials.

Material Transfer Agreements that require payment of a fee to the provider need to be submitted to Purchasing for review and signature. Shipping costs do not count as paying for the materials.


Agreement Processing

Requests to SPA must be submitted through the appropriate eForm, except Addgene MTAs; all Addgene MTAs must be initiated within the Addgene site (see the link below under Resources)

Information to note in submission (see the eForm guide under Job Aids on how to answer these questions):

  • Are the materials related to or being used for a sponsored project?
  • Will Background Intellectual Property be used?
  • Will materials from other providers be used?
  • Do you intend to transfer the materials to another person on campus?
  • Do you intend to transfer the materials to someone not on our campus?


Quick Tip:

The MTA document is generally provided by the materials owner. SPA does not have an MTA template for use.


Job Aids:

  Guide for MTA Submission eForm 

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