Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)


MTA Intake Form - required to initiate MTA process


Incoming MTA Process Description


Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) are required when the Health Science Center accepts a proprietary substance or product from an outside entity for use or testing. Also, MTAs are required to send materials to another academic/non-profit institution. MTAs for sending materials to for-profit entities are handled by the Office of Technology Commercialization. Typically these require that some deliverable is provided to that outside entity (e.g., a written report) and specify limitations on what can be done with the proprietary substance or product. These substances are often unique and can include biological materials, chemical compounds, pharmaceutical preparations, other types of tangible research materials and at times even software. While there is no financial commitment from either party, there are often issues of intellectual property, confidentiality, hazardous materials and protection of humans that must be addressed. Often times, materials are required to be transferred for which a subaward or clinical trial agreement is in place. When these agreements do not specifically stipulate the transfer of such materials, a separate MTA is required to be executed. The agreement must be in place and endorsed by both parties in order to protect the liability of both the Investigators and the Health Science Center. If the outside entity is a signatory of the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) or can accept the terms of the UBMTA, this can speed up the processing.


All MTA's, whether for incoming or outgoing material, are negotiated and signed in the Office of Sponsored Programs.


MTAs vary in length and complexity. A few MTAs are simple one page agreements that require no negotiated changes and are signed and sent to the providing institution. Other MTAs can be as long as seventeen pages (the longest we have seen) and extremely complex. MTAs are negotiated documents that cannot be brought to OSP and immediately signed and sent to the providing company.


To process your MTA, please provide the following*:

  1. Electronic copy of agreement from Sponsor (should be emailed from sponsor to Agreement Specialist).
  2. Email MTA Intake Form to Agreement Specialist.

* No COP is needed


If changes are required in the MTA (they almost always are), OSP will get in touch with the other organization and negotiate the changes. Once both parties agree upon the MTA language, the MTA is signed by a Health Science Center authorized representative. A copy will be sent to the P.I. After all parties sign the MTA, the materials are transferred. No project/grant is set-up since no funds are involved.


When faculty members transfer to/from the HSC, any material that the scientist brings/leaves must be accompanied by a MTA. New faculty members must provide OSP with a listing of materials that will be transferred from their prior institution. Once the incoming material list is received, OSP will execute MTA’s for all incoming materials. For faculty members leaving the HSC, a listing of materials that will be transferred to their new institution must be provided so that OSP can execute MTA’s with the transfer institution.