Material transfer agreements
MTAs are contracts, generally without cost to the recipient, used to effect the transfer of materials from the owner or authorized licensee to an institution for research purposes. Materials may be biological or chemical in nature and include the original material, derivatives, and progeny. MTAs are legally binding agreements and therefore can only be negotiated and signed by authorized University officials.
MTAs address many important issues, including: how the materials may be used; ownership of subsequent modifications or improvements; and liability for loss or damage caused in using or storing the material. While many MTAs are routine, some may require the University to negotiate terms before signing. For example, the University of Virginia is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia and therefore may not commit to indemnification of an outside party.
The Office of Grants and Contracts is designated to review all SOM MTAs and obtain University-authorized signature. The office ensures consistency with University guidelines and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If you have questions, please contact Grants and Contracts at 434-924-8426.
Procedures for generating an MTA
Procedures for generating an MTA Revised Procedures for MTA's involving human-derived materials
Due to recent changes in University policy concerning IRB approval requirements for the use of human subjects data and materials, Grants and Contracts has modified its procedures for processing MTAs acquiring or distributing such data and materials.
If the solicited materials are derived from human subjects, their receipt and use for research will require review by the IRB. Grants and Contracts will not submit these MTAs for institutional signature without IRB confirmation that: (1) the use is approved; or (2) work with the materials does not constitute human subjects research.
NOTE: For commercially-available materials purchased from a recognized vendor, no IRB review is required.
For instances where the University is sending human-derived material to other institutions, IRB review will also be required to ensure HIPAA compliance.
MTA review and negotiation process
Any PI who receives materials under an MTA must ensure that his or her research team understands the requirements of the agreement, including the allowable scope of work for use of materials you receive, and restrictions on sharing the material or technology with those outside the PI’s laboratory. Your staff should also understand the importance of having an MTA in place before sending UVA research materials, including research animals. Non-compliance with the terms of an MTA may result in a legal breach of agreement by the University.