Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a written contract used to govern the transfer of research material between organizations. The sharing of research products (such as compounds, software, cell lines, transgenic animals, plasmids and monoclonal antibodies, etc.) is critical to continuing progress in science, and it is the University’s intention to facilitate the exchange of material between researchers at academic institutions, government agencies and corporate entities. 

An MTA is established between a provider institution and recipient institution to document the material being transferred and terms and conditions with respect to issues such as ownership, permitted uses of the material, publication of results, development of inventions and liability. Establishing conditions prior to the transfer of material avoids issues and misunderstandings after the research has begun.  Because different collaborations require different agreements, MTAs are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

MTAs are executed when proprietary materials are transferred in or out of Northwestern. Whether for inbound or outbound materials, MTAs are critical documents that require signatures from the Provider(s) and Recipient institution(s) to ensure that each party will comply with the terms of the agreement.

Processing Procedure

Requests for both inbound and outbound MTAs should be sent to mta@northwestern.edu and should include a completed Inbound or Outbound MTA Request Form and the Provider’s MTA draft (for inbound transfers).  OSR will review each request and work with the other institution to finalize the MTA and facilitate the signature process.  For materials of human origin, please include your IRB approval or exemption letter, if needed, when submitting your MTA request.  Please note that MTAs from companies require modification more frequently than those from non-profit organizations. The negotiation process can be quite lengthy, so investigators should plan accordingly when requesting corporate materials.

Inportant Information

Northwestern University investigators cannot sign MTAs on behalf of the University. The agreement needs to be set up as a contract between institutions and signed by an Authorized Official who is capable of binding the University to the terms.  Northwestern PIs are often required to sign MTAs as Read and Understood. Northwestern strongly encourages its PIs to thoroughly read through MTAs before signing. Not all MTAs are the same and it is very important that Northwestern PIs and lab members understand and abide by the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement.

Contacts and Institutional Information

  Evanston CaMpus Chicago Campus

Authorized Official / Contact

Anne K. Grace
Senior Contract and Grant Officer
Anne K. Grace
Senior Contract and Grant Officer

Legal Address

Northwestern University
633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University
633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL 60208

Administrative Address

Northwestern University
Office for Sponsored Research
750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 503-0884
mta@northwestern.edu

Northwestern University
Office for Sponsored Research
750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 503-0884
mta@northwestern.edu

 

Northwestern University - Office for Research

Contact :
Chicago
Arthur Rubloff Building
750 N. Lake Shore Dr., 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 503-7955
OSR-Chicago@northwestern.edu
Evanston
1801 Maple St.
2nd Floor, Suite 2410
Evanston, IL 60201-3149
Phone: (847) 491-3003
OSR-Evanston@northwestern.edu