Material Transfer Agreements

Material Transfer Agreement Information Sheet (MTA Info Sheet): MTA Info Sheet

The MTA Info Sheet must be completed by the Purdue Principal Investigator (PI) in charge of the receipt or dissemination of research material and requires that the Purdue PI certify the accuracy of the information provided.  The Purdue PI should be a faculty member or an individual with approval to serve as a principal investigator.  SPS Contracting will be unable to process any MTAs without a completed MTA Info Sheet.

What is an MTA?

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a contract that governs the transfer of materials between institutions for use in research.  Materials may include cell lines, plasmids, nucleotides, proteins, transgenic animals, plant varieties, bacteria, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals.  MTAs are important because they define the parameters under which material may be used.  MTAs include terms related to permitted reason and length of time for use of the material, confidentiality of material, publication of results, ownership of intellectual property, and warranty and liability.  MTAs may also address issues related to ownership of the transferred material, modifications and derivatives made by the recipient, and rights to inventions and research results. They also may limit the use and further dissemination of the material by the recipient. The parties to the contract may be academic, government, or commercial organizations.

What is the purpose of an MTA?

MTAs protect both the researcher’s and Purdue’s interests and the ability to conduct future research related to the material. It is important to ensure that the provider does not include terms that may restrict Purdue’s academic freedom, assert undue rights of ownership of discoveries, or use indemnification language that may put the University at risk.  

Who can sign an MTA?

Faculty and researchers cannot sign MTAs on behalf of the University.  MTAs are not valid unless signed by an authorized representative from Sponsored Program Services (SPS) Contracting.  That being said, the Principal Investigator is required to provide an acknowledgement signature on MTAs as well in order to ensure they understand and agree to abide by the terms and conditions contained within the MTA.

How can Faculty request an MTA from SPS?

The MTA Info Sheet, a Purdue internal document, must be completed and submitted by the requesting Purdue Principal Investigator to SPS Contracting before our review of an MTA or our drafting of an MTA can begin.  If an MTA is needed, whether Purdue is the provider or the recipient, please have the Principal Investigator complete the MTA Info Sheet and submit to SPS Contracting at with any additional helpful information or documents, such as a draft MTA provided by the other party.  Please ensure all regulatory approval information is on hand before completing the MTA Info Sheet as those approval numbers (IRB, IACUC, IBC) and dates are critical to the timely processing of MTAs.  If any information is missing on the MTA Info Sheet, the processing of the MTA will be delayed.  Any questions regarding the processing of MTAs should be directed to

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