A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a written contract entered into by a provider and a recipient of research material that governs the transfer of tangible research materials, data and databases, and software between two organizations. At UCLA, the UCLA Technology Development Group (UCLA TDG) reviews and approves incoming and outgoing transfer on behalf of UCLA faculty.
If the Material you are receiving from a for-profit entity or providing to a for-profit entity will be used for testing in a clinical trial on human subjects, please contact the Officer from the UCLA School of Medicine Clinical Trial, Contracts & Strategic Relations Office (CTC&SR) assigned to assist your department. UCLA TDG does not have the delegated authority to negotiate agreements with for-profit entities for clinical testing of materials.
A transfer of UCLA Material to a for-profit entity for use as or support of a commercial product or service instead of a research purpose will require special handling to protect the interests of the Principal Investigator and UCLA. Please visit the Material Transfer for Commercial Purposes section of our website for assistance.
How to Receive or Send Materials using UCLA onlineMTA
UCLA onlineMTA is a central site for submitting all requests for the receipt or transfer of materials for research purposes through a new, convenient web-based form. The onlineMTA site will also allow investigators to track the status of their pending and completed MTA requests submitted after July 1, 2009.
In addition to providing a few short details regarding the proposed transfer, you can upload any contract or other documentation provided by the party sending the material, as well as the requisite financial disclosure forms or other required administrative approvals.
(1) Incoming Material Transfer Via onlineMTA
UCLA TDG requires that a Material Transfer Request Form be completed before your Material Transfer Agreement can be reviewed. This process has been streamlined through the development of an online smart form and workspace called onlineMTA.
(2) Upload Contract or Other Documentation from Sending Entity
- At the bottom of the onlineMTA form there is a place to upload documents including the contract issued by the entity sending you the Material. Please take care to upload the contract and any other supporting documentation prior to completing the onlineMTA submission.
- The best way to assure that your MTA is processed as quickly as possible is to make sure the requisite administrative approvals or forms that may be needed (e.g. IRB, IBC, or PI Policy 900 Exemption Letter) are included in your request. These forms can be uploaded along with the contract.
- Please note failure to upload the contract or other requisite administrative forms will result in a delay in the resolution of your material transfer request.
(3) Financial Disclosure Forms
UCLA Form 700U and Addendum
- Any request to receive materials from a non-academic or non-governmental provider must be accompanied by Financial Disclosure Forms unless the provider has been deemed exempt by the Office of the President. If required, the forms must be uploaded to your onlineMTA request prior to submission.
- Under UCLA Policies 150 and 925, the Principal Investigator and all other UCLA Investigators who share responsibility for the design, conduct or reporting of research must disclose their personal financial interests in any organization(s) that will provide materials for use in such research.
- California law requires that the completed Form 700U with original signatures be maintained on file. Please send the signed Form 700U to the attention of the MTA Team at MC 719147.
UCLA Form 700U Supplemental
- In the event that the Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, or any other personnel have identified a financial interest on the Form 700U or 700U Addenum, The Form 700U Supplement must be completed to describe the potential conflict and provide information used by the UCLA Conflict of Interest Review Committee to determine whether the conflict can be managed and if the material transfer may proceed.
(1) Outgoing Material Transfer Via onlineMTA
UCLA TDG requires that a Material Transfer Request Form be completed before your request to send Material can be reviewed. This process has been streamlined through the development of an online smart form and workspace called onlineMTA.
(2) Upload Administrative Approvals
- At the bottom of the onlineMTA form there is a place to upload administrative approvals or forms that may be needed (e.g. IRB, IBC, or PI Policy 900 Exemption Letter) in order for your material transfer request to proceed. Please take care to upload these materials prior to completing the onlineMTA submission.
- Please note failure to upload these materials (if required) will result in a delay in the resolution of your material transfer request.
(3) Sending for Commercial Use by Recipient?
- If the intended recipient of your material transfer request is a for-profit entity that intends to use the materials to support the sale of a commercial product or service, rather than for purposes of a collaboration with the UCLA Principal Investigator or independent research use by the recipient, this should not be submitted to onlineMTA.
- Please visit the Material Transfer for Commercial Purposes section of our website for assistance.
Who is Managing Your Material Transfer Request?
Our primary focus upon receipt of your material transfer request is to expedite review, negotiation and execution of the contract to facilitate the transfer. Our practice is “first-in, first-out” to make sure substantive action is taken on your material transfer request within one business day of assignment to a member of the UCLA TDG team.
The Principal Investigator will receive an email notification identifying the individual on the UCLA TDG team assigned to your material transfer request and if at any point there are questions and you are not sure who to contact, you can contact UCLAMTA@tdg.ucla.edu.
What Are the Types of Material Transfer Agreements
Material Transfer Between Academic Institutions
When academic researchers receive requests from colleagues for samples of research materials. Agency sponsors (primarily NIH) often require that research materials generated from funded research are made available to other researchers. To comply with federal sponsors' desire for easy access to research materials, the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) was developed. The UBMTA provides a record of the material transfer, and prohibits the recipient from transferring the material to others without the written consent of the material provider.
Material Transfer from Industry to UCLA
When a researcher at UCLA requires materials from a company. Academic researchers may seek industrial materials for their research, which will always be accompanied by an MTA. Because industry frequently has substantial investments and revenues at stake, an industrial MTA is usually more restrictive than a UBMTA.
MTA's from industry often contain restrictive language in the areas of publication, patent rights, and licensing. Often, companies want the right to block or edit the right of the UCLA Principal Investigator to publish, which contradicts the concept of academic freedom.
In the area of intellectual property, the company often wishes to own all rights - title and interest - to inventions arising from the use of the material; a position not acceptable to the University.
In the area of licensing, companies may ask for a royalty-free, exclusive or non-exclusive, license to our future patent rights giving us no incentive to file any patents on the work done with their material.
In short, many of these agreements contain language that must be negotiated!
Material Transfer from UCLA to Industry
When companies request a research material from UCLA. Companies often request samples of research material. These requests are handled in a few different ways, depending on the following: the material is not patentable, the material is currently patented by UCLA, or the material is not yet patented (or publicly disclosed) and is of possible commercial value. These types of transfer are handled on a case-by-case basis.