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Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are contracts governing the transfer of non-commercial, tangible research property such as transgenic mice, cell lines, gene constructs, antibodies or chemical compounds for pre-clinical research use. ICO reviews MTAs with respect to Stanford policy and obligations to funding sources. Different agreements are used to send or receive data LINK.

Are MTAs necessary?

Not always. The University encourages researchers to share biomedical and other laboratory research materials without agreements, when possible.  A number of other research institutions have agreed to share research materials either without an agreement or using a standard MTA whenever possible. Please see the memo from Stanford's Vice Provost and Dean of Research.

Please note that agreements are required when:

  • Sending human tissues for research purposes.
  • Sending or receiving material created under funding from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
  • Sending or receiving materials other times when an MTA is legally required, for example, sending out materials received under an MTA.

Handling MTAs: