Innovators & Innovation

Material Transfer Agreement FAQs

If you have any questions regarding the below or about any other conditions or obligations contained in any MTA that relates to your research, please contact the Innovation Pillar at mtas@jefferson.edu.

Yes.  The scientist is not the owner of the materials.  The materials are owned by the institution where they were created, and an authorized official from that institution must give permission for the transfer.

No, unless the materials are for a different scope of research than that listed in the existing MTA, if the MTA specified the quantity of materials to be transferred, or if the MTA contained an expiration date that has passed.

Frequently.  An MTA is generally intended for a specific researcher and a particular research scope.  If a researcher wishes to use materials received via an MTA for any purpose other than what is disclosed in the existing agreement – assuming that a purpose was required – Jefferson must obtain permission from the provider and amend the existing MTA or enter into a new one.  

No. The materials are owned by the institution where they were created, and that institution must give its permission for further distribution. 

Yes. An MTA is required for any transfer of tangible research materials in connection with basic research. If you are working together with the recipient scientist on a mutually developed project, rather than sending the materials to them for their own independent research, Jefferson will execute a collaboration agreement with material transfer language embedded within that contract.

No. An MTA would be appropriate only if you were transferring the materials to the third party for its own independent research purposes. This type of fee-for-service arrangement requires a service agreement. Service agreements are managed by the Office of Research Administration, and you should contact them about this matter.

No.  An MTA is intended for a specific researcher for use in connection with a particular research scope. If other Jefferson researchers wish to use these materials in their work, they will need to obtain separate MTAs. 

Yes. An MTA is required for any transfer of tangible research materials in connection with basic research, no matter who the recipient is.  

Yes. An MTA is required for any transfer of tangible research materials in connection with basic research, no matter the amount.

Frequently.  Repository materials are purchased under MTAs or other agreements that may restrict their use and further distribution.  We must be sure to comply with the vendor’s terms and conditions of sale before transferring such materials.  

No. All signatures must be obtained on the MTA before any transfer of materials is initiated.  The agreement is not valid until signed by all parties.

Sometimes.  Occasionally a fee is applied for shipping and/or preparation of the materials. If Jefferson is providing the materials, you may request a fee to be reimbursed for costs associated with them. The fee will be agreed upon before the MTA is signed, but it is not required until the MTA is completed.

Yes.  You do not own the materials.  They are owned either by the original provider, or if created here, by Jefferson. If you decide to leave Jefferson, you may not take the materials with you without written permission from the Innovation Pillar.  Jefferson policy requires that all permitted transfers be documented via an MTA with your new organization.