Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

What is a Material Transfer Agreement?

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a legal contract to document the transfer of physical material between Yale University and academic, non-profit, or industrial institutions. MTAs primarily are used to document the transfer of biological materials (plasmids, cell lines, mouse strains, etc.), but also may be used in the transfer of some types of non-biological material. Any Yale faculty member must ensure that an MTA is in place prior to receiving or sending the Material.

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 protect both the Researcher’s and Yale’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 the Researcher’s academic freedom, assert undue rights of ownership of discoveries, or use indemnification language that may put the University at risk. Any unacceptable terms are changed by negotiation between the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and the Provider. Information on Yale’s policy regarding terms in incoming MTAs.

Outgoing MTAs that provide Yale materials to commercial and for-profit institutions are negotiated by the Office of Cooperative Research (OCR). Inquiries should be addressed to, or call OCR at 203-436-8096 (Central Campus) or 203-785-6209 (School of Medicine). See:

NOTE: MTAs are not valid unless signed by an authorized representative from OSP or OCR.  Please contact:

Donald Wiggin, Contract Manager, MTAs 203-785-6313