Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)

Material Transfer Agreements:

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are contracts covering the terms for the exchange of materials between two organizations, where the recipient intends to use the materials for his or her own research purposes. MTAs protect the rights of both the receiver and the provider of these materials.

Inbound Materials:

MTAs governing the transfer of material(s) from an outside organization to UM (Inbound MTAs) are handled by the Office of Research Administration. When an MTA is received by a scientist or department from an outside party, the MTA should be sent to

If your MTA involves the purchase of, or payments for, the materials, it should be reviewed and processed by Supply Chain Services/Procurement and not ORA.  Please submit directly to Supply Chain Services/Procurement to avoid delay.  

Outbound Materials:

MTAs governing the transfer of material(s) from UM to an outside organization (Outbound MTAs) are handled by the Office of Technology Transfer. To initiate an outbound MTA, please submit your request via For further information on this process, contact Office of Technology Transfer.

MTA Review, Negotiation and Modification:

MTAs require review and often negotiation and modification. The areas relating to use of results and ownership of intellectual property as well as publication rights and governing law (among others) usually require further negotiation.

In addition, the use of materials in research projects that are funded by an outside source (Federal, State, Foundation, Industry, etc.) may be further restricted by the terms of those other research agreements.

This review and negotiation process can be lengthy, so scientists should plan accordingly when requesting materials.


The Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) is a model agreement for general use in the exchange of biological materials between organizations. The University of Miami is a signatory to the UBMTA

As a signatory, UM prefers to use the UBMTA Implementing Letter when UM is receiving or providing materials from or to a non-commercial organization or any other signatory to the UBMTA.