Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)
SLAC Legal Contacts
Phone: (650) 926-3508
Phone: (650) 926-8708
Phone: (650) 926-3073
John G. Lee
Phone: (650) 825-3531
Steve Porter (Retired)
Phone: (650) 926-4701
If you have a general legal question unrelated to specific SLAC operations, contact the Director of Legal Services at the Stanford University Office of General Counsel at (650) 723-9751.
I. When to Use an MTA.
A material transfer agreement (“MTA”) is used when a research material is requested by one researcher (the “Recipient”) from another researcher (the “Provider”) for use in the Recipient’s own research, but typically not for use in collaborative research between the Recipient and the Provider. An MTA is a type of bailment agreement under which the Recipient is granted temporary custody of the Provider’s material, but is not granted ownership of it. Materials which may be transferred under an MTA may be and often are of a biological nature. Those materials which may be transferred under an MTA that are not of a biological nature are generally tangible material results of research which: (i) are not commercially available; and (ii) are provided to the Recipient to permit replication, reproduction, evaluation or confirmation of the Recipient’s research effort, or to evaluate the material’s potential commercial utility.
For simple material transfers, a SLAC Short Form Outgoing MTA or a SLAC Short Form Incoming MTA may be used for sending a material from SLAC to a Recipient or receiving a material from a Provider respectfully. Links to .pdf versions of these templates may be found below. There are circumstances in which such templates may not be used (see Section II below). SLAC Legal has a variety of other MTA templates that may be used instead of a SLAC Short Form MTA template and Providers often prefer to use their own MTA templates.
II. When Not to Use an MTA.
SLAC prohibits the exchange of funds between parties under an MTA and a ‘funds-in agreement,’ such as an SPP agreement or a CRADA, or a ‘funds-out’ agreement such as a procurement bailment agreement, might be used when funds are necessarily exchanged between parties in conjunction with the transfer of a material.
Additionally, there are several risk factors, outlined in the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Guidelines document linked below, which may preclude use of an MTA and will preclude use of a SLAC Short Form MTA template.
III. How to Use an MTA: Initiation & Approval Process; MTAs Are Executed Prior to Material Transfer.
To enable SLAC to remain in compliance with the Stanford-DOE Prime Contract, SLAC requires use of an MTA to send materials out of SLAC or receive materials onto SLAC’s premises. Furthermore, an MTA must be reviewed internally, approved, and fully executed by the signatories prior to a material being transferred. Any SLAC employee that would like to initiate the MTA review process should create a new TARC form for the MTA through the SLAC ServiceNow portal. The Proposal Advancement Office (PAO), SLAC Legal, and sometimes TARC will engage with the SLAC employee to determine the proper template, assess material risk factors, negotiate terms with the other party, approve the MTA, and obtain signatures required for execution of the MTA. All of these procedures are set forth in the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Guidelines document linked below, which we advise you to read.
Kindly attach any unexecuted MTA or executed Short Form SLAC MTA on the SLAC ServiceNow portal. Please contact PAO (PAOTeam@slac.stanford.edu) or SLAC Legal (https://legal.slac.stanford.edu/) for assistance.
IV. Forms and Guidelines
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Guidelines (SLAC login required)
SLAC Short Form Outgoing Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) (SLAC login required)
SLAC Short Form Incoming Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) (SLAC login required)