FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MATERIAL TRANSFER AGREEMENTS

1. If I want to send biological or chemical samples to a colleague, should I use a Material Transfer Agreement?

Yes, researchers who would like to send samples to another institution should start the Outgoing MTA process in the Research Management System.

If the researcher does not yet have access to the Research Manager System (RMS), please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects at 512-471-6424 to obtain access.

When access has been provided, the researcher should log into RMS and click on the MTA Database link on the left side of the webpage. Complete the Outgoing MTA on-line forms (be sure to save every page before going to the next) and press the button at the end to route to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

EHS will review the transfer for compliance with health and safety regulations. When EHS approves the MTA application, they route it to OSP.

OSP will send the Outgoing Material Transfer Agreement to your colleague and his/her sponsored projects office for review and signature. Upon return of the signed MTA from your colleague's institution, UT Austin will sign the MTA and notify you that you can send materials to your colleague. You should follow any instructions provided by EHS for shipping when you send the materials.

2. If a colleague from outside UT wants to send samples to me, should we use a Material Transfer Agreement?

Yes, it is usually a good idea to use a Material Transfer Agreement. UT Austin's template agreement for incoming materials can be found in the Forms section.

Your colleague's institution may send you his/her institution's template Material Transfer Agreement. If so, send the agreement to OSP for review and acceptance.

3. How long does it take to get an outgoing MTA (UT materials going to a third party) signed by both parties?

On the average, it takes a couple of weeks. Generally, within three days of your MTA Database submission (assuming EHS has approved it), OSP sends an agreement to the receiving institution. The receiving institution must then review the agreement, sign it and return it to UT Austin.

When the agreement has been signed by both parties, OSP will notify you. At that time, you may send the materials to the receiving institution.

4. How long does it take to have an incoming MTA (third party materials coming to UT) signed by both parties and materials sent to me?

It depends on the terms of the agreement. If the disclosing institution uses the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement, OSP will be able to sign the Implementing Letter associated with that Agreement very quickly. If the disclosing institution uses the UT Incoming MTA template, the process will also move very quickly.

In many cases, however, disclosing institutions use MTA templates that contain terms and conditions that are unacceptable to The University of Texas at Austin. These unacceptable terms often require the university to deviate from State of Texas laws or from federal policies related to biological materials. Due to the need to negotiate acceptable terms, signature to the MTA may be delayed and the materials may not be transferred to you as quickly as preferred. Please be aware that MTA negotiations with corporations can be particularly challenging.

5. I want to order materials from a catalogue but when I tried to process an order through the company's online order form, the online form requires me to sign an MTA. What should I do?

Contact OSP and notify us of the MTA. OSP has negotiated MTAs with several catalogue companies and we may be able to substitute terms previously negotiated for the terms you were asked to sign.

6. I want to send potentially export controlled materials to a non-U.S. location. What do I need to do?

First, you should complete the MTA checklist form in RMS. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety will review the information you provide and assist you in determining whether your material is export controlled.

If the material is export controlled, you will need to work with OSP to submit a license application to the U.S. Department of Commerce (or other federal agency controlling the export process for your material). To complete the license application, OSP will need to know the following information:

Name of Recipient Scientist
Recipient Scientist Address and Phone/Fax/Email
Birth Date of Recipient Scientist
Country of Birth of Recipient Scientist
Place of Birth of Recipient Scientist
Recipient Scientist's Institution
Recipient Institution Address and Phone/Fax
Amount of Material to be transferred
Value of Material

Please note that not all license applications are approved by the federal government. Additionally, approval of applications may take six (6) to eight (8) weeks and may be delayed due to questions about the recipient that arise after submission of the application.

If a license is provided by the federal government, OSP will then prepare a Material Transfer Agreement for the Recipient Scientist's Institution. The agreement will incorporate the requirements imposed by the license; these requirements will be non-negotiable. If the Recipient Institution accepts the agreement and the license terms, you will be able to forward your material(s) to the Recipient Scientist after the MTA has been signed by both parties.

7. I work with Select Agents and I would like to transfer some materials that would be considered Select Agents to a colleague. How do I do this?

Notify EHS that you want to transfer a Select Agent. The transfer and shipment of a Select Agent requires prior authorization by the CDC/USDA.