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Material Transfer Agreements


A Material Transfer Agreement (MTAs) is a contract that protects your intellectual property (IP) when you either provide or receive research materials to and from other institutions or corporate entities. At the University of Washington, MTAs refer to agreements for the transfer of research materials at no charge. Materials being purchased follow procurement procedures. Materials being sold, or for use in services, follow goods and services procedures. Cost recovery fees to the lab (that are part of an outgoing MTA) are processed through CoMotion.

Materials that require MTAs

  • Cell lines
  • Cultures
  • Bacteria
  • Nucleotides
  • Proteins
  • Transgenic animals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemicals

Types of MTAs

Incoming MTA

CoMotion’s Agreements Group can help you complete incoming research material transfers for research that is not part of a sponsored program.

Outgoing not-for-profit research MTA

To request an MTA for biological materials from the UW, please complete this form.

Outgoing for-profit research MTA

CoMotion’s Agreements Group reviews for-profit MTAs with you to determine the most appropriate document for the transfer of materials.

Transfer of human biological materials

For the transfer of human biological material samples that are collected at the UW and are being sent to a third party.

Why are MTAs important?

MTAs are important because they protect UW intellectual property rights, limit UW liability, and fairly credit the developer of the materials.

Who manages MTAs at the UW?

UW CoMotion and Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) are the only units of the UW authorized to review and sign MTAs that transfer research materials at no charge.

CoMotion Agreements Group

The Agreements Group within UW CoMotion manages all outgoing MTAs for research. CoMotion also manages incoming MTAs for research when the research is not funded by a current sponsored program managed by OSP.

Contact for assistance with MTAs


Phone: 206-543-3970

Office of Sponsored Programs

If the MTA for incoming material is for work funded under a current Sponsored Program, then the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is responsible for the MTA.

Using materials in a service rather than research

If materials are transferred pursuant to a service being provided by UW, then any terms governing the management of incoming materials will be handled as part of the service agreement and reviewed at the department or school level. The Attorney General Office can provide legal support for these agreements. In the School of Medicine, the Dean’s office can provide support. Care needs to be taken to ensure the entity purchasing the service from UW does not receive any intellectual property or other rights other than the results of the service itself as they directly relate to the provided materials.

Purchasing materials

If materials are being acquired through purchase, normal procurement procedures should be followed. Procurement will advise on terms if needed.