Material Transfer Agreements
MTAs are legal documents describing the rights and responsibilities of parties that are exchanging materials such as laboratory reagents, tissue specimens, prototypes, and other items. An MTA covers issues such as ownership, publication, intellectual property, permitted use, and liability.
University research projects often involve sharing samples and reagents with colleagues at other educational institutions and companies. Often no formal agreement is required when sharing materials with academic colleagues. To facilitate the free and open exchange of scientific information and materials, Dartmouth has joined a select group of major research institutions in eliminating the need for an MTA under certain conditions: a specific MTA is not required when exchanging non-hazardous, non-human biological materials for in vitro research use with research colleagues at participating institutions. In those circumstances, the transfer will be presumed to be made under the terms of the UBMTA, even though no written agreement has been signed. Recipients of biological materials are expected to obtain consent from the original provider before passing materials on to others and to acknowledge the source of the materials in resulting publications and presentations.
In any other circumstances, however, it is important to protect intellectual property rights by executing a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). Dartmouth's standard MTAs for various situations and recipients will be posted soon.